Cristina, our sponsor from Inclusive Ceremonies, is a Master Life-Cycle Celebrant based in New Jersey who is full of awesome tips for common ceremony problems.
I love when couples give me a challenge. I know couples work hard to make their wedding day a special reflection of who they are. Some couples craft every detail of their wedding day only to find that there are limits to what they can control in the most personal moment of their wedding day — their ceremony. So many times they are told “you can't do that in a wedding ceremony.”
My job is to say yes you can. And here's how…
Challenge #1: Your beliefs or backgrounds differ from those of your families
Sometimes it's challenging for couples when they come from different traditions or when their beliefs are different from their families. Many of my couples are interfaith or multicultural and want to have a ceremony that makes everyone feel included, but still sets the tone for their marriage going forward.
My solution is to work to try and balance different beliefs, and even different languages to create a ceremony that doesn't alienate your guests, even if the ceremony is very different from what they are used to. For example Suzan and Roger's wedding brought together traditional Jewish elements with Pagan symbolism in a ceremony that took place before a roaring fire on Imbolc Eve.
Challenge #2: Incorporating your offbeat passions
Brittany and Chris met at a Phish concert and love their music. Normally when music is the jumping-off point for a ceremony, I’ll look to the group in question for romantic songs we might quote or play during the ceremony. But my study of Phish lyrics didn’t reveal a lot of romance. So instead, we looked to Brittany and Chris’ love story and wove in quotes by Phish, and other musicians and songs that would be meaningful to them.
Challenge #3: Combining seemingly mismatched themes
Marisa and Matt had two very different themes in mind for their wedding. They found deep meaning in stones, and wanted to include river rocks in their ceremony by a stream, but they also wanted The Princess Bride to be a part of their wedding — but not just the “Mawiage” speech.
For their ceremony, I created several rituals using stones — from casting their doubts into the river, to gathering the love of their friends and family. They even set their vows in stone with an oathing stone.
To bring in the Princess Bride, I talked about their adventure together and things that were “inconceivable.” I told their story of a proposal that was fraught with more pitfalls than a fire swamp and of course we talked about “Mawiage.”
Or as Marrisa put it:
Of course, at the beginning of the planning process, our ceremony ideas were a mangled mess. And Cristina did an amazing job of taking that mess and turning it into a beautiful ceremony that everyone RAVED about.
You can craft beautiful ceremonies that can include anything from telling your love story to even unique rituals created just for you. Trust me, I've written and performed ceremonies from a Renaissance-themed wedding to a ceremony with me standing on the groom's favorite motorcycle.
If you're getting married in the New York or New Jersey areas, another ceremony challenge has just been solved. You can hire Cristina to officiate your wedding and instantly solve all your ceremony problems!