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Your Wedding Ceremony, from Ordinary to Extraordinary

No two weddings should ever be alike. Think outside the box in terms of vows, music, and cultural traditions, says expert wedding planner David Tutera of WE tv’s The Wedding Planner and author of My Fair Wedding: Finding Your Vision… Through His Revisions!

Incorporate traditions based on religion, culture, or folklore into the content of your ceremony. There are endless symbols, customs, and practices that can be used to help define the bride and groom—such as lighting a unity candle, breaking the glass, jumping the broom, or pouring two colors of sand into one bottle. It’s even more interesting when you’re mixing more than one religion, culture, or custom into your wedding. Also, don’t be afraid to tweak any of these traditions to make them truly your own.

Use music to tell your story. Hire a talented friend or a professional vocalist to bring life to a piece of music that is meaningful to you and your groom. Always think about how you can share something about yourselves with your guests through music.

Write your own wedding vows. Whether you borrow words from friends, writers, or famous poets, or compose something original that’s straight from the heart, reciting your own vows is a chance to make the ceremony much more special and personalized. The groom should speak first, followed by the bride. It might seem daunting (or downright scary) to put such emotions into words—but when you think back on all of the incredible moments of your wedding, that exchange will likely be at the top of your list.

Have two speakers (one chosen by the bride, one by the groom) say a few words during the ceremony. For example, you could ask each person to talk for three to five minutes on the topic of love. This would not be a religious reading or a toast, simply a moving sentiment that focuses on what the ceremony is all about—love in its purest form!

Surprise guests mid-ceremony with a heartfelt song performed by the bride, the groom, or a musically inclined family member or friend.

Conclude the ceremony in dramatic style! Consider a confetti release, or fill paper cones with flower petals for guests to toss once you’re pronounced husband and wife. For an outdoor wedding, you could also release doves or butterflies. Or arrange for a skywriting aircraft to fly overhead and spell out the message love is in the air!

However you choose to add creativity to your wedding, please remember to amplify the entire ceremony by having microphones set up. This ensures that all of your guests can actually hear what’s taking place, and it allows you to turn a ho-hum vow exchange into an actual production, filled with intrigue, emotion, and surprises. The speeches, special vocal performances, and—of course—the vows all need to be heard!

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