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We Love the Oathing Stone Ritual

Oathing stone image for unity ritual for Wedwordy, photo by XSiGHT

A wonderful couple in northern California had requested a special unity ritual to be shared in their wedding ceremony. When Kali and Chase explained to Reverend Rick Tan of Tan Weddings & Events about the significance of the oathing stones, he was super excited to incorporate it into their wedding ceremony script! The ritual originated in Scotland where couples would lay their hands on a giant stone as they professed their love and exchanged their vows. In the ceremony, a giant boulder would be unwieldy, so a smooth river stone was used and passed through all the guests’ hands before ending up with the couple, just in time for their exchange of vows – so beautiful!

Now, Wedwordy includes it our growing library of fabulous passages. You can find it in the element Unity Rituals. When you compose your wedding ceremony draft, go to the Elements Library, choose Unity Ritual, drag it into your ceremony (we recommend following the Greeting), click “Save Draft” to update the new ceremony flow, then scroll through the Unity Ritual passages for Oathing Stone. Select and save it, and it’s now in your wedding ceremony script!

Photo Credit | XSiGHT

Helpful Advice from Pro Officiants

Wedding officiant posing with a couple during a rehearsal for their marriage ceremony

Officiants of Tan Weddings & Events have collectively officiated over 1500 beautiful weddings! From their experience, they share a few gems that will make your wedding ceremony sparkle and shine!

Secure Your Officiant, Like NOW!

If you are hiring a pro officiant, don’t procrastinate! The best ones book really fasy, especially during the peak wedding season. Also, not waiting until the last moment gives the officiant ample time to get to know you and compose words with you.

Use Wedwordy to Compose Your Script.

Whether your officiant is a pro or a friend you’ve tapped, you can use Wedwordy to compose your custom wedding ceremony script. You might want to write the script entirely on your own, or collaborate with your officiant. Either way, Wedwordy gives you the balance of convenience and personalization. Go with a template with pre-set elements and passages, if the script suits your needs. Or create a completely custom ceremony. Or blend it, and make it your own. Wedwordy gives you peace of mind with a complete, formatted ceremony, ready for your big day!

Rehearse, But Don’t Stress if the Ceremony Does Not Go Exactly As Planned.

Your coordinator, independent or venue, will often facilitate it. It’s not always easy to have every member of the wedding party present, so you can ask accompanying friends and family to serve as proxy. Have fun with the rehearsal! The main components are figuring out the processional order, the ceremony formation, and the recessional. Talk to your Wedding party about NOT chewing gum, or wearing sunglasses! Coordinate the height of bouquets, and where hands are during the ceremony. Determine who will have the rings. If being given away, choreograph with your escort! If on the wedding day, your coordinator can get guests seated, your Wedding Party lined up, bouquets and bouts ready, rings ready – then you’re good to go! Don’t sweat the details, and certainly don’t worry if your Flower Girl dumps all the petals in one pile on the aisle – it makes the wedding day just that much more memorable and genuine!

Hold Hands, Gaze Lovingly!

Throughout the ceremony, hold each other’s hands and look at one another. Smile. Squeeze or stroke each other’s hands to let your partner know you both got this! Holding hands keeps you at a nice, intimate distance for your photographers, for mics to pick up your vows, and for your officiant to be close and personal.

Your Officiant Should Step Aside for the Kiss.

Unless you want your officiant to be awkwardly gawking above you during your newlywed kiss, you should advise your officiant to step to one side (of course, if your officiant is a pro, they already know this). Your officiant will feel more confortable, and the pictures will look much classier.

Breathe. Soak in the Love!

It’s hard not to care for your own health and sanity during the week before the wedding. Make yourself the priority – not selfish at all – just know your vendors got your back, and your friends and family are rooting for you! Catch your breath. Hydrate. Eat. Sleep well. Open yourself to positive energy flowing your way.

Photo Credit | En Pointe Photography

Blessings and Prayers for the Marriage Journey

A young couple walking in The Maples in Woodland, California about to begin their journey of Marriage

In a wedding ceremony, you can choose to add a blessing, prayer, reading, or poem. Penned by famous and less well-known authors, religious leaders or inspired artists, these literary passages give a grounding force to your ceremony script. Here is an excerpt from “Blessings for the Journey” by Buddhist Wendy Nakao. It is very special to Wedwordy and to couples who choose to add it to their ceremony. Sensei Wendy was so gracious in permitting its use in our app – we owe her deep gratitude for sharing such beautiful words with us. To select it in Wedwordy, go to the Element “Blessings & Prayers”. It is number 10 of 14 available passages.

“Let us vow to bear witness to the wholeness of life,
realizing the completeness of each and every thing.
Embracing our differences,
I shall know myself as you,
and you as myself.
May we serve each other
for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.”

 

Photo Credit | Nick Graham Photography

Five Keys to a Healthy and Happy Marriage

There are five keys to a healthy and happy marriage: vitality, synergy, harmony, sustainability, and discovery. Read on and apply these morsels of wisdom to your relationship now! (You’ll find the complete passage in the element Reflections in our Wedwordy app.) 

First, as individuals, maintain a healthy level of vitality. Taking care of yourself is not a selfish endeavor. It is, in practice, selfless, where your personal wellness – mind, body, heart, and spirit – serves the relationship.

Second, embrace the synergy of your partnership, where both of you mutually give and receive. This constantly revolving mechanism of sharing, advocating, and encouraging provides the nourishment for both of you to grow together. So give passionately, receive joyfully.

Third, strive for harmony in your home. Marriage is like the music of a symphony – harmony is achieved when the musicians tune in to each other, they listen, they make adjustments. In your home, train yourselves to listen, to adjust, to complement one another.

Fourth, embrace deep, steady love. The spark of romance stokes the glowing, radiant, steady glow of true partnership. This is the fire that sustains deep devotion.

And finally, the fifth key is to relish the excitement of discovery. Each day is an opportunity for learning and growing. Embrace this notion and your life becomes a journey enriched by daily blessings.

Photo Credit | XSiGHT Photography

Wherever Inspiration Takes Hold, Be Ready to Write

A couple uses their smartphone to edit their wedding script via Wedwordy, the wedding app

Composing the wedding ceremony script is often not a one-shot start to finish task.  And like any creative endeavor, you can’t force it to happen by sitting at your desktop at home. Getting those meaningful words on (digital) paper takes time and patience and flexibilty.  Inspiration strikes anytime, anywhere. So wouldn’t it be great to have Wedwordy?

Having a Web-based app to compose your wedding ceremony words is gold! Wherever you have access to the Internet, you have access to Wedwordy, whether it be your desktop, laptop, iPad, or smart phone. Once you create an account, you can begin your first draft and work on it all at once, or a little at a time. The file is automatically saved as an “in progress” draft as you continue to select passages, edit, write, revise, and refine.

Wedwordy knows: meaningful words are sparked by meaningful interaction. Start at home. Resume at the park. Finish at a romantic getaway. So when inspiration takes hold of the writer in you, Wedwordy is your virtual pen and paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit | Holly D Photography

Create Your Ceremony with Wedwordy and Your Officiant

Officiant reading from a wedding ceremony script a man and his betrothed hold hands

With Wedwordy, creating your wedding script with your officiant has never been easier! Whether you have asked a friend or family member to officiate, or have hired a professional, you and your officiant can use Wedwordy as a collaboration tool to create the wedding ceremony script together. Here’s how.

SIGN UP

First, create your Wedwordy account. Just follow the prompts on the website.

SHARE

Share your username and password with your officiant. Both of you now have access to the app!

COMPOSE

To start composing your wedding ceremony script, you’ll first select a template. Then as you go through each of the elements of your ceremony, you’ll choose passages that best resonate with you. With some of the elements, you might use a “blank passage” to write your own or leave open for your officiant. The app auto-saves your work as an “In Progress” draft.

COLLABORATE

Direct your officiant to the “In Progress” draft in Wedwordy. Let them know what passages to edit and refine or to write completely. Being able to collaborate with your officiant is easy with Wedwordy. Allowing your officiant to write portions of the ceremony gives them an opportunity to impart it with a bit of their personality and speaking style. You might even have your officiant write the story of how you and your loved one met. How you and your officiant decide to work together will create the perfect wedding words!

SAVE AS DOCUMENT

When you have fine-tuned the draft, click on “Save As Document”. You now have your completed wedding ceremony script, ready to print for your big day!

 

Photo Credit | Holly D Photography

 

Fab Features of a Ceremony Your Guests Will Appreciate

Table displaying features for wedding ceremony guests including a book to write a message to the newlyweds

During the ceremony, all eyes may be on the two of you, but your guests will still be paying attention to the little details. From the guests’ first arrival to the venue, the wedding celebration is truly a sensory experience. What they see, hear, touch, smell – all add to their overall impression. Here are a few thoughts to consider to give your guests a welcoming and wonderful experience. This post addresses specifically the time the guests arrive to when you walk the aisle as newlyweds!

PARKING

Make sure that the venue has ample parking and if not, arrange a shuttle, or valet service. If you know there are guests with limited mobility, map out the safest route so ushers or signage can direct them accordingly.

SIGNAGE

Be strategic where to place signs so guests are properly oriented to the day’s events. Chalkboards are still the latest trends in signage, but wood planks and window panes are also popular. Try something different like blackened metal, marble, slate, and tile. Whatever the surface, make sure the signs are legible and most importantly, that they clearly direct guests with locations, instructions, and event timelines.

REFRESHMENTS

It’s no fun as a guest to brave some windy country road to your secluded venue destination on a hot day, only to arrive to the site, sweaty in a suit, without any cold water to drink! Pre-wedding refreshments not only welcome guests but tell them you care about their comfort as well as their health. Have a table set up with cool herb- and fruit-infused water. Wine and champagne are options to consider. Have candy and mints available, or go for lite appetizer fare if appropriate.

WELCOME AND GIFT TABLE

One smart landing spot for guests is the welcome table. Draped and decorated for a cohesive look with your wedding, the table can have the guest book, framed couple engagement photos, and space for cards/gifts.

MUSIC

The prelude music offers guests some level of entertainment and ambience that signals a special affair. Choose a DJ that will play that perfect song list or the live musician who can put your guests into the mood for a wedding.

SEATING

Whether you have invited 16 or 160, comfort is key. The chair itself does not have to be the most expensive to rent, but think about the placement so that guests do not have to withstand extremes of weather, for instance, glaring, direct sun. Also, angled, curved, and row length can affect the guests’ enjoyment. Ideally, every seat should have a good view of the two of you, and encourage getting to know each other.

CEREMONY LENGTH AND TONE

Your guests came from far and near to see the two of you exchange vows and kiss as newlyweds. They neither want the ceremony to be too short nor too long. But what is “just right”? That’s really up to you, but a typical ceremony length is between 20-30 minutes, including the processional and recessional. Also, you want the ceremony to reflect the two of you – do not feel obligated to entertain your guests with bells and whistles at the ceremony, they would rather experience something that is authentically you.

PERSONAL VOWS AND STORY

Some of the more popular elements of a ceremony are the couple’s exchange of personal vows, and a retelling of the story of how they met. Consider adding these to give your ceremony an extra personalized touch that your guests will connect with and enjoy.

Talk to your venue, your planner, your spouse about designing the ceremony space to maximize the guest experience. Dazzling decor and excellent entrees may get the buzz, but thoughtful details give the lasting, memorable impressions of your fabulous celebration!

 

Photo Credit | Nick Graham Photography

 

Choosing a Meaningful Unity Ritual

A couple during their wedding ceremony engaging in a unity ritua

Your declaration of intent, exchange of vows, and giving of rings are the heart of the wedding ceremony. So why choose to add a unity ritual? Consider your faith, culture, and personal/couple preferences when deciding to incorporate one, or not.

The minimum requirement of the ceremony to be “official” is the declaration of intent – legally, both parties have to freely and willingly express their intent, the “I do!” From there, traditionally, the promises you make to one another, and the giving of rings mark the agreement as sealed. Though the wedding is centered on the two of you, it is also an event witnessed by a gathering of family, friends, and your community of people. With that said, other elements in a wedding ceremony that honor their presence or bow to your heritage are also significanct, namely a unity ritual.

Unity rituals are expressions of, well, unity. Lighting of the unity candle, mixing of sand, planting a sapling tree, tying a knot, fastening of the cord, to name a few. Each are rooted in faith or culture. For instance, the veil and cord are popular among Filipino and Latino cultures. The veil symbolizes the woven fabric of heaven and earth, protecting the newlyweds in God’s graces and their mutual support. The cord symbolizes infinity, strands braided from the faith, hope, and dreams of the community.

Engaged couples often consider adding a unity ritual as a way to honor their faith or cultural backgrounds. As more marriages are being performed outside of a church, couples who grew up in strict religious households often find themselves referencing their faith with an abridged version of rituals. Others are pulled by strong cultural ties, while others still are simply excited about the novelty of a particular unity ritual. Whatever the motivation, the most important question to ask yourself is: How is it meaningful to me and to my partner?

All the words of the wedding ceremony are what will take you from the day of your wedding into the joyful lifetime of marriage. You want the words to represent you, your beliefs, your ideals, your commitment and love. So consider a unity ritual for its faith, social, and cultural significance, and then decide to include it when your heart says it is meaningful to YOU.

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The Unity Rituals Element is available in Wedwordy, where there are 10 different passages to choose from. The passages include beautiful wording of instruction and symbolism to make it flow seamlessly in your wedding ceremony. They are fully editable, so refine the words, or write/add your own meaningful gesture of unity.

Photo by Nick Graham Photography

Sassy to Sincere , Be You with Your Personal Vows

A bride crying as her groom reads his personal wedding vows

Exchanging vows in your wedding ceremony represents the spoken promises of your commitment to one another. But, if the traditional “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” do not reflect the promises you want to make to your partner, opt to write your own personal vows. Exciting, yet scary! Here is how to overcome those initial fears and build the confidence to share your promises with authenticity, valor, and eloquence!

The three challenges of personal vows are: 1) being authentic in your feelings, 2) writing with some literary merit, and 3) speaking eloquently publicly. Hopefully, that did not scare you away and make you decide to default back to traditional vows! If you are determined to continue on, here are some encouraging words and guidelines to help you with your personal vows.

Being authentic in your feelings is the reason you want to do personal vows in the first place! So regard the endeavor not as a challenging hurdle, rather as a refreshing shot to be YOU, to express the excitement you have of your partner. Using whatever medium is best for you to take notes, jot down answers to the following prompts (let it flow, don’t be shy, refrain from editing – for now):

  1. What attracted you to your partner?
  2. What qualities do you admire and adore in your partner? Give examples.
  3. Write down a memorable moment or two – funny, goofy, mind-blowing, serious – that the two of you shared while dating.
  4. What made you fall in love with your partner?
  5. In your vision of married life, what do you see the two of you doing 5 years from the wedding? 25 years?

Your answers, if you were honest with yourself, represent YOU! What you have are the genuine feelings you have of your partner, AND some useful material for your personal vows! Now, make a list of your vows and promises. Again, do not edit at this stage. Do not hold back! Begin each with “I promise to” or “I vow to”.  It can be as corny as, “I promise to be the Belle to your Beast,” or sassy like, “I vow to always root for your team, even though I don’t think they stand a chance,” or sincere, “I promise that I will always love you, care for you, champion you as my dearest friend and partner.”

Writing with some literary merit sounds a bit too proper and stodgy, especially if you say it with a British accent! Don’t worry, your high school English teacher will not be grading your written personal vows, unless your sweetheart is a high school English teacher! Even then, be unfazed with the writing step. Do you recall some lesson from school about writing a paragraph? It was something about organizing sentences this way: the first a hook, the second states your topic, the next 2-3 present evidence, and the last sums it up. Writing your personal vows follows a similar structure.

Organize your responses to the above prompts like this:

  1. The “hook”: retell your memorable couple moment, perhaps your first meeting or first date
  2. The “topic”: state why you love your partner and share what you admire in this person
  3. The “evidence”: here, list your vows and promises
  4. The “summary”: end with a final statement of your adoration and what you look forward to in marriage.

The number of sentences, of course, does not matter. And grammar, spelling, and punctuation are not the priority here. Follow some level of organization, such as suggested with the paragraph structure, though you have total and complete freedom to do it your way! Use your notes above. Make a draft. And another. Revise, refine it – but don’t get hung up on aiming for a Pulitzer prize-winning composition. Write it in a style and voice that suit you best. This is what makes the personal vows authentic and genuine.

Speaking eloquently publicly is the last challenge of choosing personal vows. Some people become super nervous when speaking in front of crowds while others thrive on being the center of attention! Some break into gibberish while others are natural story-tellers. No worries. Sharing your personal vows at your wedding is different from being on stage, at a podium, or in the spotlight.

You are not addressing an audience, you are speaking to ONLY ONE person in that moment: YOUR PARTNER. Well, there just happens to be seated folks nearby! But you know what? Those folks are not there to judge nor to grade your performance, they are actually doing the opposite: they are sending you positive energy, love and support. They are there to relish the sound of your voice and give you strength as you profess your love.  Give yourself ample time to practice your personal vows in private. Time your recitation, aim for somewhere around 1 – 3 minutes. Edit your writing if you need to. Practice your soliloquy in a volume and speed you will use at the wedding venue.

Print your personal vows or write in a vow booklet. When the wedding day arrives, don’t forget it back at home or your hotel room, else you’ll be winging it! Prior to the start of the ceremony, you may want to hand your vows to your officiant to have ready in a binder to give back to you for the exchange of vows. And when in the ceremony it is time to express your eternal promises, take a deep breath, have your hankie ready, and just be YOU.

(A little caveat from Tan Weddings & Events, officiants who have performed over 1000+ weddings: personal vows are not private vows, meaning, your friends and family on both sides are present to hear every word you say. Though you may be sassy by nature, avoid the path of full-blown sarcasm! You know, like, “I really hate how messy you are, but, what the heck, I promise to pick up after you!” And being sincere does not mean seriously depressing, like, “We’ve seen our fair share of arguments over the years and I gave up on you once or twice, but so glad we’re best friends now.” Keep those comments private between you and yours. Your wedding day is a celebration!)

 


In composing your wedding ceremony with Wedwordy, in the element Exchange of Vows, choose the passage “Sharing Personal Vows.” You can also choose several other passages of traditional or contemporary vows prompted by your officiant – we got your back!

Photo by Nick Graham Photography

Disrupt the Status Quo

A couple holding hands during a tradition-breaking wedding ceremony written by Wedwordy

When it comes to creating your wedding words, you want the freedom and flexibility to make it yours.  In 2018, you have a partner (aside from your own adorable partner) in disrupting the status quo: Wedwordy.

Currently, creating wedding ceremony words is a painstaking, tedious process. A multitude of wedding websites make an effort in posting their favorite scripts and ceremony words on your behalf. However, sifting through all that involves numerous Internet searches and, in the end, you will have spent oodles of time cutting and pasting bits and pieces of wedding words, or relinquishing your freedom to have your officiant instead do that work for you. With Wedwordy, you do not need to sacrifice time or freedom.

Wedwordy has pioneered a dynamic app to make creating your ceremony words both convenient and custom. Stress-reducing and time-saving! It is a Web application designed to be an effective solution in delivering high-value features: templates to get you started, elements that can be arranged, omitted, or added to your ceremony, and fully editable and curated passages. In one app, you compose your personalized wedding ceremony, from the processional to the pronouncement!

Is Wedwordy for everybody? No. Is Wedwordy for the engaged couple who wants the freedom and flexibility to create wedding ceremony words your way? Yes!

The time has come to disrupt the status quo. It is time for Wedwordy.

Photo by Zoart Photography