Happy Wednesday! Okay, it’s not actually Wednesday. I started this draft yesterday morning, but then I had a doozy of a day and just didn’t have it in me to finish it up last night. So I went to the driving range instead. But, I can bend the rules, right? Right. (That applies to Wedding Wednesday and wedding “rules.” 😉 )
Anyway, I’m so happy all of you are enjoying the wedding updates and thank you for your sweet comments and sharing ideas!! I’m so grateful for all of you! I really enjoy the updates too because I often feel like I haven’t done anything and am making no progress, but when I outline it all here, I realize I AM making progress. So, here’s the latest!
Picked a videographer!
Part of me almost feels guilty spending the money on this for some reason, but there are just so many things that even the best photographer in the world can’t capture. And I kind of have a bad memory, so I definitely want to be able to remember details from the day. I’ve heard from nearly everyone who had a videographer that they didn’t regret it (I mean, who would?!). But those who didn’t have one, regretted it.
I contacted 5 videographers, but I kept going back to Good Earth Films. Their films are beautiful, and I like the way they are edited. (I did a lot of video filming and editing in high school as a student body officer so I’m probably pickier than normal.) Plus, every single one of their videos makes me cry. I feel like they really capture the personality and emotion of everyone, that they capturing the day as it happened, and not just producing a highlight reel. (I got that vibe from some others I looked at.) And when I talked with Alex, one of the owners, she just felt like the right fit for us as a couple, and there is something to be said for going with your gut. Tommy and I are going to meet Alex and her husband in person this weekend, and then sign the contract. Woot!
Honeymoon planning continues!
I know I keep gushing about this, but holy crap, Heather Christopher Travel is the BEST. I am so so so so so so so so grateful that Heather is planning our honeymoon. It has made the process FUN rather than stressing about researching and planning, which I just don’t have time to do right now. 100% the best decision to use her. She sent us three options (plus one extra at our request – you’re the best Heather!), and we are going to pick our spot this week! Tommy and I need to chat about the newest option, but I already have my vote so we’ll see what he says. (No pressure Tommy. 😉 But so far we’ve been on the same page with everything for the honeymoon — and for all the wedding stuff too!).
Continuing photographer & coordinator conversations
I still haven’t picked a photographer, but I have it narrowed down to 2, maybe 3. This decision is SO hard, but I need to make a decision asap so (a) people don’t get booked, (b) we still have time to do engagements and (c) we aren’t doing engagements in July and sweating profusely.
I still haven’t picked a coordinator — my venue confirmed that they highly recommend bringing in a coordinator. And I haven’t found a dress, but I’m looking more this weekend.
Day of details
Tommy and I chatted a little bit about the flow of the day and what we want to include (and not include). My mom had some great ideas too. One thing I’m struggling with is what to include in the ceremony so it isn’t like 6 minutes long. I like the idea of a reading of some sort, but would like something else too. The pouring of sand (which I didn’t even know was a thing until multiple people mentioned it) doesn’t really feel like us, but I’m just clueless. Any ideas?!
This is our ceremony spot. I LOVE it. I teared up the instant I walked in the space when I was touring venues and I knew it was the right spot.
Oy, this has been a long process. But now we DEFINITELY need to find a house since both of our apartments are way too tiny to live in together after we get married. So come October, we’ll be moving, and hopefully it’s into our home and not another rental!
Overall, things are coming along! You can see previous wedding updates here!
We did a ring warming ceremony, which everyone loved. During a ring warming, the wedding bands are sent around the audience so that they can warm them with their love and infuse them with all kinds of good wishes. It was kind of perfect for us, and I sometimes think about all the love that my ring holds – not just the love represented by our marriage but of all of our family and friends supporting us.
We did a wine ceremony for our wedding. We each wrote a letter to the other explaining why we fell in love with the person. We then locked them in a box with a bottle of wine to be opened either on our 25th anniversary or if we hit a patch and needed a reminder as to why we chose to marry one another by reading our letters. Good luck with your planning!
I’m not sure if you have an Anthropolgie nearby, but the bhldn line may be worth checking out if you can. They have many simple, classic, elegant dresses and the price points are great. Our day to day style is similar based on your fashion posts and I loved so many dresses I tried on at bhldn!
Loving these wedding updates! I’ve been following your blog for several years, so it feels like a good friend is getting married! My husband and I had a small wedding (only 20 people including us!), but as the ceremony was going on, we had our rings passed on a small ceramic ring plate to each of our guests so that they could place their love and blessings on our wedding bands. With so few people at our special day, each and every person present was so important to us and we wanted to have a piece of their love to carry with us in our marriage 🙂 Good luck with the rest of the planning!
I feel like the officiant should provide a good bit of “material” for your ceremony. We did a unity candle at ours, but I was just at a wedding with the wine box ceremony described by Lauren. They had 3 bottles of wine though, for different amounts of years, one to open at 5, 10, and 25? I forget… I’m sure google has more to say about that. We also had 3 different readings, none of which were religious, just love poems 🙂
As far as booking services… I’ve always heard “book the things that other people can take away from you” first… and then you can relax and not worry.
Agree with Amber above that the officiant will say a few words. We had a family member do a reading and then we wrote our own vows. It was all very short and sweet, but still takes 15-20 minutes, so I don’t think you have to worry about it being too short. Honestly, longer ceremonies drag on a bit for guests, so I wouldn’t overthink it and include a bunch of extra stuff just to take up time.
We had three short readings, had our officiant add some words, and instead of sand did a mix of red and white wine (it works well if you pick the right ones 🙂 …). Our ceremony was about 20 minutes and felt like just the right amount of time.
We skipped any sort of “unity” portion of our ceremony to make it shorter, but they are definitely common and have been done in every other wedding I’ve been to. In my hometown it’s common to have a unity candle. The mothers pass along a lit candle to you & Tommy and then you both light one unity candle signifying the joining of the families and new couple. A friend of mine and her husband added soil to a potted magnolia tree which they then planted at their house and take a picture with it on their anniversary each year. And another couple wrote letters to each other to read in a time of distress. They sealed the letters with a bottle of wine in a box (actually finished hammering it shut during the ceremony) to open and read/drink together when they are going through a rough time to help them relax and remind them what they love about each other. All good ideas! Hopefully they help you come up with something that is very Y’ALL. And if nothing feels right, don’t feel pressured to add it in. While the ceremony is important, we kept ours short to allow us more time afterwards to spend with guests during the reception. (It was also outside in July in Texas, so the shorter the better for everyone!) Good luck!
Kristen from Pugs & Pearlsat
I’m glad you decided to get a videographer! That’s one thing we cut out of our budget, and I still regret that. You can watch your video every year on your anniversary! Some videos are so good you cry even if you have no idea who the couple is.
I was not a big church-goer when I was younger, but my now-husband and I would go to his home church on the weekends when we were in college. Looking back, if I had been deeper in my faith at the time, I would’ve included communion during our ceremony. We did not have a unity candle/sand/wine ceremony, and the ceremony was still 20+ minutes. No matter what, it’ll seem like it flies by!
I came here to suggest a ring warming ceremony as well. It’s a great way for family and friends to pray over / send good vibes towards your marriage.
We did two readings at our ceremony, one done by a friend of mine and one done by a friend of my husband. We spent a lot of time researching the readings and each picked one we felt fit. We also did a moment for our loved ones who couldn’t be there with us. We wrote our ceremony together, and then had our officiant revise it, so we also did a little bit of our love story. Our ceremony, with the welcome, readings, vows and rings was about 20 minutes and I feel like it was perfect. We considered a wine ceremony where you share a wine and lock a bottle in a box for years down the road but we were supposed to get married on the beach, so it wasn’t practical for our space. Our friends did a wine ceremony and I loved it!
Definitely hire a day of wedding coordinator! I had no idea that it was even a thing, but ours came included with our venue package. She was amazing and helped us come up with a day of timeline and she also coordinated the entire vendor team (when they should arrive, how we should do pics, etc). WORTH IT ALONE! She helped us figure out decor and actually did all of the decorating too. She also packed up all of the decor, put all of the gifts in our car and made sure that we were where we needed to be throughout the night. This meant that our family members really didn’t have to do anything other than socialize and have a good time.
Who is officiating your wedding? If it’s a friend, you’ll likely need to give more input on ceremony flow. My husband has officiated 3 weddings now and this book has been helpful. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-officiate-a-non-denominational-wedding-ceremony-jp-reynolds/1112331303?ean=2940014944090&st=PLA&sid=NOK_DRS_NOOK+EBooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP75008
One of my friends from Highschool did this & I thought it was super different but fun 🙂 Instead of sand, you do WINE unity! You blend a white & a red!
Officiant pours wine into goblet and holds it up and says.
The years of life are as a cup of wine poured out for you to drink. This ?Cup of Life? contains within it a wine with certain properties that are sweet and symbolic of happiness, joy, hope, peace, love and delight. This same wine also holds some bitter properties that are symbolic of disappointment, sorrow, grief, despair, and life?s trials and tribulations. Together the sweet and the bitter represent ?Life?s Journey? and all of the experiences that are a natural part of it. Those who drink deeply from the ?Cup of Life? with an open heart and willing spirit, invite the full range of challenges and experiences into their being.
This ?Cup of Life? is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share together the fullness of life. As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge to one another that your lives, until this moment separate, have become one. Drink now, and may the cup of your lives be sweet and full to running over.”
Officiant hands glass to groom, who drinks, then hands it to bride, who drinks, who passes it back to officiant.
Officiant: As you have shared this cup of wine, so may you share your lives. May all the sweetness that it holds for you be the sweeter because you taste it together. May you find life?s joys heightened, it?s bitterness sweetened, and all of life enriched by God?s blessings upon you.”
If the unity ceremony isn’t you, don’t do it. I find them to be an awkward time during ceremonies but many people love them. The only one I truly felt was meaningful was two of my friends who did a “dirt ceremony”. They had two old cans of dirt, one from each family farm, that they combined into a pot and later planted a plant for their city apartment. So they combined their family heritages and brought the farms they grew up on to the city with them.
There are a lot of unique readings that could better express who you are as a couple than one of these ceremonies. Just because everyone does it, doesn’t mean you have to. We didn’t have one, had two readings, the Lord’s prayer, a small “sermon” from our pastor and our vows. It was perfect and just under 20 minutes.