20 Creative Ideas for Your Wedding Ceremony
Updated: Apr 4
Who says your reception is the only fun part of your wedding day? There's no reason why your ceremony shouldn't be as exciting, meaningful, and inventive as your wedding reception, right? We think yes, and that's why we put together this list of creative ideas for your wedding ceremony for ways on how to personalize it.
Start by visualizing yourself in your guests' shoes. It’s not often that you get to have your closest friends and family all together at the same time, so it is important that guests leave the wedding thinking 'Wow! That ceremony was so them!'"
1. Personalize the Program
For starters, you want to design a program (and print it) that is personal to you as a couple. Include fonts you love, fun facts, and also readings and song selections that are special to you.
TIP: Turn your programs into paper fans for a fun way to keep your guests cool during the ceremony.
2. Host Cocktails Before the Ceremony
Start the celebration as soon as guests arrive by hosting an hour-long cocktail party before the ceremony. This will give everyone a chance to mingle and ensure that even your chronically late college roommate will get there in time for the main event. Keep it simple by serving just one festive cocktail or champagne. You'll have more time for cocktails later. If you do this, I do recommend that you do not have a cocktail hour following the ceremony.
3. Choose an Alternative to Readings
Forgo traditional readings and ask a few people to stand up and share their marriage wisdom. Make sure to politely ask them to keep the speeches short. Do you have a friend who is musically talented? Ask him or her to sing a meaningful song during the ceremony instead of a reading.
4. Adorn Your Guests with Favors
Gift your guests with boutonnières and fresh-flower hair clips. Arrange them on trays near the beginning of the wedding aisle. If your wedding has a distinct theme, wearable favors are a great way to set the mood.
PHOTO BY CLARK BREWER PHOTOGRAPHY
5. Plan Pre-Wedding Activities
If you're marrying at a cool location like a museum, zoo, or scenic mountaintop, give your guests the option of taking a fun behind-the-scenes tour before your I dos.
6. Write Thank-You's Ahead of Time
Make guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive by writing them personal notes and leaving them at the ceremony entrance.
7. Have Fun With the Ring Bearer
Have your adorable rig bearer carry your bands on something unique, like a personalized pillow, a memento box, or even a pet! Let the ring bearer have fun with his attire, too. You can have him add a matching bowtie and shades.
8. Add Pizzazz to the Flower Girl's Style
These little ones are special to you so give them props to make their role even more fun. We'll always love a fancy tulle skirt, but we're super into the idea of a cat-shaped purse if you're fellow cat ladies. "At one wedding, we purchased a scroll that said, 'Just wait until you see her.' As all of the girls were getting their hair/makeup done earlier in the day, we set up a table with crayons/markers/glitter/etc for the flower girls to decorate the sign however they’d like.
9. Bring Meaning to the Bouquets
Have your girls carry your favorite flower or one that's special to you. For instance, if your late grandmother's name is Rose, it would be sweet to carry a bouquet of roses in her honor.
PHOTO BY ASHLEY J PHOTO
10. Share Your Love in a Note
Before the wedding, write a letter to your partner—and they should do the same for you. There are sweet ways to share your love with your guests, too. Need another idea, have the cocktail napkins printed with the first conversations or sweet text messages you and your fiancé shared.
TIP: During the ceremony, place love notes and a bottle of wine in a box and take turns hammering it shut. Open it on your 10th anniversary.
11. Choose Meaningful Processional Music
Meaningful processional music is a must. Is "Sweet Child O' Mine" your song? Play it. Did you grow up in New Jersey? Head to the altar to Springsteen's "Jersey Girl." Pick a song that speaks to you and your relationship.
12. Go Nontraditional With Your Walk
Buck tradition and walk down the aisle with your guy. It's a poignant and sweet way to kick off your new life together.
13. Show off Your Favorite Words
Put a calligraphed runner behind the altar—or even on the ground for your walk down the aisle. This is a great place to showcase words and quotes that are meaningful to you, whether they're your vows, lyrics from a favorite song, or a verse from a ceremony reading
14. Switch up the Ceremony Structure
Seat guests in a circle around the altar. You'll feel surrounded by love. Or you can wind your way through your guests during the processional.
15. Write Your Own Vows
You can make these what you want them to be, but we love the idea of reciting passages you've written to each other or exchanging promises in unison. But no matter your delivery, make sure you're on the same page to ensure they're the same length and equal parts romantic and funny.
16. Tease Their Taste Buds With a Snack
Give your guests a light bite as they're waiting. This is a time to serve a favorite dish or give a preview of what's to come—whether that's an Italian-inspired feast or your aunt's world-famous soul food.
FOOD BY A MOVEABLE FEAST OF MISSOULA
17. Mad Lib With Your Guests
Want to write your own vows but don't know where to start? Fill in the blanks and get inspired. And if that's not an idea for you, no worries. You can always make a game of it by including your guests in on the fun at cocktail hour.
18. End the Vows With a Dance
Don't wait until the reception for your first dance. Ending your vows cheek to cheek can be really sweet. Or, you can liven the tempo with a fun dance down the aisle.
19. Hire an Artist
Capture this sacred moment forever in the form of a custom oil painting or watercolor. This gift is something you'll be sure to cherish in your new home together. It also provides a fun talking point for guests during the cocktail hour.
20. End It With a Toast
End the ceremony on a celebratory note: Have the ushers pass around your favorite drink (glass of champagne or tequila shots and lime) and make your first toast as a couple.
PHOTO BY ASHLEY J PHOTO