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Joyful Wedding: Planning the Ceremony

(BNN) Planning a wedding ceremony that is both deeply personal and yet still fun for everyone is a challenge. Often brides and grooms get lost in cultural, religious, and familial wishes about what the day "should" look like. Actually, a wedding is a deeply creative act that reflects the spirit of commitment and each person’s unique background and personality. No two weddings are alike.

When looking for answers to questions about wedding ceremonies, there are plenty of experts and friends who can help. Prospective newlyweds should gather as many of their answers as possible and then sit down and consider the following questions:

• Who will perform the ceremony?

• Will the ceremony involve more than one culture or religious tradition? If so, which ones?

• Is there a traditional ceremony that is right for the couple or do they prefer creating an original ceremony? Perhaps a combination of both is best?

• Who will attend the bride and groom and stand by them as they say their vows?

• Will friends or family members offer readings? If so, who? What guidance, if any, can be given about choosing a reading?

• What vows will the couple offer each other? Will they write them themselves? If so, do they prefer to share them with each other before the ceremony, or save them until the wedding?

• What will the bride and groom do moments after the ceremony? A few options are: thank their parents, be alone together for a few minutes, be alone together with their officiant and/or parents, or greet and welcome guests.

Remember, while much of the wedding reception is for family, friends, and others, the ceremony is about the bride and groom. It’s their first official act as a couple and new family. It should express the values of openheartedness, intimacy, generosity, and love in ways that are right for them. Email me 300 dpi CMYK jpg image

This article was contributed by Susan Piver, whose book Joyful Wedding: A Spiritual Path to the Altar was published by Rodale in February 2003. Susan Piver is also the author of New York Times Best Seller, The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do" published by Tarcher/Penguin Putnam May 2000.


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