From honouring lost loved ones and personalised candles to cute signs and tears of joy tissues, there are lots of gorgeous ways to personalise your wedding ceremony and make it extra special. Check out 18 of our favourite ways to make your ceremony even more memorable below…
1. Get Everyone Mingling
Photo from Tara & Fionan’s real wedding by DKPHOTO
Couples are shaking up the seating arrangements and are encouraging guests to mingle! This cute idea is becoming quite the trend with lots of couples forgoing traditional ‘sides’ and letting guests simply sit where they like using cute signs like the one above and ‘We’re All Family Now, Pick a Seat Not a Side’ to get the message out there.
2. Choose Meaningful Readings, Prayers and Sentiments
Photo by Ten21
Most couples rate the ceremony as one of their favourite parts of the day and that can be down to little meaningful touches like readings, cute signs and of course the fact that you’re exchanging vows with the love of your life! Ensure the ceremony is super special with some carefully chosen readings, blessings or Prayers of the Faithful – and pop some awesome personalised signs around your space to make it extra romantic.
3. Opt for Personalised Candles
Candles by WeddingCandles.ie
Candles are a big part of wedding ceremonies with lots of couples choosing to have a candle lighting ceremony. One way to make this part of ceremony extra memorable is by having your candles personalised with your names, the date or an inscription. Another beautiful option is to have candles made in honour of lost loved ones as a special tribute. FYI: WeddingCandles.ie specialise in designing and creating personalised, bespoke wedding candles – check out their beautiful work here.
4. Get Friends & Family Involved
Photo from Ruth & John’s real wedding by Emma Russell Photography
One way to make sure your ceremony is as personal as can be is by getting family and friends involved – make a fuss out of the mums by having them walk up the aisle together (if they’re not already walking you up the aisle), if you’re having a Catholic ceremony have friends and family bring up the gifts, ask siblings and close friends to get involved in readings, the Prayers of the Faithful or blessings and if you’ve anyone that is musically gifted, make sure to ultilise their talents.
5. Kit Your Flower Girls & Page Boys Out with Cute Signs & Accessories
Photo by Ashleigh Jayne via Southern Weddings
We love seeing photos of the flower girl or page boy making their way up the aisle with a sign in hand announcing the bride’s arrival! There are so many different styles out there from ‘Last Chance to Run’ and ‘Ring Security’ to more traditional ‘Here Comes the Bride’ or ‘Daddy Here Comes Mammy’ signs. For ready to go wedding signs, pop over to WeddingCandles.ie who have some gorgeous options or check out some great ceremony sign ideas over on Irish site Printpoint.ie. For more fun entrance ideas for your little ones, check out 11 of the Cutest Entrance Ideas for Flower Girls & Page Boys.
6. Choose Songs that Mean Something
Photo by Moat Hill Photography
Your song choices are another way to make your ceremony extra personal – choose songs you both love or that mean something to you. Be sure to take a look at 20 Beautiful Songs for Your Walk Down the Aisle and 20 Brilliant Songs for Wedding Ceremony Exit for some beautiful inspiration.
7. Honour Lost Loved Ones
Photo via 100 Layer Cake
Weddings are beautiful, happy occasions but they can be tinged with sadness if you’re missing a beloved parent, grandparent or friend. But there are lots of lovely ways to remember those that can’t be there including a candle or sign in their honour, a vacant seat as a touching tribute or even a beautiful memorial tree with a heart inscribed with each lost loved one’s name.
8. Leave Out the Tissues for Happy Tears
Photo by Leah McCormick via Style Me Pretty
It’s an emotional day and you can be pretty much guaranteed there will be tears, particularly during the ceremony. Make it easy for everyone to shed a few happy tears by leaving ‘Tears of Joy’ tissues or hankies on each pew, at the back of the ceremony or a super cute touch – have your Page Boy on hand with a box of tissues so that everyone can nab one when they arrive.
9. Have a Personalised Cushion for the Rings
Ring Pillow, $30 available from 4 Love Polka Dots
Your rings play a big role in the wedding ceremony so make sure they arrive in style with a special ring box or pillow. We love this personalised knitted heart from 4 Love Polka Dots but they’ve some great wooden boxes in their online store as well that you can easily use after the Big Day by your bedside locker, to store your rings and jewellery.
10. Get Guests Involved with a Ring Warming Ceremony
Photo via The Broke-Ass Bride
A ‘Ring Warming’ ceremony is a fab way to get guests involved – it’s really easy, your rings are passed around to your guests (so might be better for smaller crowds) so that they can make a silent wish or say a prayer for you as you start this lovely new chapter together.
11. Give Your Ceremony Booklets that Personal Touch
Photo from Ciaran & Fionnuala’s real wedding by Kathy Silke Photography
They can be an absolute nightmare to make (between fonts, staples and keeping everything aligned!) but ceremony booklets sure do look pretty and are a great way to give guests an insight in to your ceremony. You can list the order of events, everyone who is involved and things like songs, readings or blessings. And you can give your cover that personal touch from your names and the date to cute little motifs or even an illustrated caricature. Check out 30 Gorgeous Ceremony Booklet Ideas for some inspo for your own programmes!
12. Write Your Own Vows
Photo by B Schwartz Photography by Style Me Pretty
Your vows are some of the most special words you’ll ever speak and some couples opt to make them extra meaningful by adding in some words of their own. If you’re having a civil or humanist ceremony, it can be a lovely way to make it extra personal. Not sure what to say? Check out some handy tips in our feature, How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows.
13. Have a Handfasting Ceremony
Photo by Chris Isham via Style Me Pretty
While a traditional candle lighting ceremony is super popular, there are some other beautiful ceremony ideas if you’re having a civil or humanist ceremony. Couples are going for everything from hand-tying ceremonies to sand or wine ceremonies. A hand-tying or handfasting ceremony is a Celtic tradition where ribbons are draped over the couple’s hands and then tied to symbolize their new commitment. A sand ceremony allows you to pour two different colour sands together (or more if you’re looking to include kids) to symbolize this new union while couples share a glass of wine at a wine ceremony, the reason being a good wine like marriage is the result of many years of hard work.
14. Include a Time Capsule
Photo by Hollydaze Photos
Another gorgeous way to make your ceremony extra special is with a time capsule. The idea is that you each write a letter about how you’re feeling on this momentous occasion and place it in the box (pop a bottle of your favourite vino in with if you fancy). Fast forward to your next anniversary (or a future wedding anniversary) – you open it up and read all about how you guys were feeling on your special day, reliving those amazing feelings once again.
15. Get Creative with your Ceremony Exit
Photo by Jen & Chris Creed via Southern Weddings
Confetti was traditionally used to shower the happy couple as they make their Big Exit and that iconic shot was on most couples wish list! Although it looks the business, it can however be on the messy side and some places have banned it as a result. But worry not, there are lots of other amazing ways to have a really fun and upbeat exit including streamers, flags, pom poms, wedding wands, paper planes and bubbles. Check out some of them in action here!
16. Leave Out Ribbons
Photo from Ross & Amy’s real wedding by DKPHOTO
Make sure your guests don’t have to worry about getting lost with this cute little idea! Leave out baskets of ribbons and maps at the back of the venue so guests can help themselves. Or if you’re looking to keep it on the QT, enlist a team of helpers that can sneak out before the ceremony ends to tie streamers to everyone’s cars as a gorgeous surprise! It’s a lovely way to get the celebrations started and guests will be able to follow the ribbons and get to the venue hassle free.
17. Say a Big Thank You!
Photo by Jessica Williams Studio via My Wedding
The ceremony booklet or programme of course guides you through the ceremony but couples are also using it as a space to say a big thank you to family and friends, popping a little message on the back page! Pair it with a Coat of Arms in honour of your families for an extra special touch.
18. Spruce Up Your Getaway Car
Photo from Aisling & Michael’s real wedding by ATL Photography
The last leg of the ceremony will end up with you and your new hubby or wife hopping in to your getaway car (if you ceremony is separate from your venue space of course) before setting off on your first journey as newlyweds! Make it as awesome as can be with some personalised number plates to really kick off the celebrations. Irish company Printpoint.ie specialise in wedding signage and number plates for wedding cars including brilliant personalised Mr & Mrs number plates – Check them out here!
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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.