Like the religious ceremony, it is about showing a commitment, not towards God, to yourself, the loved one and those around you. The tradition, in France, is that we get married at the town hall and then, for some, at the church, mosque, temple or synagogue. The engagement ceremony is often found in the case of elopement (intimate wedding) or destination wedding. However, since few years now, the engagement ceremony is more popular and there are many engaged couples who don’t recognize themselves in a religious ceremony and who still wish to add a more spiritual and sacred character to this day. It is this symbolic ceremony, much more personal than a quick celebration in front of the Mayor that is now called engagement ceremony. It will be exactly like you and will give a unique character to your day!
How does it work ? A Totally freedom ! You can imagine it as in your dream : in a nice garden, by the sea, in the mountains, or on a boat…why not ! Your parents, friends, will be able to testify with their texts, sing, and even proceed to your union. Your only limit is your imagination. The ceremony should look like you and
tell a story ; the one of your love !
List what you want for this unforgettable moment; a place that inspires you, a symbolic ritual, an original entry, a song that is dear to your heart, or the intervention of a loved one. If you have religious convictions (if you are both of different faiths for example), nothing prevents you from integrating religious texts or songs during your secular ceremony. A secular ceremony is not necessarily devoid of spirituality.
For the celebrant, choose the person you want to celebrate your love. It can be a relative or a friend, who plays a crucial role. This person must take his role to heart, it is someone who will capture and revive the intention of the guests thanks to his voice, his charisma.
Otherwise, a good option would be to have a professional celebrant. There are many and they will create for sure an authentic celebration for you.
Don’t hesitate to ask your wedding planner to suggest officiants who suit you.
To choose your, it is a lot about feeling and how you feel about him or her.
Speeches and Speakers
Ask your friends and family to find out if they wish to take part in your ceremony. It’s always delicious to hear little funny stories from loved ones about the bride and groom. Speaking in public is a difficult exercise which can be very intimidating. For those who hesitate, offer them alternatives to speech: why not play an instrument, sing or just a symbolic gesture like bringing the ring.
You can define this as in your dreams. Most of engagement ceremony set up an arch. There are many style such as the classic rectangular one, triangular, asymetrical, round or even a grounded one. So many possibilities. You can also set up some flowers all along the aisle. Think about having a nice little table or even barrel if your celebrant need one. You can really make it as you want it to be.
Writing your wedding vows is not always that easy I know ! I can already hear you say: “I’m so bad at writing, how am I going to be able to do this”. Yes, but if you have followed my preparation tips and take the time to write it down in a small notebook all those elements, this should be easier. You can also refer to some of the questions below to help and feel free to have a look on internet there are many ideas.
The texts, Ritual and Music
Those elements bring your ceremony to life ! From the start of the preparations, put together a list of the most beautiful music for you, texts that touch you or quotes that speak to you. Some say to me “But what am I going to be able to tell, our story is rather banal …” But no, each story is unique, and what your relatives expect is to share your emotions with you. Be natural, reveal yourself by showing what you have in your heart.
Here are some questions to ask yourself for your vows :
When and how did you meet?
What did you think of him when you first met?
What have you done together ?
When was the first kiss, tell us?
When did you move in together ?
What are your biggest memories together , the most beautiful things that happened to you?
A story that marked you in your life together?
Why did you decide to get married?
It lasts about 45min to 1 hour.
> The Bride and Groom entry: Escorted parents, witnesses, children of honor… this arrival can be more or less surprising: You can arrive on horseback, in a carriage, while dancing , or just by walking in in a classic way.
> The introduction to the ceremony can be presented by the celebrant. The master of ceremony usually thanks everyone for being here, introduce himself and how the ceremony will goes.
> Testimonials: Relatives will be able to read, alone or with others, texts dealing with love, marriage, your own values; play a song or sing.
> Rituals: There are different classic or more original rituals, here are some ideas: The ritual of sand, wine, planting a shrub for two, drinking a cocktail of the bride and groom, ribbon ritual, ceremony of light, library of the bride and groom… and many others !
> Music exacerbates emotions. A song that is important to you, a singer or a group of music that intervenes between each speech will be welcome and will allow old people to soak up each testimony. It is also moving to sing all together on a known tune which touches particularly.
>The exchange of vows and promises for the future are written in advance and in secret by the bride and groom. (Why did you choose the other for life, what does your love for you represent, your future plans for two …)
Now you can breathe and think about the last little details: don’t forget to print the texts for your guests, to provide confetti or rose petals for the end of the ceremony. And most importantly: Enjoy … Everything will be perfect!