One of the principal reasons for public wedding ceremonies is to build community support for your marriage. Marriages do better when rooted in community.
Your Wedding Vows are one way to engage your community. When you tell your community what you are going to do together, you give them something to support.
You can also envision your marriage firmly within your community as part of your vows. This will also encourage people to support you as they understand your desire and determination to be engaged in your community.
Tip: People long to be connected. Your inviting people to your wedding tells them that you want to be connected with them. Sharing your most dearly held dreams, for the success of your loving relationship and your new family, allows them to understand how to support and to celebrate with you. This is what you want!
Make a space in your wedding ceremony for your community to promise their support and celebration of your marriage.
Ask them to say “Yes!” to your love.
Help them understand that you are looking for their support and celebration over the entire course of your marriage. Their promise to support you will change your lives. (it will also enrich theirs!) The clearer you are about what you need the more easily they can support you.
Tip: Turn the objection question into a question about support and transform it into a useful segment of the wedding ceremony. Be deliberate about building the support you need.
The goal of a wedding ceremony is to produce a lifelong marriage. Your wedding ceremony can establish the work you will do throughout your shared lives as you create your successful union. If designed right, a public ceremony can help you muster the support and encouragement you want to make your marriage easier. Use the right metaphors, ask the right questions and make the right promises to make your ceremony an eternal reminder of the love that brought you together and convinced you to embark on this fabulous, uncertain endeavor.
Eloping may seem simpler. But it can rob you of both sentiment and support that is so helpful when obstacles arise. Keeping the focus on the reason you’re marrying – your great romance – will help you simplify your planning and celebrate what’s important with the people who matter in your life.
Tip: Stay tuned for the seven excellent reasons a public wedding ceremony will make your marriage thrive (and your ceremony much more interesting!)
Each of us come from somewhere. Our family histories are rich and colorful. Weddings are a great opportunity to look into the past for who we are and where we came from. This knowledge of our past can help us form healthier and more realistic marriages, as we incorporate our pasts into our foundation for the present. Where you come from is important.
Wedding readings are a great way to do this. This is particularly effective if you come from different ethnic backgrounds and both of you use readings from your historic past.
Tip: Go do a little research and find out who the great poets and writers are from your ancestral heritage. Search their writings for metaphors that support who you are and what you believe about love and marriage. Then tip your hat to your ancestors and include a reading in your wedding ceremony, allowing those metaphors to strengthen and inform your marriage. (oh and make the wedding ceremony interesting, and how fun is that?)
Your wedding guests are one of your marriage’s greatest resources. When you invite them to witness your wedding vows and ask them for support during the wedding ceremony, they will take that responsibility seriously. I haven’t run into a marriage that hasn’t had to call on its community at some point, whether its carpooling the kids, giving advice or showing up at the tough times. You want good friends at your wedding ceremony.
One of the best ways I ever saw of introducing the guests to one another was a creating a booklet detailing who the guests were, what their work and hobbies were and how they were connected to the bride and groom. The couple had written sweet statements about each person invited to the wedding. The booklets were shared at the wedding. (Better idea is to send them out beforehand.)
Tip: when you choose the guests who will be invited to your wedding, write a one word sentence beside their name about why you’re grateful that they are part of your life — something personal, not generic. Count each and everyone of those blessings, as you invite them, as you send them a little booklet, and then as you see them sitting before you as you’re coming down the aisle at your wedding.