Ahhhh, we’re getting close now! I believe this is the most nerve wracking part of a wedding ceremony…the opening. All the thousand details for the wedding have (hopefully) worked themselves out – and now it’s time to get married!
The opening includes the Processional, Presentation of the Bride, Welcome, Opening Blessing, and Special Thanks and Remembrance. Choose which of these you will include.
Traditionally, the processional is a symbol of two people, two families, entering the ceremony. So one partner is waiting, while the other walks down the isle – and that includes your wedding party – one group coming in with me, and the other walking in ahead of the bride and lining up on the other side. Once married, for the processional, the married couple walk down the isle together, one unit now, one family. And the wedding party, if you have one, will also come together, arm in arm, as they follow you. Two separate people, two separate families, becoming one.
How might your processional look? Will you walk down the isle, with music playing and all eyes on you? Will I be standing there waiting, with a line of well-dressed good looking young men or women at my side awaiting your arrival? Or will you walk, hand in hand, with your partner by your side? Will both parents walk with you, or just one? Or maybe a good friend or uncle?
Many couples today are choosing to walk down the isle together in the processional – and that is just fine. At one wedding, each partner entered from a different side. That was really sweet!
The processional can be done in many ways – and of course I can help with suggestions. You see, today, many people are still marrying within a traditional framework, yet getting pretty creative within that framework!
Presentation of the Bride
Here is where, traditionally, a father gives his daughter’s hand to be married. Many couples still love doing this! It’s all a matter of choice.
“We are gathered together on this day to witness…..” You know that part! It’s in every movie that has a wedding ceremony! I like getting creative here, as well. There are many ways to welcome guests – let’s choose one that fits you!
No matter whether you are having a religious, multi-faith, or secular ceremony, it’s very nice to open it with a blessing. It could be a prayer, a blessing chosen from a variety of traditions (such as the Native American “Blessing of the Four Directions”), or simply an acknowledgment of gratitude to family and friends coming together to witness your marriage and celebrate your love. You choose.
Special Thanks and Remembrance
Sometimes its really nice to give a special thanks at the beginning of your ceremony – perhaps you’d like to thank your parents for teaching you about love and commitment, maybe you wish to thank your wedding party, or the friends who have travelled far to be there on your special day. Additionally, you can remember a special loved one who isn’t able to be there, or remember dear ones who have passed. This is entirely up to you – some couples don’t do this part at all, and that is fine, too.
OK! Phew! You’re cold feet should be warming up by now, and you’re getting in the groove. You’ve stopped shaking, grown comfortable up there in front of all those people, and just holding your love’s hands, gazing into each other’s eyes is melting all the nervousness away.
Next comes the central message, your love story, and any readings or rituals you would choose. Well talk about those in the next post!
Thanks for reading!