Looking for Regional Information?

How to Plan a Wedding

By Charles Hopkins Published 12/14/2006 | Marriage

Weddings are meant to be one of the most special events in the life of a couple. It goes without saying that planning is needed to ensure the ceremony is something that the couple will cherish for the rest of their lives. Here are a few ideas to help you decide the type of wedding you want, and how to go about having it.

Perhaps one of the first things to consider is where you wish to hold the ceremony. This may in fact be the easiest matter you will need to decide, or the hardest. Should there be a house of worship or a location that is near and dear to both the bride and groom, the matter will be easily settled. However, if the two people have very different views of where they want to hold the ceremony, it may be necessary for the two of them to sit down and come up with a compromise.

One factor that may impact the selection of the wedding site is how many people are to be invited to the ceremony. Again, this should reflect the wishes of the couple. If they prefer something more intimate, the location may only need to accommodate a few close friends and family members. However, if the guest list seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, the focus on location may switch from one that has sentimental value to one that will accommodate the crowd. Here, the couple will need to make a decision. Is the location more important, or having a large number of people present a higher priority?

Once the location has been determined, it is time to settle on who will perform the ceremony. This may be a clergy person or some other government official who is recognized by the state to officiate at wedding ceremonies. Choosing someone that is acceptable to both the bride and groom is a great idea. If the two people happen to share the same faith, this may be a no- brainer. Should they be of different faiths, they may be able to compromise and find clergy persons from both faiths that are willing to jointly preside at the ceremony. One point to remember is that many faith based organizations require their clergy to provide at least a couple of counseling sessions before agreeing to perform the ceremony. In addition, there are faiths that require their clergy to include specific liturgies as part of the ceremony. Make sure you understand what requirements your clergy person must meet and be sure you have no problem with those requirements. It will save you and the ministers some embarrassment later on.

The order of service for the ceremony is also important. Often, the officiating clergy will have samples of ceremonies that you can work with, if you do not have any specific ideas on how the service should go. Keep in mind that while some faiths, especially those that consider marriage to be an important rite or sacrament, will have specific processes that must be included, just about all of them can accommodate some personal touches. So if you want to use a unity candle, or have someone offer a song after you exchange vows, then by all means make your wishes known. Chances are your ideas will easily find a place in the flow of the service.  

These are just a few of the main points to consider when planning a wedding. For more ideas, check with your local library, or visit one of the many excellent wedding sites on the Internet.