Form a Bond
When you meet with your officiant, be open and honest. If he or she hasn't been in your life for years, you'll need to allow him or her to learn about you as a couple in order to include some personal elements in the ceremony.
Speak From the Heart
If you're writing your own vows, make them funny and warm, but not cryptic or embarrassing: they should reflect the magnitude of the commitment you are about to make. Be concise and get to the core of what marrying that person means to you. Save some words for the toast (and the honeymoon night, of course). Remember, less is oftentimes more.
Personalize your ceremony with elements from both your backgrounds. At one wedding, the flower girl wore a black-and-white dirndl
and carried a tiny American flag down the aisle while her ring-bearing counterpart toted a German flag, representing two nationalities joining together.
When all is said and done, your vows are the most important and meaningful aspect of your wedding. Don't wait until the last minute to get started. Set aside one to two months to work on them and have the final version ready at least two days before the wedding. Make your promise as beautiful and unique as the love that you are celebrating.
Include Your Whole Crew
The ceremony is a great time to honor important family members and close friends who aren't in your wedding party
. Depending on your type of service, have your moms (or aunts, or uncles, or cousins) light the unity candle; choose several short readings performed by several special readers; or ask a close friend to witness the marriage license or ketubah signing.
Dole Out the Dough
If you're having a Jewish ceremony and hiring a rabbi from outside your congregation, expect to pay a fee or donation. Discuss this with your rabbi at your first meeting. Because 18 is the number for life, many couples make donations in variations on that number.
Stick to Your Guns
For interfaith marriages, gain the support and respect of your families and do not let anyone tell you what you are doing is wrong. You need to be comfortable and happy with your choices.
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