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5 tips for a smooth ceremony

Keep It Simple Choose an all-in-one venue. Some sites, such as historic homes, hotels, and country clubs, have the space to let you hold your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all in one location. This makes transportation a snap -- and no lost guests!

Honor Your Relatives Give close family members and friends that you couldn't include in the wedding party a job for the ceremony. Have them be a reader, help you with the programs, or give a blessing after you've said your vows.

Incorporate Nature Instead of bringing in extra lighting and floral arrangements, take advantage of your surroundings by using outdoor elements. Think seashells for a beach ceremony or fall leaves for an autumn wedding.

Consider Your Transitions Come up with a plan for handling the in-between times. If your ceremony and reception are taking place at one venue, transition guests with an exit strategy. One idea: Before the ceremony, ask attendants or ushers to hand each guest a candle on the way into the ceremony; then have them give guests a handful of rose petals to toss after the ceremony.

Beat the Heat If you're planning an outdoor wedding in a warm climate, make sure that your guests are taken care of. Get double-duty wedding programs shaped like fans; hand each guest a glass of sparkling water at the entrance to the ceremony space; and provide parasols to help block the sun.

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Wedding Vows: Muslim Wedding Vows

Photo: Geoff White Photography, Redwood City, CA

Muslim couples do not generally recite vows but rather listen to the words of the imam, or cleric (although any adult male Muslim may officiate), who speaks about the significance of the commitment of the marriage and the couple's responsibilities toward each other and Allah. The bride and groom are asked three times if they accept each other in marriage according to the terms of their traditional marriage contract, or Nikah. Then they sign, the marriage is sealed, and the gathered congregation may bless them.

However, some Muslim brides and grooms do choose to also exchange vows. Here is a common (quite traditional) recitation:

Bride: "I, ______, offer you myself in marriage and in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Koran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife."

Groom: "I pledge, in honesty and sincerity, to be for you a faithful and helpful husband."


Want to write your own wedding vows? Make sure your officiant will accept personalized vows, and get started by asking yourselves these 20 questions.

See More: Wedding Ceremony + Wedding Vow Ideas