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Bridal Club Magazine

happily ever after

With the myriad of decisions that need to be made by the wedding date deadline, many first-time brides find it easy to get overwhelmed.
Fortunately, the wedding ceremony is one area you shouldn't have to stress out about.

Today's ceremonies can be traditional, or anything but -- the choice is yours. There are a few ceremony traditions that are usually observed, but are flexible enough to accommodate today's nontraditional families, including those resulting from divorce and remarriage.

In Western cultures, and especially in the United States, wedding ceremonies typically follow a particular structure, although the elements may change or shift depending on religion or denomination, ethnic heritage, geographical region, the formality of the service, or the simple preference of the couple and/or their officiant.

A wedding ceremony can be held virtually anywhere, from your church or synagogue, to your reception site to a historic mansion with old world charm. Also remember that places such as historic homes, bed-and breakfast inns, art museums, boats, airplanes, and scenic parks provide unique beauty to any wedding ceremony. Since the ceremony is the heart of any wedding, it should set the tone for the entire day.

It's up to you and your fiancé to decide whether you will recite the traditional vows, or pen your own. Although you have full freedom over what you may say during the ceremony, many couples choose traditional vows for their charm and quaint symbolism. Still, others choose this opportunity to express their love for each other in a uniquely personal way, and find writing their own vows to be an intensely rewarding experience.

Many couples are also choosing to personalize their ceremony by combining elements from their cultures and backgrounds, and showing respect for ancestors and families by incorporating ethnic traditions. Blending rituals and ethnic traditions from your background heritage is a perfect way to get in touch with you or your mate's cultures.

No matter how the times may change, marriage will always be a popular tradition. However you choose to celebrate your marriage, the most important thing to remember is to be true to yourselves. Do and say what you believe is right for you. Give your ceremony some thought, and picture what your guests will see and hear as you appear before them to enter into matrimony.

With these guidelines to use as a vague outline, you can design your ceremony to accommodate your needs. The ceremony should be as enjoyable as possible. Not worrying about sticking to some hard and fast rules will make planning it virtually worry-free.


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