How to create wedding rituals that work for you

How to create wedding rituals that work for you

Today, Marie and I are celebrating 10 years together. Every Cinco de Mayo, we head out for a nice long walk along the beach and follow it up with a delicious meal somewhere, recreating the time we spent together on our first date. It's our way of reconnecting to the initial flush of joy, connection and giddiness that we felt on that first evening together (minus the stylish but uncomfortable shoes and the usual first-date nerves). 

Our anniversary time together is one of the rituals that keeps us tethered to our shared history and to what we want to keep alive in our relationship today. I'm not sure if our anniversary ritual is common or uncommon -- let me know your experience -- but it works for us. 

Our anniversary got me thinking about wedding rituals and the ways that people incorporate what's meaningful to them into their special day. I imagine that we've all attended a wedding or two where there was some ritual element -- maybe a sand ceremony or unity candle -- that sort of felt contrived or out of place, given our knowledge of the couple. Don't get me wrong; if you both love the beach, then a sand ceremony is a great way to symbolize what matters to you. If it's just a token unity ritual for the sake of demonstrating the connection between you, then I'd suggest giving it a miss. Or, better yet, dig a little deeper to make it your own. 

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Dentists and Death Cafes — AKA my Thursday

Dentists and Death Cafes — AKA my Thursday

I bookended my day yesterday with a morning check-up at the dentist and my first Death Cafe in the afternoon. 

“Um. Yuck. And yuck!” a friend chimed in when I told her about my agenda for an otherwise sunny and splendid weekday. My response of, “Well, we all need regular check-ups and we’re all going to die. What’s the biggie?” was met with an eye roll and a nearly immediate change in the subject.

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The "best" music for a wedding ceremony

The "best" music for a wedding ceremony

Someone asked me for advice the other day about the "best" music for a wedding. The best music for a wedding ceremony is whatever will feel meaningful and celebratory to you as a couple (read: not what you’re “supposed” to use according to family, friends, me, or Pinterest).

Your ceremony music should fit in with the rest of your ceremony theme and vibe.

The opening music and processional help set the tone for the rest of the ceremony, so they should reflect how you want your guests to feel during the ceremony itself. If you're using music in the ceremony (say, to keep guests entertained while you're signing the marriage register), keep that music in tune with the overall feeling at that point in the ceremony. Recessional music is usually pretty upbeat and joyful to celebrate the threshold that you've just crossed together (pick something that feels like "yay us!" to you).

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Weird and wonderful weddings

Weird and wonderful weddings

The ever-awesome Offbeat Bride wrote a great post this week about Gen-X vs. Millennial wedding attitudes. It really sums up what I also see as a shift over the years from traditional to proudly weird to simply authentic wedding styles. Back in the day, you just did it the way it was done before: standard vows, churchy church, confetti, and tinkling cans behind the Edsel (or Toyota or whatever).

Gen-Xers (yes, I am a proud member of this oft invisible generation) tried to get weird with weddings as a way of saying, "Look at us - we are kooky! Things don't have to be the way they were for our parents!" We rang in the new millennium in bridesmaid dresses and snowshoes. Instead of Psalms, we had readings of lyrics by The Cure. We had gals as groomsmen and, eventually, two brides! We tried to shake the formality out of weddings as a way of making them our own and not just a nod at an outdated institution. But a bit of creative weirdness was usually paramount -- cue the steel drum band processional!

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