Are you having your ceremony at a venue that’s not a church? If so, here are a few tips for you:
-Have a friend or family member marry you and your future spouse!
-Anyone can legally marry you for one day via Massachusetts one day designation. Your officant doesn’t need to obtain any other certificate (i.e. Universal Church of Life, etc.).
Just like a story has a clear beginning middle and end, your ceremony should have a clear flow and direction to it. There are very traditional ways your ceremony can flow (see more in our Ceremony Script blog here), but there are so many other to inject your personalities to your wedding:
Here’s an example from a client who shared the Supreme Court justice’s ruling on gay marriage on June 26th, 2015:
Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. “It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.” Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.
There so many beautiful love stories told through poetry. Many clients have chosen poems as a way to share their love and the feelings of their love with their guests.
“Love Sonnet 17” by Pablo Neruda
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers, and thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
There are so many beautiful traditions from any different cultures that can be shared on your wedding day.
Here’s a little preview of a Scottish Handfasting tradition:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Are you getting married in a scared space? If so here are some tips for you to make sure your day runs super smoothly!
-Some churches have a very specific procedure you have to follow before can officially be on their books to get married there. Sometimes its an easy approval process, other churches take months, so plan accordingly!
The church may only offer one time for Saturday ceremonies, and it may not be the most convenient time for you and your guests. If this is the case, you can ask if the church will allow a guest priest who can officiate the ceremony. This will likely require some approvals, so make sure to start looking early!
After your ceremony, you and your spouse will process out of the church and have your first exit, which will include just the two of you. Then, your wedding planner will typically have you circulate back into the church via a side door to wait while your wedding party and guests trickle out. Then everyone will move near the exit door of the church. Once they are ready, you and your spouse with have your second exit. This is usually the typical photos you see outside of a church on a wedding day.
No matter whether you are married at a church or in your backyard, in the state of Massachusetts the process is the same:
You have to apply for your marriage license together and in person at any Massachusetts town hall. Marriage licenses have a 72-hour (3 day) waiting period, so they must be applied for three business days before your wedding date to be obtained on time. The 72-hour waiting period can be waived by a probate judge. Marriage licenses are good for 60 days.
It does not matter which town or city you obtain your marriage license from but it must be returned to the same town or city. It can be returned for you by anyone you trust to do the task. You will need a copy of the One Day designation form or other clergy approval forms.\
Ceremony programs can be a great way of setting guest expectations for your ceremony. ‘during religious ceremonies, they are usually expected, especially if you expect guests to sing hymns. They make a great keepsake for your guests as well!
What are your thoughts on these tips? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!