Personalizing Our Wedding Ceremony

Since Mr. Rucksack and I will be married by a Justice of the Peace on the beach, we have a lot of leeway to be able to personalize our ceremony. And by we I mean I. I will be personalizing our ceremony. With a little input from Mr. Rucksack such as “No I don’t like that reading” and “Sure, I’ll list the things I love about you.”

We had one hell of a time finding someone to marry us—which, let me tell you, is absolutely the last thing I thought would be difficult. It’s one of those things I sort of took for granted. Originally, I assumed we would be married in a church. But after visiting several churches in our new town, Mr. Rucksack and I just didn’t find one that we really clicked with.

We then decided to have a good friend marry us, but quickly learned that Connecticut has strict rules on the people that can legally officiate a wedding.

We reached out to a few pastors and officiants in the area to find that they were either booked or away on vacation.

I finally reached out to a Justice of the Peace that I found on the Town of Madison website. Our new JP, Mitchell, emailed me a few standard ceremonies to choose from and I took it upon myself to jazz them up.

One element that I knew I wanted added was a personal story about our relationship. Weddingbee Pro, Jessie Blum’s, suggestions for creating a love story were especially helpful, and I began writing small, wedding-appropriate memoirs to be folded into our marriage address. The most difficult part of this was keeping it short. I absolutely love the true story of how we met, but the long version is better shared over drinks with friends than at our wedding ceremony. So I wrote this instead:

Before Mr. Rucksack and Miss Rucksack met, they didn’t know if they would make it to this day. Mr. Rucksack proclaims that he saw himself as a lifelong bachelor and Miss Rucksack was starting to think that maybe all of the Disney romance and magic her mother had tried so hard to make her believe wasn’t, in fact, real.

So on a late summer night when they both ended up at a karaoke bar, they weren’t looking for love so much as they were looking to belt out classic renditions of “Copa Cabana” and “Hot Stuff.” And yet, something about the girl in the orange Ralph Lauren sweater made Alex want to get to know her better—even if she was on a date with a different guy. He says he went back the following week just hoping to get a chance to talk to her, and luckily she returned—this time alone.

A first date at a wine bar led to outings at local vineyards and a Ferris wheel kiss at the Dhuram Fair. Miss Rucksack and Mr. Rucksack both say that they knew right away that somehow this was “different.” They quickly became inseparable, and a freak October snowstorm, coupled with margaritas from Mezcal, had them admitting that their relationship had very quickly grown into love. (Mr. Rucksack had actually proclaimed his love for Miss Rucksack one week prior, but since there was beer involved Miss Rucksack made him rescind his proclamation. To this he responded: “Fine, I take it back. But I don’t because I love you!”)

(Cue laughter)

From here I’m going to add a section about the things we love about each other, again taking Jessie’s advice on what to think about:

  • What do you love about your partner?
  • What actions of his/her say “I love you”?
  • What do you admire about your partner?
  • What have they taught you?

I’m going to keep this a secret until the wedding, but they’re pretty sweet and funny.

Did you write your ceremony script? What did you personalize?


Mrs. Rucksack

May 16
Branford, CT
Wedding Date:
August 2013
Programmer's Children Have No Websites
Gloves in Love: Some Gifts
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  1. Member
    shaynapunim 654 posts, Busy bee @ 8:36 am

    Because we’re having a religious Jewish ceremony, our template is pretty much cut out for us. The rabbi will say a few words in between the customs, yet everything else will be traditional. The one thing we’re personalizing is our vows. 🙂

  2. bluewhale Bee
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 9:29 am

    I actually like being surprised by what was said at our ceremony. Our friend married us, and we gave him a general outline, but he filled in the content. The perfectionist in me wanted to control what he said, but in the end, I love that I was surprised. He put a lot of thought into it, and it was perfect.

  3. Member
    kit_kath 1327 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:22 am

    We’re having a friend officiate. We’ll pick all the readings, write our vow, and set the outline of the ceremony. From there friend-ficiant has a lot of free space to say whatever. The control freak in me hates this, but I have to remeber we specifically picked a friend who has a way with words and will write something I’m sure will be great.

  4. Member
    mylittleviolett 2124 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:20 pm

    Jessie actually officiated our wedding! She was amazing!

  5. Member
    MrsScarlet 88 posts, Worker bee @ 12:41 pm

    Ah! That SAME freak October snowstorm (Halloween weekend 2011 right?) actually threatened to destroy my 2nd date with my FI. I lost power for 30 hours and got it back just in the nick of time to get ready for our date. Our relationship moved quickly after that and we were sharing I love yous by Thanksgiving. Must have been a lucky storm!

  6. Member
    Mrs. Rubber Stamps 821 posts, Busy bee @ 11:33 am

    I love that! We were married by a JP as well and just used her standard ceremony. I was so burnt out on everything that I took the easy way out.

  7. Member
    Miss_Mimosa 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:00 pm

    (cue laughter) and then I laughed. very cute!

  8. gondola Bee
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:11 pm

    Ooh, I love all the advice. I’m going to use those questions at the end to do my ceremony. Thanks!

  9. mswaterfall Bee
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:50 pm

    I love this, how sweet!

  10. Member
    smetivier26 31 posts, Newbee @ 6:17 am

    very sweet! I love it, as of right now pretty sure were just going to do the standard, neither of us have a way with words!

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