The Ceremony Brainstorm: a Ceremony Within a Ceremony?

Mr. D and I did not know that there was so much involved with planning a ceremony. Soon after we decided against writing our own vows, we realized that there were other things to consider. Such as, what kind of ceremonies to include during the ceremony. There are all kinds to choose from. We could do a unity candle ceremony:


Image via Luster Studios

A variation of the unity candle ceremony—the unity sand ceremony:


Image via Aislinn Events

Or maybe a wine box ceremony to be a little different:

Image via Heather Neckers

Or a handfasting ceremony:


Image via Style Me Pretty / Shannon Leahy Events

There are so many things that a couple can do to make their ceremony special and reflect who they are as a couple. Mr. D and I were definitely overwhelmed at first about all of the choices. The norm around here is a unity candle. Almost every wedding I have been to has had one, only one has had a unity sand ceremony instead of the usual and everyone raved over how different it was (granted that was like six years ago, but I still always see candle ceremonies).

Mr. D wanted to know the reasons behind having the ceremonies, the traditions and symbolism of each one. As we started going through each one, we began to realize that none of them were fitting what we wanted out of our ceremony. So we are doing the unthinkable (at least to some). We are not doing any other ceremonies during our wedding ceremony. Our ceremony is going to look like this:

  • Processional
  • Invocation
  • Wedding Message
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Wedding Blessing
  • Presentation of the Groom and Bride
  • Recessional

Our ceremony from beginning to end will be about 30 minutes. Why none of the extra ceremonies? For us, the most important thing about our ceremony is to show our commitment to each other and to God. As Christians, we are going into our marriage knowing that it’s not just between me and him, but between us and God. God brought us together and it is our belief in Him that brings us even closer together. I know that this isn’t for everyone, but it was extremely important for us. We felt that none of the other ceremonies really captured that belief or added anything meaningful to our ceremony.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that those ceremonies are beautiful and I love what they mean to the couple, but for Mr. D and I, they just were not us. Momma Doily has asked several times if we are sure about not doing a unity candle ceremony, because everyone will be expecting one. But as much as it is a day meant to celebrate our love with our friends and family, it is Mr. D and I who are making the vows to each other. I don’t want to something because other people expect it, I want to make sure that it reflects the things that are most important to Mr. D and me.

What things are you doing or not doing during your ceremony that other people may be surprised about? What kind of ceremonies are you including during your ceremony?


Mrs. Doily

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Wedding Date:
March 2012
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  1. Member
    piglet_625 2541 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:12 pm

    We didn’t like any of the options (sand, candle, etc) so we made up our own!!

    We tied a knot using two colors of climbing rope and the knot we chose is actually 2 knots pulled into 1 and cannot be undone.

    It’s a variation on handfasting that we both loved and was so us, because we’re very outdoorsy and now we have a knot hanging in our home forever!

  2. Member
    CurlyRN 355 posts, Helper bee @ 1:14 pm

    I too was suprised at the amount of stuff one can put into a ceremony. A long talk on a windy road last weekend with FI made us determine we do want to be married in front of God. I want to include a ring blessing ceremony and this is about it, maybe personal vows as we have been on a journey to find each other.

  3. ladyfingers Bee
    ladyfingers 1257 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:03 pm

    We’re not either. We just couldn’t find anything that fit *us*. Hear, hear, simple ceremony bride!

  4. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 9:17 pm

    We’re doing a wine box ceremony, not only because I like the sentiment, but because we’re getting married at a winery 🙂 But I think you should make your ceremony 100% what you want, rather than what people ‘expect’.

  5. Member
    stephbonthego 710 posts, Busy bee @ 5:09 pm

    @tinylittlebird: haha, *two snaps* you go girl!! I like your sass!

  6. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:13 am

    @Mis Funnel Cake: I’ve seen candle ceremonies in catholic weddings, maybe my cousin’s priest was more flexible than yours.

  7. kettle Bee
    kettle 926 posts, Busy bee @ 9:37 pm

    We’ve been contemplating unity ceremony to do. I think researching all the traditions and purposes behind each one will help us decide. Thanks for this post.

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