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About Thomas Witham
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Designing Your Ceremony

Facing Your Guests (Modern Format)
Backs Turned (Traditional Format)
Examples of Wedding Vows
Environment
Ushers
Effective Seating
Aisle Runner or Petals
Children in Wedding Ceremonies
The Escorting of a Bride
Taking Parental Vows
The Use of Music
Using a Pedestal
Using a Wedding Carriage
A New Role For Grandparents
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Wedding Ceremony Readings
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Ceremonies in Special Places
Ceremonies in Theme
Taking Your Ceremony to Others
Improvisation
Staying in Character
What Name Should I Use?
What if it Rains?
Fibbing Your Start Time
Ceremonies in Candlelight
The Reception Line

The Order of Events

Primary Options:
Read this First
The Unity Candle
Champagne Sharing
The Sand Ceremony
The Blessing Tree
Tying the Knot
Tasting the Elements
Using a Photomontage
The Giving of Roses

Options In Finale:
Butterfly Release
Dove Release
Balloon Release
Tossing Petals
Bubbles in a Wedding Ceremony
Applause Walk

The Five Rules:
Rule One
Rule Two
Rule Three
Rule Four
Rule Five

Advice on Photography
Advice on Wedding Coordinators
Death by Venue
An Invitation To Journalists

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Wedding Ceremony Environment
Outdoor wedding ceremony in Elgin Illinois
Jeremy and Kim at Elgin Country Club - Elgin, Illinois


Setting Your Stage

Wedding Planning absolutely must include environmental considerations- which are an integral part of all wedding ceremonies, indoors or out. Ignore this and risk disaster.

The audience must be physically comfortable for the duration of the ceremony. An outdoor wedding planned for a late Spring or early Fall day, which turns out to be 56 degrees and drizzling will mentally remove your guests. By the same token, a wedding ceremony taking place on a 103 degree day in August will achieve the exact same result. Temperature considerations are even more important for your elderly guests. Comfortable also means seated. And if you are providing seats, that means seats for everyone not just the first 100, leaving the rest to stand.

Clearly, the best environment for a wedding ceremony is a location with no audio or visual distraction. Nothing should compete with you for those 30 minutes. An audience will always turn its attention to the most entertaining event within eyesight. When considering a setting for your ceremony always ask yourself what will compete with you at that location?

Although seldom anticipated by couples planning their ceremonies, noise can and will: 1) remove the focus of your audience, 2) destroy the audio portion of your video taping and 3) create a situation requiring the ceremony to stop. For these reasons, a gazebo or park setting close to roads or railroads make risky choices. If you are planning an outdoor ceremony you must have a backup plan for rain. Typically, couples having a large outdoor wedding and reception will have rented tents for that occasion. If it rains, the ceremony is moved under the canvas. Other couples, in the event of rain, will forgo the outdoor setting and have the ceremony at the waiting reception site. Whatever your plans might be: if you're having an outdoor wedding ceremony, you must make plans for rain.

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