Published: 7 years ago

Six Things You Need To Know About Your Wedding (part three)

Yes, I realize I’ve taken nearly a whole week to write about wedding ceremonies. And while that’s far from the standard fare for this blog, I’m secretly sitting back and waiting on the lucrative writing contracts to roll in from high-end magazines like High Maintenance Brides and the Grooms Who Fearfully Endure Them.

If you missed posts one and two, you should read them here and here.

5. Your wedding day should be all about you. Wait, what? You talkin’ out of both sides of your mouth, there, preacher boy? Ain’t that different from what you said on point #4 yesterday? And did you just completely switch personas as if you’re an entirely new character in this series? Well, yes.

Your wedding day should be a reflection of you. It should embody your personalities, your relationship, your story. And while, yes, it should ultimately point to and celebrate Jesus, it should also celebrate what Jesus is doing in you.

If you are a fun-loving couple, then make your ceremony fun. If you’re a stick in the mud couple, then make your ceremony fun (trust me, your guests will thank you for it). Make sure your pastor knows you well enough that he knows how to craft a service that looks like you.

I used to say that I don’t do cookie-cutter ceremonies. I tried to write a fresh message for every couple I married. After nearly 30 ceremonies, I’ve realized that there are only so many ways you can marry a couple. So short of having them zip line down the aisle in Star Trek outfits, there’s a fair amount of cut-and-pasting that I do nowadays.

But that still doesn’t excuse me from making parts of the ceremony as personal as I can for that particular couple. A good pastor will work with you to figure out how to do that.

Oh, and a word on tradition: there’s no such thing anymore. As long as you exchange vows and rings, there’s really not a right or wrong way to work through a ceremony. If you don’t want a unity candle, no problem. If you want a banjo instead of a grand piano (true story), be my guest. Don’t hang on to something because it’s what your meemaw expected you to do. Make your wedding look like you.

6. Don’t schedule a 6 AM flight the next morning. I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve married who have had a reception late into the evening and then had to be awake at 4 AM to get to the airport so they could fly to Cabo san Nassau, Puerto Rico (not a real place, calm down). Let me shoot straight with you: you will be exhausted on the day after your wedding, and not just from your – ahem – new favorite hobby.

You’ve spent weeks preparing for a wedding, sending invitations, and yelling about stupid people who don’t RSVP to invitations. You’ve spent several days hosting your bridal party and stacking chairs after rehearsal dinner and pretending to like your extended family. Don’t sabotage your honeymoon by trying to get to a faraway location too soon. If you have a flight, wait a minimum of 36 hours after your ceremony to take it. If you have a more-than-three-hour drive, don’t start it until early afternoon the next day. Find a nice hotel close to your wedding venue and for the love of all that’s good and holy, relax and sleep in. You’ll avoid 42% of future counseling sessions if you will do this.

Undoubtedly, there’s a 7th or 8th thing that I’ve missed. How about it, pastors and/or married people? What would you add to this list? Comment below.


(click for photo credit)

  1. Yolanda Finney says:

    I not married not planning to get married in the near future, but I’ve archived these tips for future reference!

  2. scoalson104 says:

    I would like give a big Amen on number 6! Been there, done that, still tell my really excited, detail oriented, get as much fun in as you can, planner of a husband, that a 6am flight was a terrible idea! Love all the other stuff too! We’ve been to a lot of weddings lately, and there’s nothing better than a wedding centered on the ultimate example of Christ!

  3. Laura M says:

    I would add that hiring a good photographer/videographer is key. The flowers will die, and you’ll never wear that dress again, but you’ll always have the pictures and video to look at later. You can skimp on other stuff, but not on the pictures!

  4. dress up kim says:

    Only wanna tell that this is extremely helpful, Thanks for taking your time to write this.

  5. Veronica Greear says:

    WOW. You are good at this. We did the whole 6am flight thing too, and yep, it was horrible (I WOULD like to add here that I was saying prior to that it would be horrible.) Don’t do it. And if we are adding things, I would add, if you have someone do a solo, have something GOING ON during it (communion, unity candle, unity sand, unity synchronized swimmer, wait, no) bc after about 30 seconds it is AWKWARD for everyone to be staring at you expecting you to be all cute and lovey dovey. ANd the song goes on seemingly forever.

    • Danny says:

      Laura & Veronica, I completely agree on your submissions. You can cut costs in a lot of areas, but photography shouldn’t be one of them. When we got married nearly 20 years ago, there was no creativity in wedding photography. I love the “new normal” of photography and would definitely create a much larger budget for it this time around.

      And Veronica, you nailed it. I try my best to talk couples out of too much dead space in a ceremony. If a solo is just going to happen come veil or high water (did you see what I did there?), I encourage the couple to zone out during that time and just talk to each other. It’s likely the first time they’ve had a chance to do it that day (especially if they ignored tip #1), and it’s not nearly as forced.

      Okay, now I’m going to go demolish something or eat some wings. I feel like I’ve lost some man cards in this conversation.

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  2. […]  2. Expensive doesn’t equal memorable. We live in a day of Bridezillas and TLC specials. Everybody wants their ceremony to have a full orchestra, their reception to have life size ice sculptures, and each of their guests to get their own tuxedoed chihuahua as they go home. I’ve presided over $50,000+ weddings and less than $5,000 weddings, and the one that I still talk about was the one that was undoubtedly the least expensive to pull off. The ceremony was in a tent on a horse farm, the reception featured a make-your-own-s’mores campfire and cornhole boards, and the groomsmen wore suits they already owned rather than rented tuxes. And yet, it was without a doubt the most fun experience I’ve ever had, and the one that people still refer to as the benchmark for a unique ceremony. You do not have to mortgage your house to have a great wedding. Your friends are there to celebrate you, not your prime rib. If you have the means to throw a lavish wedding and it not make a dent in your budget, then don’t let me stand in your way. But don’t do it as a way to keep up with the Kardashians. Jump to Part Two. Jump to Part Three. […]

  3. […] Jump to Part One. Jump to Part Three. […]

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