If you love all things cozy and romantic, a winter wedding might be the perfect choice for you. With a winter wedding, you don’t have to deal with guests sweating it out under the sun or overbooked venues during the height of wedding season.

But what do you need to remember when planning a winter wedding?

Keep holiday dates in mind

A winter wedding will usually fall around the same time as some of the biggest holidays of the year: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Unfortunately, this may mean that some of your guests are unable to make it to your wedding. They may have competing holiday plans.

A winter wedding around a holiday may also mean increased flight and hotel costs for any guests who have to travel to make it to your nuptials.

On the bright side, many people do have more time off work during the winter season. This may mean you can turn your winter wedding into a winter wedding weekend and keep the celebration going!

by Emily Nicole Photos
by Emily Nicole Photos

Watch the weather

Even though you’re planning a winter wedding, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the beautiful blanket of white snow you’re dreaming of. You might get rain, a blizzard or no snow at all. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you don’t want to plan on having a large part of your day outdoors.

Winter weather also means delays. Take this into account when telling your guests and vendors when to arrive.

We have less sunlight in the winter. If you’re planning to take photos outside, work with your photographer to find the best time. You may have assumed you could sneak away during dinner for sunset photos but the sun might actually be setting at 3:00 pm!

Avoid just red and green

No matter what time of year you hold your wedding, if your main colours are red and green, everyone is going to assume it’s a Christmas wedding. So unless you actually are planning a Christmas wedding, avoid making everything red and green.

There are lots of other awesome palettes you can turn to for a winter wedding. This is a great time to look at darker colours and jewel tones, or even sparkly metallics. Have fun and don’t be afraid to use colour – it will pop beautifully against a snowy white or rainy grey background.

by Erica Miller Photography
by Erica Miller Photography

Dress for success

If you’re getting married in the middle of winter, a strapless dress while standing outside for an hour of photos may not be the best idea. There are lots of fashion-forward ways to look chic while still staying warm. You can look at long sleeves, faux fur shawls, capes, knit mittens, and more!

Lean into your theme

If you’re having a winter wedding, embrace it! Choose in-season greenery instead of expensive tulips and daisies. Serve mulled wine or eggnog instead of margaritas. Opt for comfort food, like mac n cheese, instead of salads and BBQ. Go for the full romantic winter ambiance with low lighting, soft blankets and lots of candles.

by Emily Nicole Photos
by Emily Nicole Photos

Don’t forget your footwear!

Ladies, if you’re dead set on wearing heels, save them for inside your venue. But do consider boots for any outdoor photos or portion of your wedding. You don’t want to slip on any icy surfaces or end up losing a toe to frostbite.

Bonus: if you’re wearing a long dress, you won’t be able to see the boots anyway. So put on your warmest boots, add a pair of leggings and don’t be afraid to throw some hand warmers in your shoes too.

Consider a single venue

Winter wedding or not, holding all of your wedding festivities at a single venue is a great way to cut down on costs and simplify things for yourself and your guests. But it’s even more important in the winter. A single venue means guests don’t have to drive somewhere new or deal with winter weather delays and traffic.

Bonus: many venues decorate for the winter holidays. Ask your venue what sort of decor they’ll already have. You may be able to save a little money if their current holiday decor is to your taste.

by Erica Miller Photography
by Erica Miller Photography

Add cozy touches

The best part of winter is snuggling up under a blanket by the fire. Recreate that cozy winter feeling for your guests with some of these ideas:

  • Offering a warm drink to guests upon arrival
  • Providing a coat check for outerwear and wet boots
  • Leaving blankets on seats for guests to stay warm
  • Gifting ornaments as your wedding favour
  • Ending the night with a hot chocolate bar!

Limit outdoor time

Brrrr! No one wants to spend an entire winter wedding outside. Even with heat lamps or warm blankets, you’ll want to keep your outdoor time to a minimum. If you’re planning photos outside for you and your wedding party, be strategic about how long you’ll be out there. And give people a way to warm up between photos.

You’ll also want to be conscious of how long your guests are spending outside. For example, if you’re planning a receiving line, make sure it’s indoors. And if guests arrive early to your ceremony or reception, ensure they can wait inside instead of out in the cold.

by Amber Leigh Photography

Rethink your honeymoon plans

If you get married in December and plan to jet off to Jamaica over the Christmas break for your honeymoon, you’ll be heading there at the busiest and most expensive time of year. Travelling to warm locales in the winter, and travelling anywhere over Christmas, can be pretty expensive. If you have your heart set on a beach destination, start looking out for deals early.

Or embrace the cold and opt for a different kind of honeymoon. You could trek to see the Northern Lights in Finland, do a road trip around Iceland, or even find a cozy log cabin for a romantic retreat.

Of course, if travelling right after your wedding isn’t in the cards, you could always postpone your honeymoon for a more convenient, and less expensive, time.

Ask about backup plans

If you’re planning a winter wedding, it’s very important that you have back up plans for everything. If your DJ gets snowed in, what happens? Or if someone in the wedding party is late, what can you do? What’s the plan if the power goes out or the street is closed off? Talk to your venue and vendors to find out what plan B looks like.

by Erica Miller Photography
by Erica Miller Photography

Bonus: Vancouver winter wedding? Pack your umbrellas!

Bonus tip: If you’re planning your winter wedding in Vancouver, you should count on rain. You might luck out and not have to deal with it, but plan for it just in case. We advise investing in some beautiful umbrellas or choosing a rain-proof location to tie the knot.

What tips and tricks do you have for a winter wedding?
Let us know! 


written by Riana Ang-Canning
feature image by Erica Miller Photography

We are so excited to share that for the 5th year in a row, a Young Hip & Married officiant has taken home the title of Best Wedding Officiant in BC from the BC Wedding Awards!

Officiant Jane won Best Wedding Officiant 2018 and Officiant Shawn was one of the finalists. As well, our amazing elopement photographer, Emily Nicole Photos, was a finalist in the Best Wedding Group Photograph category. Way to go, YH&M team!

Check out the wedding stories that earned us the Best Wedding Officiant title:

Jane’s elopement with Niki & Steve

by Erica Miller Photography

In April, Jane officiated Niki and Steve’s intimate elopement. This was a special ceremony, as Niki and Steve wanted to honour Niki’s grandparents by getting married at the same church where they were married, St. Andrew’s Wesley Church. However, they didn’t actually want a church wedding. So we decided to do their elopement on the stairs of the church where Niki’s grandparents wed 72 years ago.

by Erica Miller Photography
by Erica Miller Photography
by Erica Miller Photography

To make the elopement even more special, Niki and Steve brought along a photo of her grandparents so they could be a part of the wedding. We recruited a passing couple to serve as witnesses, and they totally loved every moment of the elopement. And everything was beautifully captured by Erica Miller Photography!

by Erica Miller Photography
by Erica Miller Photography
by Erica Miller Photography

Shawn’s wedding with David & Lejla

by Erin Fraser Photography

Usually brides take a lead role in wedding planning, but for this wedding, David wanted to do something special for Lejla during their ceremony. He shared with Shawn how daffodils were important to their relationship: David and Lejla met at the Daffodil Ball, it was the first flower David had given Lejla and daffodils were going to be a central decor item at their wedding. In addition to daffodils, David also wanted to play a little prank on Lejla. What’s a wedding without a little fun and games?

by Erin Fraser Photography

Shawn was totally on board and worked with David to craft the perfect ceremony that told their story, incorporated the daffodil, and even had a little prank. David and Shawn arranged for the guests to take part in a ring warming ceremony, where rings are passed between the guests before making their way to the couple, but with a twist. The twist? There were no rings! A guest, who was in on the prank, pretended to put rings into a box which was then passed around.

by Erin Fraser Photography

When the “rings” reached the front, Shawn announced that the rings were missing. Everyone had a moment of panic before Shawn let them in on the prank. He said, “Don’t worry folks. Just like how Lejla & David met at the Daffodil Ball four years ago, magically, randomly and surprisingly, love surprises us all and appears in the most mysterious places. And the tangible symbols of their love once again reveal themselves in the daffodil.” Shawn then pulled the real rings out of a daffodil and the rest was history!

by Erin Fraser Photography
by Erin Fraser Photography

Emily’s Group Photo

We also want to shout out our amazing elopement photographer, Emily, who was a finalist in the Best Wedding Group Photograph category. Michaela and Rob were married at Stanley Park Pavillion and did their photos at the Vancouver Art Gallery. How awesome is this shot of Michaela, Rob and their wedding party on the rooftop? That is one stylish and fierce wedding party!

Congratulations to Jane, Shawn, Emily and all of the other winners and finalists! We’re so excited to celebrate a great year of weddings alongside our friends in the industry.

Planning a Toronto elopement? Let us help you find the perfect venue. From city skylines, green parks and waterfront spots to luxury hotel rooms and swanky restaurants, this list has it all!

Back in the day, an elopement was two people running off to City Hall for a spontaneous mini wedding. These days, couples are still looking for that intimacy, but they aren’t resigning themselves to a City Hall wedding in a drab office. Couples know they have lots of gorgeous options for their Toronto elopement.

Without further ado, our favourite Toronto elopement locations!

Note that not all of these Toronto elopement locations are free. Some will require you to rent the space and book ahead. Check with the venue first, and confirm your guest size, before making any plans! 

The Royal Ontario Museum

by Olive Photography

The Royal Ontario Museum or ROM is the place to go for history, dinosaurs and the infamous bat cave. But it’s also one of the most architecturally interesting buildings in Toronto. While it will cost money to hold your wedding inside the ROM, who is to say you can’t elope in front of the building?

Riverdale Park

via Urban Toronto

The ultimate Toronto elopement spot is always going to be one with a beautiful view of the CN Tower. We’re big fans of Riverdale Park in Cabbagetown.

Toronto Islands

Take your Toronto elopement out on the water with a visit to the Toronto Islands. There are tons of gorgeous outdoor spaces, with views of the city. If you’re looking for something indoors or more formal for your day, check out this list of venues.

Sunnyside Pavilion

via Toronto Guardian

While Sunnyside Pavilion often hosts big weddings, it could also be the perfect spot for an elopement. Contact Sunnyside if you’d like to use the indoor space or work with your officiant to find an outdoor spot with Sunnyside Pavilion in the background.

Trinity Bellwoods Park

via Local Food Tours

Trinity Bellwoods Park is a popular spot just outside of Little Italy – meaning you’ll be able to grab some delicious food after your elopement! While this park can get busy on a nice sunny day, we’re sure you’ll be able to find a beautiful spot (with a view!) for your Toronto elopement.

Palais Royale

via Palais Royale

Palais Royale isn’t just for big weddings. Get in touch with them to book your elopement!

High Park

by Focus Photography

High Park is one of the most gorgeous places to elope outdoors in Toronto. This park is huge, so you should have no problem finding your perfect spot. And if you’re looking for something special, like cherry blossoms in the spring or foliage in the fall, you’ll find it here!

The Henley Room

via The Wedding Opera

The Henley Room at the Toronto Argonauts Rowing Club is a stunning space for weddings both big and small. If you’re looking for something more formal, check this one out.

The Beaches

via Toronto.com

Torontonians love walking along the boardwalk at the beach. Why not choose that for your Toronto elopement location?

Rosetta McClain Gardens

via City of Toronto

If you love the Beaches but don’t actually want to get married on the beach, check out the Rosetta McClain Gardens. They’re right by the beach, but give you a more floral and green atmosphere.

U of T

by Dude K Photography

U of T, or the University of Toronto, is home to not only some great book learning – but also to some beautiful spaces to tie the knot! Be warned, these spaces do require you to pay a fee and book ahead of time. Other universities, like Ryerson, also have some beautiful elopement locations. If you’re an alumni, check to see if there’s a discount available!

Allan Gardens Conservatory

via To Do Canada

The Allan Gardens Conservatory is a great spot to get married in nature while actually holding your wedding indoors. So if your elopement day is rainy or in the middle of winter, this is a great choice. Be sure to contact the Parks Department to make your booking.

St Lawrence Market Kitchen

by Eighty Fifth Street

St. Lawrence Market is a staple in Toronto. But did you know that you can actually rent out the St. Lawrence Market Kitchen, which overlooks the market, for your nuptials?

CN Tower

via CN Tower

Okay, you don’t actually have to say your I do’s on the edge of the CN Tower, but apparently that is an option! You can also opt to elope on the ground in front of the CN Tower or maybe up in the restaurant with a view of the entire city.

Ripley’s Aquarium

by Photo Kitch
Want to go under the sea for your elopement? Well, here’s a way to do it while keeping your clothes dry. Make sure you get in touch with the aquarium in order to book the space.

Humber Bay Park West

Via TripAdvisor

Humber Bay Park West is an awesome spot for a Toronto elopement, just west of downtown in Mimico, south Etobicoke. As our Officiant Billy says, “There are some nice little parks further west just off the Lakeshore at Mimico; Humber Bay Park West would be a good spot. There are views looking out on the lake. The Waterfront Trail there has lots of quiet rocky promontories sticking out into the lake with two yacht clubs as a backdrop, and a sweet little gazebo if it rains.” Sounds perfect!

Tranzac Club

via Tranzac.org

If parks and skylines aren’t really your style, check out the Tranzac Club for a very different vibe. While this venue could hold more people, we see no reason why it wouldn’t work for a more intimate elopement.

Polson Pier

by Rowitt Photography

Polson Pier is one of the most popular spots for photos in Toronto thanks to the beautiful view in the background. Who wouldn’t want to tie the knot here?

Osgoode Hall

by Purple Tree Photography

Osgoode Hall, a beautiful law school in downtown Toronto, is a stunning option for your Toronto elopement. If you want exclusive access or the ability to take photos inside, you’ll need to get in touch with the venue. But the outside is just as beautiful!

Bickford Park

Toronto is lousy with pretty parks perfect for an outdoor elopement. Check out Bickford Park, just south of Christie Pitts, for another great option.

Distillery District

by Lushana Bale Photography

One of the most stunning, and most popular, places in Toronto to get married has got to be the Distillery District. And while you will need to obtain a permit, it may be worth the cost for this beautiful spot!

Casa Loma

by Isaac Image

Have you always dreamt of getting married in a castle? Well, you can do just that at Casa Loma! Of course, you’ll need to pay a fee and book ahead of time. While Casa Loma can hold large weddings, it’s also a charming spot for a more intimate elopement.

Art Gallery of Ontario

by Avenue Photo

If you want to get married amongst some of the most beautiful pieces of art, look into renting the Art Gallery of Ontario for your Toronto elopement. In addition to art, there are some awesome spaces with large windows and cool architecture.

A Toronto hotel

We usually think that hotels are only used for large weddings and events. But they can be the perfect place for small elopements too! You can tie the knot in your hotel room, in front of the hotel or even in the lobby. You may even be able to sweet talk the concierge into letting you use the event space for a quick five minute elopement!

A Toronto restaurant

via Yellow Pages

Getting married at a restaurant is another awesome option for elopement couples. You can go all out and rent an entire space. Or you can keep things really intimate and just elope at your table or in a private room. Nothing follows an elopement better than a delicious meal!

Outside of Toronto elopement

by Ian C Whitworth Photography

Of course, if you want to travel a little farther outside of the city, there are lots of gorgeous places to elope near Toronto. Some of our favourites include Niagara on the Lake, Prince Edward County and Stratford.

Have we inspired your Toronto elopement?

We’d love to know where you’re holding it and everything you have planned for your amazing Toronto elopement. And if you need a wedding officiant for your elopement, get in touch!

Boo! Since today is Halloween, we wanted to share some awesome tips for planning a Halloween wedding. For some, Halloween is the ultimate holiday. They love it so much that they decide to plan their wedding around it!

A Halloween wedding can be spooky and serious, colourful and playful, or even elegant and mysterious. But above all? A Halloween wedding is just a lot of fun!

If you want to unleash your inner goblin or ghoul, read on for tips on how to plan a spook-tacular Halloween wedding!

Make your Halloween wedding theme clear

You want your guests to know what they’re getting into, especially if you want them to participate in your theme. So make it clear that you’re throwing a Halloween wedding by adding Halloween elements to your wedding website, save the dates and invitations. As soon as your guests click on your website or open your invite, they should know what’s going on.

Let your venue set the tone

Start your Halloween wedding off on the right note with a truly perfect venue. Look for something in a gothic style or perhaps a historic building that has a resident ghost on site! For photos, head out to a pumpkin patch or even a cemetery.

Attire is everything

Halloween is all about the costumes! As the couple of the hour, you can choose to actually dress up in costume or just do a Halloween-version of a more traditional wedding outfit. For example, you can add a skeleton tie to your tuxedo or a black sash to your dress. You can also do an outfit change and show up in costume at your reception.

You’ll want to coordinate your wedding party’s outfits to the theme as well. That might mean putting them in dark hued dresses and suits or having them wear masquerade masks. If you want your guests to participate in your theme by dressing up, wearing black or wearing a mask, ensure that’s clear on your invites and website.

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Get creative with make-up

One of the most fun parts about Halloween is getting creative with your make-up. Of course, you probably don’t want to go too gory for your Halloween wedding, but you can definitely make your look more spooky. You can do more bold make-up like a dark lipstick and black eyeliner or paint your face Día de los Muertos style. You may also want to hire a make-up artist or face painter to help makeover your guests.

Get your vendors in the Halloween wedding spirit

We can guarantee that your Young Hip & Married officiant will be game to dress up in costume, recite spooky Halloween poems or tell a ghost story. We love getting involved in a theme that our couples are passionate about!

You can get your other vendors on board too. Ask your DJ to don a mask and play Thriller or Monster Mash to open up the dance floor. Tell your florist you want a dark hued bouquet with black feathers. Or ask your photographer to set up a photobooth complete with witch hats and brooms!

Officiant Cindy getting into the spooky theme!

Go wild on decor

There’s so much you can do to decorate for a Halloween wedding! But before you jump into buying all the mini pumpkins you can carry, think about the tone you want for your wedding. Do you want it to be dark, gothic and spooky? Kitschy, fun and colourful? Elegant and mysterious? A Halloween wedding can be tasteful and as spooky or silly as you want.

Here are some awesome decor ideas:

  • Hang orange and black lanterns from the ceiling
  • Line the ceremony aisle with pumpkins
  • Have a skeleton hold up your guest book
  • Instead of direction signs on wood, put them on tombstones
  • Put your centrepieces in pumpkins or incorporate spooky branches or candelabras
  • Hang cobwebs in the corners of the room or along the tables
  • Bring out the fog machine for an eerie atmosphere

Serve Halloween-y food

Lots of food can easily be made suitable for your Halloween wedding. Spaghetti and meatballs become intestines and eyeballs. Mini-eclairs become witch fingers. And no one is going to turn down a caramel apple or slice of pumpkin pie!

You can also create spooky Halloween drinks with creepy names and fun tricks. Talk to your bar staff and let their imaginations run wild. Your cake is also a great place to go big with your Halloween theme.

Don’t forget about the candy! Half the fun of Halloween is trick or treating. You can even set up a candy bar so guests can trick or treat and take a bag of candy home as their wedding favour.

Go as big as you want to

Remember, not every single element of your Halloween wedding has to be Halloween-y. This is your wedding first and Halloween second. People will still understand and appreciate the theme if you opt for subtle references. You can scatter black and orange confetti on the tables or use mini pumpkins as your escort cards instead of dressing up like a zombie and painting everything orange and black.

But if Halloween is your passion? Go for it! You can totally go all out on your Halloween wedding. Bring in as many Halloween elements as you want. If you really want to go the extra mile, you could even hire a spooky tarot card reader or magician for your reception or set up a haunted house!

This summer, our team set a new wedding record. We married more couples in one day than we ever had before! On August 18, 2018, our team married 25 couples across BC, Alberta, Ontario and California.

Talk about a day filled with love!

So what made August 18, 2018 so special? All the eights! August 18, 2018, or 8-18-18, was the most popular wedding day of the year. In many cultures, eight is a lucky number. So when you have a Saturday in the summer with three eights, you know it’s going to be busy!

Our day started at 11:30 AM with a ceremony at Hycroft Manor in Vancouver and ended with a 7:15 PM ceremony on Grouse Mountain. We officiated on islands, in parks, on golf courses, in art galleries, on mountaintops and even at a zoo!

August 18, 2018 was one crazy, busy, joy-filled day for our team and all of the amazing couples, friends and family we got to celebrate with. Here’s a look at some of what went down on #81818!

Officiant Jane started August 18, 2018 off strong marrying Helen & Brian at Hycroft Manor in Vancouver.

Next up was Officiant Kadee marrying Karli & Sid at Queen Elizabeth Park. How awesome is her dress? We love bright colours that show off your personality!

Over at Cleveland Dam Park in North Vancouver, Officiant Kristen married Annie & Bob.

Ceremonies #4 and #5 took place in Sooke and Van Dusen. Then it was up to Whistler for Officiant Erika’s first wedding of the day with M & J!

Over in Calgary, Officiant Jodi was marrying Mickellie & Charles while Officiant Jane helped Eleanor and Dave tie the knot in their backyard in Vancouver.

At Bear Creek Park in Surrey, Jesse & Karen said I do with Officiant Kadee.

For weddings #10 and #11 we officiated at the Calgary Zoo and the Fort Langley Golf Course. Then it was time for Steph and Chris to tie the knot at Nita Lake Lodge. Check out all of the stunning details that went into their big day.

We passed the halfway point of August 18, 2018: Wedding #13 happened with Officiant Brian on Lake Cowichan. Next, Officiant Beth married Alison and Chantal in Pemberton. They had an Aboriginal dancer at their ceremony.

Officiant Jon married Dee & Bear at T&T Ranch. Congrats, newlyweds!

Photos by Blush

Officiant Kadee made her way to North Vancouver for the wedding of Brit and Geoff.

At the same time, Officiant Marilyn was busy marrying Sarah and Tyler at UBC while Officiant Peter married Tamryn & Devynn on Gambier Island.

Officiant Denise helped Aliez and Jeff tie the knot at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Downtown, Officiant Jane was getting ready for Brenda and Ronald’s wedding at the Fairmont.

Don’t forget about Shawn! Officiant Shawn married Melissa and Frederick in a backyard ceremony in Abbotsford as our 21st wedding of the day.

Sarah and Paul tied the knot in Whistler with Officiant Kristen. How gorgeous are those tables?

Rounding out our day, we had Jodi officiate at a restaurant in Calgary and Kadee officiate a home wedding in Port Moody for Carole and Jay.

Our last wedding of August 18, 2018! We finished off #81818 with our 25th wedding: Lisa Marie and Melvern with Officiant Erika. These two got married on Grouse Mountain, did a beautiful handfasting and ring warming ceremony, and danced to a string trio. How romantic!

Phew, we made it! We survived August 18, 2018 – our busiest day of weddings ever! Even though it was a busy day for all of us, we wouldn’t have traded it for the world. It was such an honour to stand alongside so many couples as they exchanged their vows and became married spouses!

If bringing religious or cultural elements into your wedding ceremony is important to you, you may want to consider adding a wedding prayer or wedding blessing. A wedding prayer is a great way to honour your faith and connect your ceremony to something spiritual. It can be delivered by your officiant or by a guest of honour.

Wedding blessings are not reserved for traditional religious or Christian weddings. Couples of all faiths can include prayers into their ceremony. You may even find some prayers on this list that work for a secular (non-religious) ceremony.

Like with all things in your wedding, we believe it should be done your way. If you love one of the prayers here and want to use it in your ceremony, go for it! If you like bits and pieces of different prayers, go ahead and create your own. If the language is outdated, the pronouns don’t fit or you want to address your prayer to a different name, change whatever you want. There’s no one right way to say a wedding prayer.

And if a wedding prayer isn’t for you, you may want to consider adding a reading or a quote to your ceremony. Check out our readings (romantic, offbeat, from songs, from literature, and from TV/movies) and quote options.

Here are 27 wedding prayers that could work perfectly for your ceremony:

Opening wedding prayer:

Lord God Almighty,

Creator of the heavens and earth.

Thank you for the gift of marriage

For all the joy and love that it brings us.

We thank you for NAME and NAME

Thank you that you have brought them together for this special day,

And that you hold them safely in Your hands.

We pray that you would richly bless them as they exchange their vows and their wedding rings,

And from this day forward they would walk hand in hand into everything that you have destined them to be.

We give our hearts and beings to You now in adoration,

And welcome Your Holy Spirit amongst us.


Closing wedding prayer:

Gracious God, our hearts are filled with great happiness on this the wedding day of NAME and NAME. They come before you, pledging their lives and their hearts to one another.

Grant that they may be ever true and loving, living together in such a way as to never bring heartbreak into their marriage.

Temper their hearts with kindness and help them to be sweethearts, helpmates, friend and guide, and together, may they meet the cares and problems of life more bravely.

May their home truly be a place of love and harmony where your Spirit is ever present. Bless their wedding day, we pray, and walk beside them, through all their life together. Amen.

Short wedding blessing:

Lord bless this beautiful couple with love and hope we pray.

Keep alive forever more the vows they’ve pledged today.

May you bless their dreams and visions,

And keep them always safe.

May peace and joy be with them now

On this their wedding day.

Find the perfect wedding prayer for your wedding with a wedding ceremony by Young Hip & Married, officiant at ceremony with bride holding son in her arms
Photo by Sara Rogers Photography

Benediction for Christian wedding wishes:

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you;

the Lord mercifully with his favor look upon you,

and fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace;

that you may faithfully live together in this life,

and in the age to come have life everlasting.


Episcopal wedding prayer:

Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of salvation, and giver of all grace:

Look with favor upon the world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life,

and especially upon this man and this woman whom you make one flesh in Holy Matrimony.


Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life,

that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity,

a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.


Celtic wedding blessing:

May there always be work for your hands to do.

May your purse always hold a coin or two.

May the sun always shine upon your window pane.

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.

May the hand of a friend always be near to you and

May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Irish wedding blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Irish blessing for wedding:

Happy is the bride that rain falls on

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.

May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.

May the saddest day of your future

Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May your hands be forever clasped in friendship

And your hearts joined forever in love.

Your lives are very special,

God has touched you in many ways.

May his blessings rest upon you

And fill all your coming days.

We swear by peace and love to stand,

Heart to heart and hand to hand.

Hark, O Spirit, and hear us now,

Confirming this our Sacred Vow.

Young Hip & Married officiant deliver wedding blessings for a wedding ceremony with couple in the park
Photo by Clint Bargen Photography

Scottish wedding blessing 1:

A thousand welcomes to you with your marriage kerchief,

May you be healthy all your days.

May you be blessed with long life and peace,

May you grow old with goodness, and with riches.

Scottish wedding blessing 2:

May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire, so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.

And may light shine out of the two eyes of you, like a candle set in the window of a house, bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm. And may the blessing of the rain be on you, may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines, and sometimes a star.

And may the blessing of the earth be on you, soft under your feet as you pass along the roads, soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day; and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it. May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God. And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.

Bless this union wedding prayer:

Dear God, thank you for this joyous day.

Thank you for Your Light that has entered NAME and NAME’s life.

Thank you for all the miracles and blessings.

Please bless this union.

Help NAME and NAME find the perfect place in this world for their love to flourish.

Let the radiant light of their love shine on all those around them.

May all their future creations be blessed.

God, bless them with the inner gifts of trust, compassion, forgiveness and truth that they may live and grow together in love and peace.


Nature of love wedding prayer:

Father of mankind, whose nature is love, look with favor upon this woman and this man who desire to make their vows before you.

We are grateful for the providence that has led to this union.

Grant this to be more than an outward union, but also the blending of hearts and spirits and purposes.

Bless each with the inward qualities of integrity, trust, cooperation and forgiveness, that they may live together in love and peace.


Blessed wedding prayer:

Blessed are the man and the woman who have grown beyond themselves and have seen through their separations.

They delight in the way things are and keep their hearts open, day and night.

They are like trees planted near flowing rivers, which bear fruit when they are ready.

Their leaves will not fall or wither.

Everything they do will succeed.

Blessed is one who comes in the name of Love.

Greek wedding prayer:

I invoke Thee, Who art the greatest of all, Who created all, Who generated it from thyself, Who sees all and is never seen.

We ask Your blessing for NAME and NAME today as they enter into this cherished covenant.

We ask You to bless this community of friends and family who pledge their love and support of NAME and NAME’s marriage.

Infinite One, fly ahead of them

Open the way

Prepare the path

Spirity of the sun

Mother of the light

Come to them!


Newlywed couple kissing on the beach after their elopement ceremony
Photo by Pebble & Pine

Cherokee wedding prayer:

God in heaven above, please protect the ones we love.

We honor all You created as they pledge their hearts and lives together.

We honor mother-earth and ask for their marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.

We honor fire and ask that our their union be warm and glowing with love in their  hearts.

We honor wind and ask that their sail through life safe and calm as in their Father’s arms.

We honor water to clean and soothe their relationship that it may never thirst for love.

With all the forces of the universe You created, we pray for harmony and true happiness as their forever grow young together.


Christian wedding wishes, 1st Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud.

Love is never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way.

Love is not irritable or touchy. Love does not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do it wrong.

Love is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to them no matter what the costs.

You will always believe in them, always expect the best in them, and will always stand your ground in defending them.

Family wedding prayer:

Lord, behold our family here assembled.

We thank you for this place in which we dwell,

for the love that unites us,

for the peace accorded us this day,

for the hope with which we expect the morrow,

for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;

for our friends in all parts of the earth.


Hebrew wedding blessing:

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hath created joy and gladness, bridegroom and bride, mirth and exultation, pleasure and delight, love and brotherhood, peace and friendship.

May there soon be heard in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of joy and gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the jubilant voice of bridegrooms from the wedding canopy, and of youths from their feasts of song.

Blessed art thou, O Lord, who gives the Bridegroom joy in his bride.

Vancouver wedding elopement in the rain, couple standing under a white umbrella with Young Hip & Married wedding officiant behind them
Photo by Erica Miller Photography

Song of Solomon:

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine .

My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is comely. Set me as a seal upon your heart and seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy cruel as the grave.

It flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.

Muslim wedding Dua (for the couple):

Oh Allah, bless our marriage and let it be a means for us to become closer to You in love and devotion. Let it be a source of untold blessings, happiness and joy.

Oh Allah, let our marriage be a way for us and our families to enter Jannah.

Ya Allah, protect our marriage from the whisperings of Shaytan. Give us the strength to live together in justice, equity, love and, mercy.

My Lord, let this marriage bring untold blessings to us individually, to our families, and our children Insha Allah.

My Creator, bless us with children who will be a source of great joy and happiness.

Oh Allah, give us the love which you had blessed Muhammad, Allah’s Peace and blessings be upon him, and Khadija with, May Allah be pleased with her.

Muslim wedding Dua (for the guests):

Oh Allah, bless this couple with faith, love and happiness in this world and the Next.

O Allah, You are the Loving (Al Wadud) and the Merciful (Al Rehman). Please put love and mercy in the hearts of this couple for each other.

Our Creator, strengthen the hearts of the bride and groom with faith, and let them increase in their love and commitment to You through their bond.

Oh Lord of the Universe, all power is with You. Let this couple’s marriage become a beautiful example to other couples.

My God, protect this couple from the misguidance and planning of Shaytan. Help them resist his call to break their bond.

Oh Allah, bless this couple with children who will be a source of happiness and joy to them and the world.

Oh Allah, unite the couple and their families in faith and love.

Oh Lord, You are the Just. Let this couple live their lives being fair and just to each other.

Oh Forgiver (Ghafoor), bless this couple with the strength to forgive each other’s shortcomings.

Oh Allah, give them the loving relationship which Muhammad and Aisha had. May Allah be pleased with them.

Buddhist wedding prayer:

Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other, with body, speech, and mind.

In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty, we will work to help each other perfectly.

The purpose of our relationship will be to attain enlightenment by perfecting our kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings.

A Blessing for The Journey (Buddhist wedding prayer):

Let us vow to bear witness to the wholeness of life, realizing the completeness of each and every thing.

Embracing our differences, I shall know myself as you, and you as myself.

May we serve each other for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.

Let us vow to open ourselves to the abundance of life.

Freely giving and receiving, I shall care for you, for the trees and stars, as treasures of my very own.

May we be grateful for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.

Let us vow to forgive all hurt, caused by ourselves and others, and to never condone hurtful ways.

Being responsible for my actions, I shall free myself and you.

Will you free me, too?

May we be kind for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.

Let us vow to remember that all that appears will disappear.

In the midst of uncertainty, I shall sow love.

Here! Now! I call to you:

Let us together live

The Great Peace that we are.

May we give no fear for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.

Stanley Park Vancouver wedding elopement and ring exchange, wedding prayers and wedding blessings
Photo by Erica Miller Photography

Hindu wedding prayer:

To the Holy Son of Shiva and Parvati,

To the remover of all obstacles, Lord Ganesha,

We Petition for Blessings,

To sanctify this ceremony of marriage,

And to bless this marriage in all ways.

Lord Ganesha.

You are the speaker.

You are the listener.

You are the giver.

You are the sustainer.

Please protect us from all directions.

Let us listen with our ears to that which is auspicious, adorable one.

Let us perceive with our eyes what is holy.

With strong, stable body and limbs, may we seek divine grace and accept the noble order of all our lives.

O Lord Ganesha, please provide for the welfare of this family.

Guide prosperity and abundance to their door.

Please help them feel your goodness and Divinity within their home.

We place any challenges of married life at your feet

And trust you will always help.

We thank you with all of our hearts.

Prayer of St. Francis:

Eternal One, make me an instrument of your peace;

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

when there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood, as to understand,

to be loved as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Wedding prayer from Al-Fatiha, the Holy Qur’an:

In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.

Praise be to God, Sovereign of all the worlds.

The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.

You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.

Guide us on the straight path, the path of those who have received your grace;

not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.


Prayer for no rain on wedding day

On our wedding day, we come to you,
With hope in our hearts and skies so blue.
We ask for a day without rain’s embrace,
So our joy can shine in the perfect space.

With love and gratitude, we make this plea,
For clear skies and a rain-free decree.
Bless our union with sunshine’s ray,
On this cherished day, we humbly pray.


Opening prayer for wedding reception (Catholic)

Loving Father,

As we gather here to celebrate the sacred bond of marriage, we thank you for the love that has brought us together. Bless this joyful occasion as we share in the happiness of [Couple’s Names] and their commitment to each other.

May your grace continue to guide them on their journey of love and unity. Let this celebration be a reflection of the joy and blessings that come from your divine love. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we pray.


Prayer before meals at a wedding reception

On this day of celebration and love, we gather around this table with grateful hearts. We thank you for the union of [Couple’s Names] and for the love that has brought us together.

As we partake in this meal, bless the hands that have prepared it and the hearts that will enjoy it. May this food nourish our bodies and remind us of the abundance of your blessings. Let the joy of this occasion fill our hearts and may your presence be felt among us.

Short prayer for blessing food at wedding reception

Bless this meal before us, a symbol of your abundant provision and the love that brings us together.

May this food nourish our bodies and remind us of the blessings you bestow upon us each day.

We thank you for the gift of community, for the love that binds us, and for the moments of joy that we share. Amen.

Prayer for the bride on her wedding day 

Today, as we celebrate the radiant spirit of [Bride’s Name] on her wedding day, we are reminded of the beauty of love and commitment. We thank you for the joy she brings into our lives.

Bless her with a marriage filled with laughter, shared dreams, and a deep connection. May her days be bright, her nights be peaceful, and her heart be ever open to the blessings you provide. Grant her the strength to face challenges hand in hand with [Partner’s Name], and may their love be a testament to your grace.

As she stands at the threshold of this new adventure, fill her heart with your divine peace and surround her with your loving presence. May her journey be marked by your guidance and boundless love. Amen.

Prayer for those with us in spirit at the wedding ceremony

As we gather to celebrate this union of hearts, we are mindful of those who are no longer with us in body but remain forever in our hearts. We lift up their memory and the love they brought into our lives.

May their spirits surround us today, a gentle presence that reminds us of the love that transcends time and space. We are grateful for the joy they added to our lives and the memories we hold dear.

In this moment of celebration, we acknowledge their absence and hold them close in our thoughts. We are comforted knowing that they are watching over us, and their love lives on in the stories we share and the bonds we cherish.

In their honor, we continue this journey of love and celebration, knowing that they are with us in spirit.

Which wedding prayer or blessing are you choosing for your ceremony? Let us know when you get in touch to book your wedding officiant for your ceremony! 

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At Young Hip & Married, we always preach: your wedding, your way. We believe every element you add into your day should represent who you are and speak to you as a couple. And that includes any wedding traditions you decide to include.

How did wedding traditions become traditions? Someone decided to do something, someone else copied them and no one questioned it for years and years. If you ask us, that’s not a good enough reason to include something in your wedding!

You don’t need to keep all of the wedding traditions in your wedding in order to get married. You can still have a beautiful wedding by going against the grain and doing your own thing. Below are 13 wedding traditions you can absolutely skip if you want to. Don’t love them? Throw them out!

The big wedding

You do not have to have the big wedding in order to get married. If the idea of planning a party for hundreds of people stresses you (or your wallet) out, don’t do it. You can absolutely plan an intimate wedding with just your closest loved ones or even an elopement with just you two!

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Pre-wedding parties

Pre-wedding parties traditionally include an engagement party, bachelor and bachelorette parties, bridal showers and more. But all of those parties are totally optional. You’re allowed to get married without having an alcohol-infused bachelorette weekend in Vegas. If it’s not your thing, don’t do it. Or change these events so that they fit your style. Trade the cigars and strip club for BBQ and go-karting if that’s more your bachelor party style.

Inviting people you don’t want to

One of the oldest and strongest wedding traditions is inviting people to your wedding party who you don’t actually want to be there. You do not have to invite people to your wedding just because they invited you to theirs. You don’t have to invite people just because your parents want them there. You don’t have to invite people just because you work with them, went to school with them or even if you’re related to them.

Everyone at your wedding should bring you joy and add to your love. You shouldn’t have to fake smile at any obligation guests (as Bridechilla founder, Aleisha, calls them) on your wedding day.

Spending the night before apart

Wedding traditions tell us that the couple needs to spend the night before their wedding apart. But…why? If you’re like most couples getting married, you likely already live together and have been intimate together long before your wedding day. So why can’t you spend the night before together? Wouldn’t it be awesome to wake up with your spouse-to-be on your wedding day? If you think you might be anxious the morning of, who better to calm your nerves than your best friend and future spouse?

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Flower girls and ring bearers

Yes, flower girls and ring bearers can be adorable. But if you don’t have any children in your life that you’re close to, don’t force this wedding tradition to happen. Coordinating kids in a wedding party can be a nightmare. It can also be very overwhelming for young kids to have to perform in front of a big group. They can cry, throw a tantrum, refuse to go down the aisle and kick up a fuss during photo time. Who wants that?

Plus, more people in your wedding party just means more money for you. And whatever you do, don’t actually give any young child your wedding rings before the ceremony. Odds are those rings won’t make it to you!

Wedding party

That’s right – even the wedding party can be crossed off your list of wedding traditions. If you don’t like the idea of choosing between friends, forcing them into matching outfits and asking them to pose for photos, you don’t have to do. You can skip the wedding party altogether or change it up to suit you.

Giving the bride away

You don’t need us to tell you that this is one of the most outdated wedding traditions. Handing the bride over like property from father to new husband gives most couples the icks. We get it. So, skip it! You don’t have to throw out the bride’s walk all together but you can change up the processional. Check out this link for some awesome processional options.

Photo by Shauna Danielle Photography

Registering for stuff you don’t need

Back in the day, couples got married young and moved from their parent’s home into their first house together. These days, many couples already live together or have lived on their own pre-marriage. So why are we still being told we have to run through IKEA and register for every blender, microwave and towel set available?

If you already have your home established, you don’t need to register for more stuff. Instead, register for things you really want – like a gift card to your favourite restaurant, a scuba diving trip on your honeymoon or relationship coaching to help enrich your marriage!

Bouquet and garter toss

Can we just say it? It’s weird that we force all of our single friends to stand in a bunch and fight over a bouquet or a garter in hopes of getting married next. It’s awkward for single people to be singled out (pun intended). And why are we saying that marriage is the ultimate prize? If someone is perfectly happy being single, why do they need to fight for the prize of being married next?

And then, if that weren’t weird enough, we have the process of getting the garter. Who decided it would be appropriate to climb under someone’s dress and remove an article of clothing with our teeth? In front of all of our guests, including grandma? Yikes!

Guys speaking first

Wedding traditions dictate that the men speak first. Traditionally, men say their vows first and only the groom, not the bride, gives a toast at the reception. But if that doesn’t sound right to you, mix it up! Infuse a little bit more feminist power into your wedding.

Photo by Caroline Ross Photography

White dress and black tux

When you think of wedding attire, you probably picture a full white dress and a sleek black tuxedo. But you know what, you don’t have to wear that. You can wear whatever you want to tie the knot – wedding traditions be damned! If you’re most comfortable in pants instead of a dress, go for pants. And if you feel gorgeous in a plaid shirt or leather jacket, include that in your wedding day outfit!

Wedding night

Traditionally, a couple’s first night together is their wedding night. And even though that isn’t the case for most couples anymore, many couples still feel the pressure to have sex on their wedding night. But let us just remind you: the success of your marriage is not dependant on whether or not you do the deed on your wedding night. You can still have a very happy and intimate marriage even if you skip out on wedding night sex.

Honeymoon right away

Wedding traditions tell us that right after the wedding, the couple must get into a limo and drive off to the airport to go on an extravagant honeymoon vacation. But for many couples, that’s just not an option. It’s hard to pay for a big vacation after just having paid for a wedding. And it’s hard to get time off if you already had to take some time off for the wedding.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going on your honeymoon later. You could even make it a one year anniversary trip! Or you could do a mini-moon and just spend a few days at a local hotel or go on a weekend getaway. Lastly, you can put your honeymoon on your wedding registry and have guests contribute to your honeymoon (instead of buying you another toaster).

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Bottom line:

You can skip anything you’re doing if the only reason you’re doing it is because you think you should be. Truth is: you don’t have to. If you don’t want to add certain wedding traditions, skip them.

At the end of the day, to get married you only need yourself, a willing partner, your marriage licence and an officiant (that’s us!). Everything else you add is up to you and should be meaningful and bring you joy. If you’re only doing something because that’s what your cousin did at her wedding or what you saw in a magazine, we totally give you permission to drop it.

Wedding traditions are those things we see at almost every wedding and don’t even blink an eye at: the cake cutting, the flower girl, the bouquet toss, etc. But at some point it’s important to ask yourself, “Why are we including this in our wedding?” If the tradition doesn’t resonate with you, get rid of it! You don’t need to keep something in your wedding just because most people do.

But if you do want to include some classic wedding traditions, that’s great! We’re not anti wedding traditions. We’re just anti anything in your wedding that doesn’t feel like you. But if you love some of these wedding traditions and can find personal meaning in them, absolutely include them in your big day!

What wedding traditions will you be skipping? Let us know below & book your wedding officiant for your ceremony today!

written by Riana Ang-Canning
feature image by Emily Nicole Photos

When you think of ceremony songs, do you immediately start humming, “Here Comes the Bride?” No? Just us?

Well, there’s actually a lot more to ceremony music and many more songs for you to pick from. There are a number of big moments during the ceremony where you can add music. And there’s so many different ceremony songs you can choose. If you’re not into classical music or anything you can waltz to, throw it out! If you’re more Taylor Swift than Beethoven, let Tay play!

A while back we gave you our pick for top wedding ceremony songs. But we’d thought we’d give you a few more suggestions in this complete list.

Play on, maestro!


The processional is when your bridal party or other important people (perhaps some grandparents) make their way down the aisle. The ceremony songs below are usually the first tunes your guests will hear to let them know that the ceremony is starting.

Photo by Tomasz Wagner
  • I Was Married – Tegan & Sara
  • Home – Phillip Phillips
  • Love On Top – Beyonce
  • Marry You – Bruno Mars
  • 100 Years – Five for Fighting
  • Your Song – Elton John
  • This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
  • Everything – Lifehouse
  • Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
  • Love Someone – Jason Mraz
  • Only Time – Enya
  • Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy
  • Canon in D – Pachelbel
  • Fur Elise – Beethoven
  • A Thousand Years – The Piano Guys
  • Yellow – Vitamin String Quartet
  • Ave Maria – Celine Dion
  • Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
  • The One – Gary Allan
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis
  • Makin Plans – Miranda Lambert
  • Your Everything – Keith Urban
  • All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  • I Choose You – Sarah Bareilles
  • Is This Love – Bob Marley
  • Reign of Love – Coldplay
  • Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  • Hey Ho – The Lumineers

Groom’s Entrance

We’re all about giving the groom his time in the spotlight. While traditionally the ceremony was all about waiting for the bride to come down the aisle, we say: why can’t the groom have his own aisle moment too? Check out these ceremony songs perfect for a groom’s grand entrance.

Photo by Blush Photography
  • Star Wars Theme Song (or the theme song to any show you love!)
  • Back in Black – AC/DC
  • The Best Day – George Strait
  • On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons
  • Your Song – Elton John
  • Men in Black – Will Smith
  • Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top
  • Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s
  • Let’s Hear it for the Boy – Denise Williams
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
  • Marry Me – Jason Derulo
  • Bless The Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
  • Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Michael Buble
  • Somebody Like You – Keith Urban
  • Show Me What You Got – Jay Z
  • I Feel Good (I Got You) – James Brown
  • Some Kind of Wonderful – Grand Funk
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness
  • Want to Want Me – Jason Derulo

Bride’s Entrance

The finale of the processional usually belongs to the bride coming down the aisle. This is often the big moment where everyone rises and turns to catch a glimpse of the beautiful bride coming to the front. If any of these ceremony songs are going to be remembered, it will be this one.

Photo by Mint Photo
  • At Last – Etta James
  • Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  • By Your Side – Sade
  • Crazy In Love – Beyonce
  • I Do – Colbie Caillat
  • Love Story – Taylor Swift
  • Ribbon in the Sky – Stevie Wonder
  • Beautiful Surprise – India Arie
  • All of Me – John Legend
  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  • I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
  • Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  • One Love – Bob Marley
  • Marry Me – Train
  • Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks
  • Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls
  • Paradise – Coldplay
  • How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  • Kiss from a Rose – Seal
  • Tale as Old as Time – Beauty and the Beast
  • I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  • The Luckiest – Ben Folds
  • She Keeps Me Warm – Miranda Lambert

Signing the Licence

You might be thinking, “We need a song to sign our licence!?!” Of course, it’s not mandatory. But it can be a little bit awkward to leave your guests in silence while you two, your witnesses and your officiant head to the side to sign your marriage licence. If you’re already setting up audio for your other ceremony songs, you might as well add one here too!

Photo by Michele Mateus Photography
  • Seasons of Love – Rent
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder
  • Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Elton John
  • By My Side – Ben Harper
  • One Hand, One Heart – West Side Story
  • Pictures of You – The Cure
  • The Good Life – Kanye West
  • This I Promise You – N’Sync
  • All I Want Is You – U2
  • Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
  • Love Me Tender – Elton Presley
  • These Words – Natasha Bedingfield
  • What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  • Silver & Gold – Neil Young
  • The Rose – Bette Midler
  • Stand By Me – Ben E King


Finally, we have your ceremony songs for the recessional. This is when the ceremony is coming to a close, you’ve just shared your first kiss, you’ve been announced as newlyweds, and you’re headed back up the aisle beaming from ear to ear. Don’t be afraid to have some fun and play something really joyous that your guests can dance on out to.

Photo by Tomasz Wagner
  • Everything Is Awesome – Tegan & Sara
  • Thinking Bout You – Frank Ocean
  • Everything – Michael Buble
  • Safe and Sound – Capital Cities
  • Dancing Queen – ABBA
  • Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
  • You and I – Ingrid Michaelson
  • Just the Two of Us – Bill Withers
  • This Magic Moment – The Drifters
  • The Best is Yet to Come – Frank Sinatra
  • Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine
  • Us – Regina Spektor
  • Happy – Pharrell Williams
  • Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
  • Amazed – Lonestar
  • Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland
  • You Send Me – Aretha Franklin
  • Head Over Boots – Jon Pardi
  • No One – Alicia Keys
  • Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
  • Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille
  • Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
  • Happy Together – The Turtles

Now that you’ve got your ceremony songs figured out, don’t forget to book your wedding officiant for the ceremony! 


written by Riana Ang-Canning
feature image by Kaoverii Silva

As couples are choosing to get married later in life or entering into second marriages, many are coming to the altar with kiddos in tow. And we think that’s amazing! It only makes everything more joyous and more meaningful when you get to involve your kids in your weddings.

Yes, your wedding is about you and your spouse joining your lives together. But it’s also about bringing your families together, and sometimes that includes your little ones. You’re not just becoming a married couple; you’re becoming a new official family!

So what’s the best way to include your kids in your wedding and honour their role in this new family? There are lots of great ways 12 in fact. Check out some of the best options below for involving your children in your wedding day!

Involve your kids in your wedding from the beginning

Before you even get to the wedding day, you can bring your kids on board. After all, the decision to get married is one that affects them too, so it makes sense that they might want to be involved. If you’re creating a new family where you and/or your spouse-to-be will be bringing kids into the picture, it’s important to recognize their lives will be changing. Let your children know about your intention to get married and explain what that means for them. Give them a chance to have a reaction, ask questions and think things over.

Once your children have had some time to adjust and ask any questions, hopefully they are excited about their new step-parent and new family. If they’re really excited, you could even involve them in the proposal.

Photo by Erica Miller Photography

Bring your children into the wedding planning

There are lots of ways to involve your kids in your wedding before the big day. They probably don’t want to be there when you meet with bartenders or pick up your marriage licence, but there are lots of fun parts of wedding planning that your kids may want to get involved in. Here are a few ideas:

  • Invite them to the cake tasting. Who doesn’t love eating cake?
  • Ask them to make a playlist of songs for the DJ.
  • Include them in a dress fitting or shopping trip.
  • Involve them in any DIY craft projects you are doing for the wedding.
  • Bring in their favourites! Get your kid’s opinion on a favourite colour, favourite food or favourite flower that you can then incorporate into the wedding.

Invite your kids to join your wedding party

A great way to make your children feel important on the wedding day is to give them an official role in the wedding party. And you don’t just have to limit it to flower girls and ring bearers, though these roles do work well for younger kids.

You can ask your children to be bridesmaids or groomsmen, junior bridesmaids or groomsmen, maids of honour or best men, attendants, ushers, etc. You can even invent new titles like Best Lady, Best Dude or Best Kid.

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Do a family vow

One of our favourite ways to incorporate kids in your wedding is to use a family vow. Traditionally, vows are just said between the couple. But with family vows, you have the parents make vows to their children, the children make vows to their parents and you can even have the children make vows to each other. It’s a very sweet way to include your entire family in the commitment you’re making on your wedding day.

For an example of some family vows, check out our vows blog post.

Assign ceremony jobs to your children

The ceremony is, obviously, our favourite part of the wedding. It’s the part when you actually become a married couple. And if you’re involving children, the ceremony can take on a whole new meaning. There are many jobs you can give your little ones so that they feel more included in the ceremony and can recognize the importance of it.

Children can do a reading, recite a poem or sing a song/play an instrument. They can hold the wedding rings. They can escort you or your partner down the aisle. And they can even be the witnesses and sign your marriage licence (as long as they are old enough to recall the event).

Other jobs your kid could do include showing people to their seats (ushering), handing out programs, directing guests to the venue and anything else that makes them feel important and part of the big day.

Photo by Jelger and Tanja Photographers

Add a unity tradition to your wedding ceremony

Another popular addition to the wedding ceremony is a unity tradition. This could be the newlyweds lighting a candle together or pouring different coloured sand into a vase to signify their new union. You could easily add your children to this by inviting them to join in on the unity ceremony.

Check out this post for some great unity traditions and other creative elements you can add to your ceremony.

Put your kids in writing

A great way to ensure that your children are a focal part of your wedding is to include them in all of the writing. That way, all of your guests know that this union is about more than just the two of you. It’s about an entire family joining together.

Here are some places where your children can be added in print:

  • Invitations: You can include your kids in the description of who is joining together or who is hosting the wedding.
  • Wedding website: Give your kids some screen time by including their names, photos and more on your website.
  • Programs: If you’re going to have a program for your ceremony, include your children’s names or maybe a special dedication to/from them inside.
  • Slide show: Any slide show with photos could also include snapshots of your kids.
Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Ask your kids to give a wedding toast

Making a toast or giving a speech at the reception is a great way for older children to get involved on the wedding day. It’s something they can work on ahead of time and a very sweet moment for all. If your kiddos are too young to give their own speech, perhaps they can recite a poem or say a quick word into the microphone. Or, you can give a speech/toast and dedicate it to them!

Gift your children a wedding day present

We all know the wedding day isn’t about receiving gifts, but it is nice to mark the occasion with something special. This can be especially helpful if you have a child who might not understand why mommy and/or daddy is getting all of the attention. You can present your child with a gift on the morning of the wedding. It might be even more special if the gift comes from the new step-parent, if that’s your situation. You could also make the gift more meaningful by tying it to the wedding. For example, you could gift your child with special jewelry that they can put on when you and your spouse are putting on your wedding rings.

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Do a first look with your kids

The first look is when you do a reveal of your wedding day glow up before the ceremony starts. Usually, the first look is between the couple. But who is to say you can’t do a first look with your kids? We think that would be super sweet to have a moment just with you and your kiddos before you head down the aisle. For more info on the first look, check out our first look blog post.

Do a first dance with your kids

We all know the first dance as the moment during the reception when the couple of the hour shares a special dance together. But what about doing a first dance with your kids? This is a great way to include your kids in your wedding and dedicate a special moment to them. You can even let them pick the song! Depending on your situation, it might be nice to do a one-on-one dance or a big family dance with you, your spouse and all of your kids.

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Add some kid-friendly touches to your wedding day

A great way to include your kids in the wedding is to make the wedding kid-friendly. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to invite lots of kids to your wedding. You can incorporate child-like touches elsewhere, such as:

  • Activity kits: Child-friendly activities, like colouring books and stickers, are handed out to keep the kids entertained during the ceremony and reception.
  • Games: You can set up fun games, like Giant Jenga or a scavenger hunt, for the kids (and kids at heart) to play during cocktail hour and/or the reception.
  • Kid-friendly signature drink: Let your kid design a special signature drink that’s fun and alcohol-free.
  • Family dance floor: Encourage all of your guests, young and old, to join you on the dance floor. Be sure to play music from different eras so everyone hears something they recognize.

These days, weddings aren’t only about a young couple starting their life together as a two-some. Sometimes an entire family is coming together with kids, step-parents, half-siblings and more. We say: the more the merrier! By following some of the suggestions above, you can include your kids in your wedding and let them know that they’re important in this marriage and new family.

How do you plan to involve your kids in your wedding? 

Want to involve your kids in your wedding ceremony? Talk to your wedding officiant about how to plan a ceremony that works for your family. Book your officiant today!

Written by Riana Ang-Canning
Feature image by Erica Miller Photography

We’re all about helping couples create ceremonies that are true to who they are and what they feel is important. Your wedding ceremony should represent the two of you. It doesn’t have to be boring or traditional if that’s not you. Have fun with your ceremony! Personalize your ceremony with a few creative additions and really make it your own.

Not sure how to make your ceremony more personalized, unique and fun? We’ve got you! Check out these 23 creative additions to add to your ceremony to make it more you.

Beer Blending

You may have seen sand ceremonies at weddings before where each member of the couple pours different coloured sand into a glass. This is similar, but with beer! If you’re big beer drinkers or into the craft beer scene, this is the creative addition for you. One partner pours light beer and the other partner pours a dark beer into the same glass. And then you both drink – cheers!

Ring Warming

A ring warming is a nice way to involve your guests in your ceremony. During a ring warming, your rings are passed around either before or during your ceremony to your guests. Each guest holds the rings and takes a moment to pray, bless or put some good energy into the rings. Pro tip: if you have a large guest list, start this ring warming before the ceremony starts and put someone (like an eagre aunt) in charge of ensuring the rings make it to you in time. Another pro tip: Use a string to tie the rings together so no guest drops them and consider putting them in a box or bag so you can avoid spreading germs.

Write Your Own Vows

It really doesn’t get more creative than writing your own vows! You can totally write your own vows or mix and match some vows that have already been written. If you need help, talk to your officiant. Your officiant is the expert and would love to help you out with your vows!

write your own wedding vows for a creative wedding ceremony
Photo by Jelger and Tanja

Community Vow

Another great way to include your guests in your ceremony is with a community vow. A community vow is taking the traditional, “Do you take this person to be your husband/wife?” and turning it to your guests. For example, your officiant could ask your guests, “Do you promise to support this couple, encourage their marriage and witness their lives together?” To which all of your guests will call out, “We do!” Talk to your officiant about crafting a community vow that works for you two and your guests.

Include Your Pet

We’ve seen lots of fur babies attend their parents’ weddings. You can have your pup get walked down the aisle or invite your cat to sit in a carrier or on someone’s lap during the ceremony. Just make sure you check with your venue that pets are allowed. And ensure you have a plan for how your pet is getting to the ceremony and how they’ll leave.

get creative with your wedding by including your pet
Photo by Kaoverii

Seating in a Circle

Usually, guests sit on two sides facing the couple at the front. But why not shake that up? Consider seating your guests in a circle all around you. That way, you are literally encircled in the love of your family and friends. Plus, that means lots of people get a front row seat. Pro tip: Make sure circular seating works with your venue and your guest count (fewer guests is usually best).

Flip for the Vows

Traditionally, men will say their vows and answer the officiant’s questions first during the ceremony. But if you’re not wanting to keep with that tradition, why not flip to see who will say their vows first? It’s the most fair option and will give your guests something to chuckle about.

wedding vows
Photo by Charles de Jesus

Live Wedding Painting

Yes, this is a real thing. You can hire an artist to do a live painting of your wedding ceremony at the ceremony. The artist will set up in the back or off to the side and begin their work. By the end of your ceremony, not only will you be married but you’ll have an amazing piece of artwork!

Altar Backdrops

If your creativity is more aesthetic, consider doing something fun with the background of your altar area. During the ceremony, all eyes are going to be on you two and your officiant. So it’s the perfect place to put a flower wall, beautiful archway, hanging roses or anything else that speaks to you two!

altar backdrop, wedding ceremony decor
Photo by Kaoverii Silva

Rice Throwing Alternatives

Back in the day, guests would shower the newlyweds in rice at the end of the ceremony as they exited the venue. But now that we know rice is bad for the birds, we need an alternative. You can use confetti (look into eco-friendly brands that use recycled paper) or bubbles. You can have your guests wave ribbons, hit tambourines or play kazoos as you exit. Pro tip: Speak to your venue to ensure you’re allowed to bring in any of these items.

Personalize Your Bouquet

A sweet way to add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony is by personalizing your bouquet. You can add little photos of loved ones no longer with you to your bouquet so they can be with you on your wedding day. You could also add these little mementos to your boutonniere, pocket square, handkerchief, etc.

bouquet charm to honor a loved one, create additions for your wedding ceremony
Photo by Charles de Jesus

Pre-Ceremony Cocktail Hour

We’ve all heard of the cocktail hour, when guests get to enjoy some drinks and snacks between the ceremony and the reception. But what about a pre-ceremony cocktail hour? It’s a nice way for guests to socialize before the ceremony, to welcome guests to your wedding and to make the ceremony seem less stuffy.

Meaningful Ceremony Music and Readings

An easy creative addition to your ceremony is choosing music that means something to the two of you. There are lots of opportunities for music during your ceremony: the processional, the signing, the recessional and even when guests are waiting for things to begin. Check out our post on ceremony music for some ideas!

On the same token, you can also get very creative with your ceremony readings. You don’t have to do readings from the same poems or books that you hear at every wedding ceremony. You can incorporate readings from TV shows and movies, readings from songs, or just plain off-beat readings.

wedding ceremony music

Special Runner

You can get creative with your runner that goes down the aisle at your ceremony. Instead of a traditional carpet runner, you can use flower petals or other natural decor. You can draw with paint or have arrows. Or you can get calligraphy done on a runner to share your love story or your favourite love quotes.

Creative Processional Ideas

Get creative with your ceremony right from the get go. You can mix up the traditional processional by walking in together, walking in with both parents or any other idea you have. Check out our post on unique wedding processional options for some inspiration!

wedding ceremony recessional
Photo by Pebble and Pine Photo

Planting a Tree

Would you believe that planting a tree is an option for your wedding ceremony? Well, it is! Another variation on a unity ritual is planting a tree. Usually, each member of the couple will lift a shovel with dirt to plant a tree in a bucket. The idea being that the tree will go home with you and represent the marriage that you are nurturing and growing.

End with a Toast

This creative addition plays in nicely with a pre-cocktail ceremony or beer blending ritual. After your ceremony, you invite your guests to toast you and enjoy a glass of bubbly, wine or beer. It’s a nice way to involve your guests, celebrate the fact that you just became officially married, and give everyone something nice to drink!

wedding ceremony champagne toast for a creative wedding
Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

A New Way to Bring Down the Rings

When it comes to the wedding rings, we typically think of them being brought down the aisle either in the best man’s pocket or on a pillow carried by the ring bearer. But you can get more creative than that. If you’re nature lovers, you can make a bird’s nest and have the rings put in there. If you’re bookworms, you can hollow out a novel and put the rings in there. Lots of ways to get creative with this one!

Personalized Programs

If you are making programs for your ceremony, this is an easy place for a creative addition. You can add in the story of how you two met, photos of your pets, sweet messages from your parents, funny introductions to the different elements of the ceremony, and anything else you want!

wedding ceremony programs
Photo by Brent Calis

Extras for Guests

If you want to go above and beyond for your guests during your ceremony, you can definitely do so. For an outdoor ceremony, you can provide fans (that can double as your programs!) in hot weather or blankets in cool weather. If you have lots of kiddos attending, you can make up a little colouring or activity book to keep them entertained during the ceremony.

Wedding Time Capsule

An awesome creative addition for a ceremony would be creating your own wedding time capsule. At your ceremony, you place letters written to each other and a bottle of wine into a box. You seal up the box, your wedding time capsule, and open it on your first anniversary. You could also throw in other mementos from your wedding day like your invite, program, etc.

Family Vows

A variation on the community vow is a family vow. This is another way to include more than just the couple in the wedding ceremony and is an awesome addition when you’re bringing together two families with children. A family vow is an opportunity for the couple and their children to all say I do and to take each other as parents and children. Check out our blog post for a great example of a family vow with children.

family wedding ceremony
Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

Unity Candle

The unity candle, while creative, is actually an old wedding tradition. Each member of the couple will hold a lit candle and, at the same time, light a third candle together to signify their union. However, you can get a little more creative with this if you want. You can invite your guests to take part by handing out candles and having guests pass the flame from one to another until everyone is holding a lit candle. The final guest would then transfer the flame to the couple to light their unity candle. That way, each guest is involved in the unity ritual and the couple is surrounded by a sea of candlelight. Pro tips: Check if candles are allowed in your venue, ensure everyone is being fire safe, and only try this with a small number of adult guests.

What creative addition are you adding to your wedding ceremony? 

Book Your Wedding Officiant!

written by Riana Ang-Canning
feature image by Charles de Jesus