Deep breath. This is your wedding ceremony. You’ve finally made it. After months (or maybe years) of planning, you’ve arrived at last. The moment is now.
But blink, and you’ll miss it.
Married couples often report that their wedding day felt like a blur. There was so much stress and anxiety leading up to the day that they forgot to save a moment and take it all in.
If there’s any part of your wedding that you’re going to want to remember and be completely present for, it’s the ceremony. This is the most important part of the day (and not just because it’s the part we get to be involved with!). Your ceremony is where you officially become a married couple – it’s the reason for the rest of the wedding celebration.
Our friends at Engaged and Ready explain,
“Your ceremony is where your marriage starts. It’s where it breathes life, it’s where it takes shape. It’s where you and your love bunny declare your love to each other and publicly share your intentions for your future lives together. Where you outline your choices, promises and goals for your future happiness and your future wellbeing and harmony. It’s where you soak up all of the love from your loved ones and celebrate your commitment with them by your side. The end.”
With that being said, here are 10 moments of your wedding ceremony that you definitely don’t want to miss:
Right before the processional
The moment before you’re going to walk down the aisle or enter the ceremony space is full of lots of nervous energy and excitement. Take it all in – this might be the last quiet moment you get all day before you see your guests and your spouse.
Walking down the aisle
If you do walk down the aisle or if your partner does, it’s an exciting moment to see your future spouse for the first time. Even if you did a first look ahead of time, there’s something special about walking towards the love of your life knowing what’s about to happen.
Standing with your spouse to-be
When you finally get to meet each other at the front and hold hands, take a beat. Realize where you are, who is there with you and what’s happening. It’s not very often that you are surrounded by your loved ones and solely focused on your relationship.
Any readings, prayers or other important traditions that you incorporate into your ceremony are there because you wanted them to be there. They may honour your family, your religion or your beliefs and often involve very important people to you.
This is the part where you and your spouse say “I do.” This person really wants to marry you! That’s a pretty big moment you’re going to want to hold onto.
You probably didn’t need us to tell you that it’s important to be present for your vows, but it does bear repeating because the vows are that important. These are the promises you are making to one another for your lifetime together. These are the most important words you will ever exchange. We usually spend our day to day conversations preparing for what we’re going to say instead of listening to the other person. But we encourage you to put aside your own fears of public speaking and really listen to what your soon to-be spouse is saying.
One of the most iconic symbols of marriage is the wedding ring. It’s an exciting moment to take your spouse’s hands and slide on a ring that symbolizes all of your love and promises to one another. These are the hands you’re going to hold for the rest of your life – remember these hands. They may be old and wrinkly one day but they will still be just as full of love for you.
Signing the marriage licence
Officiant Jane admits that this is one of her favourite parts of the wedding ceremony. About the signing, Jane says, “The couple usually feels a huge sense of relief because they are “off stage” and almost done with the most nerve-wracking part of the day. It is a quaint moment between them that I feel honoured to witness.”
Even if you’ve kissed millions of times leading up to the ceremony, there’s something extra special about this smooch.
Announcement of the couple
This is the part where the officiant announces the two of you as a married couple for the very first time. Soak it in. This is the very first time that you are a husband or a wife. That’s exciting! Live in that moment. And don’t forget to take in the faces of all of your favourite people smiling and cheering for you.
It’s one thing to know when you want to be present but it’s another thing to actually be present in those moments. Here are some tips to help you stay mindful, present and in the moment during your ceremony:
- Breathe deeply and intentionally.
- Give yourself permission to feel your feelings. If you want to laugh, cry, or smile, go for it.
- Delegate tasks to your helpful friends, family and wedding vendors.
- Prepare yourself for feeling overwhelmed. Do what you need to do (meditate, yoga, etc.) to ready yourself for the big day.
- Be comfortable in your skin, your wedding day outfit, your shoes, your hairstyle, etc.
- Try not to take on tasks right before the wedding so you have time to destress and relax.
- Don’t forget to eat and drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Make time for love and reflection- love letters, first looks, toasts, etc.
- Ground yourself by focusing on your senses. What do you see? Smell? Taste? Hear? Feel?
- Remember what the day is all about: love! Your only job on your wedding day is to get married.
written by Riana Ang-Canning
What part of your wedding are you most looking forward to experiencing?
How are you preparing to stay mindful and present in the moment?