echo $sectionTitle ?>by Robbin Montero
Make your program a distinctive and special keepsake for you and your guests.
The wedding day is fast approaching, but many details remain to be scheduled and inserted into your celebration plans. The following three important aspects of your celebration are worthy of considerable thought, planning and scheduling.
It would be a great party, but without a license, it won’t be a wedding. Contact or visit the country clerk’s office well in advance of your wedding date in order to check the current laws in your state. Some states require proof of citizenship, though in California one needs only to show I.D. Some states require proof of dissolution of marriage in cases where one or both of the parties have divorced. Check with the county clerk’s office if you are under age eighteen to see what the requirements are regarding parental consent and signatures.
Some states require a blood test and others have waiting periods that range from seven to thirty days. Also, after receiving your license, you must be married within a specific period of time. In California, there is no waiting period and no blood test is required, but you must marry within 90 days after obtaining your license. Obtaining your marriage license is a task to place on the calendar within the above dates.
The wedding officiant can be of great help to you by outlining various standard vows or making suggestions for you to write your own. Some churches have brief, written formats to follow. A special poem, line from a song, scripture, or any text meaningful to the couple can be incorporated into the vows.
Religious indoor ceremonies often include a unity candle in which the mothers of the bride and groom light candles which they pass to the couple. The couple then uses the tapers to simultaneously light one large pillar to signify their bonding.
A wine ritual, best for outdoor weddings, is similar to the unity candle concept. Vows can also include children from previous relationships. It is a nice, inclusive touch when blending families to bring the children into the ceremony, perhaps giving them their own little rings or necklaces to wear.
Wedding programs need not be elaborate. They can be done on computers or professionally printed. Programs always begin listing the bride and groom’s names, the date and location of the ceremony, and the time. The most common format is to list members of the bridal party in the order they walk down the aisle. Titles of the musical pieces and names of musicians during the processional are also included. Special prayers or readings can be listed or printed in the program, as well.
Choose ink and paper colors for your program that coordinate with your overall color theme. Or, the program can have a ribbon “bookmark” that carries your wedding colors. Some couples use the same design on their programs as the design for their wedding invitations. A scanned photograph of the wedding couple on the cover is a nice touch.
It may take a bit more work, but a brief, personally written introduction of the bridal party members, how you met them and your relationship to each individual is often appreciated. A thank you to the parents is also appropriate in the program. The back of the program is sometimes used to print a remembrance of parents, grandparents or other special people who have passed on but who enter the bridal couple’s thoughts on this special day.
Make your program a distinctive and special keepsake for you and your guests. Like your ceremony, vows and the other aspects of your celebration, it recognizes those who have helped shape your day.
“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding. Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and ImportantOccasions.com. Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” www.a-dreamwedding.com
©2009 Robbin Montero
This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.