20 Ways to Use Love Quotes for Wedding Decor That’s Beautiful and Meaningful

Searching for wedding decor that's both stylish and sentimental? Showcase sentiments in a super stunning way by using love quotes for wedding decor.

Any wedding is filled with an abundance of words: the promises you make, the toasts you share, the vows[1] you take, the lyrics you blast on the dance floor. And planning[2] all that takes a lot of work! It involves hours (and hours) of creating the ceremony with your officiant, scouring the internet for the perfect readings and verses, and searching Spotify[3] for the songs that feel right for the first dance, father-daughter dance[4], and the rest of the night. So why not put all that hard work on display by using love quotes for wedding decor? Sure, your guests will hear the special readings and songs you selected, but what if they could see them too?

Well, they can! As you'll see below, we're all for incorporating sweet love notes, quotes, or really any saying into your wedding decor[5]. Think about your vows scrolled on your cake, a meaningful verse written on the ceremony backdrop, song lyrics up above the bar, and more. And that's not all: We're now seeing brides and grooms add special verses to their fashion as well, with a message incorporated into the dress's design, or inside the groom's lapel. Finally, as perhaps a new take on this wedding decoration quotes trend, we like the idea of personalizing and sharing a specific quote with each guest. (Think: a lyric from your favorite song, an excerpt from a book you both love, et cetera.) To do this, we've seen couples using a letter as an escort card or adding a note at each place setting.

That said, we think you're more than capable of coming up with new, creative ideas[6] to write a message of your own. So, to inspire you, we put together a gallery of 20 photos that illustrate some of our favorite ways to put your love notes—or inside jokes or inspirational quotes—on display. Whether you decide to showcase a sonnet, song lyrics, or an original verse, we can't wait to see how you incorporate the wedding decoration quotes trend on your big day. And, more importantly: We can't wait to see what you have to say!

References

  1. ^ vows (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ planning (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ Spotify (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ father-daughter dance (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ wedding decor (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ new, creative ideas (www.brides.com)

First Look Wedding Photos

While not for the superstitious[1], first look wedding photos have been topping the list of wedding must-haves[2] for many couples over the past few years. It's still entirely up to you whether or not you want to uphold the idea of not seeing your soon-to-be spouse until the ceremony, but—if these sweet snapshots are any indication—a first look is a beautiful way to start off your married life.

The instant a couple first locks eyes on their big day is incredibly romantic—whether or not it's done in private before you say "I do," or as you make your grand entrance[3] into the ceremony. But while they may not be a time-honored custom[4], first look wedding photos have become something of a new tradition amongst modern couples who opt to see one another before the ceremony, resulting in heartwarming, tear-jerking photos.

On the fence about doing a first look? Firstly, seeing your partner before walking down the aisle is a great way to ease any pre-wedding jitters[5]. And if you're concerned about your partner's expression being any less excited when they see you walking down the aisle to exchange vows[6], don't be. Chances are, your love will still get teary-eyed in the moments before they say "I do." And since they've already seen you in your wedding dress[7], they can appreciate the crystallizing realization that you two are about to become the two luckiest people in the world even more so.

Have we swayed you? Well then it's time to get inspired! From a "first touch" where couples hold hands around some form of partition to weep-worthy surprises, there are plenty of ways to personalize a first look.

Get some romantic ideas for your own first look by checking out our 37 favorite shots below.

See more: The Pros and Cons of First Look Wedding Photos[8]

References

  1. ^ not for the superstitious (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ wedding must-haves (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ grand entrance (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ time-honored custom (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ pre-wedding jitters (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ exchange vows (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ wedding dress (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ The Pros and Cons of First Look Wedding Photos (www.brides.com)

24 Tips for How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows | Brides

Wondering how to write wedding vows[1]? It's a tremendous undertaking, as you sit down and attempt to sum up all your love, dreams and promises to your partner in a few short minutes. Overwhelming as it can be, it's well worth it: It's a chance to tell your story, give guests a peek into what makes your relationship tick, and to share meaningful, sweet words with the person you love.

It's also intimate—you're really baring your heart to your fiancé, and you're doing so in front of your family and friends. If you're up for the challenge, we're here to help. We've rounded up 24 tips that will help you write your own wedding vows.

1. Talk about the Scope of Your Vows with Your Partner

One of the hardest parts about exchanging vows is worrying over how people will compare your words to your fiancé's. Were hers longer? Did he get more sentimental? Did she make everyone laugh? Did he make everyone cry[2]?

Instead of considering vow writing a competition, get on the same page about your expectations. You don't have to share what it is you're going to say, but come to an agreement about the following:

  • How long will the vows be?
  • Will you share inside jokes or would you rather keep things more generic?
  • Do you want to incorporate elements of traditional or religious vows into your own?

Consider these starter questions—but don't hesitate to ask your significant other if you're stuck on anything else. Once you two have a game plan in mind, writing will be easier.

2. Find a Quiet Place to Reflect on Your Feelings and Write from the Heart

Don't plan on writing romantic vows while your fiancé is in the other room with the TV blaring or when you have a work deadline on your mind. Find a time when your stress level is low and you can really spend a few quiet minutes thinking about your relationship[3]. To help the ideas start flowing, consider propping pictures of you and your fiancé from throughout the relationship around your writing space as inspiration.

3. Make a List of All Your Thoughts

You don't have to try to put everything into sentences right away. The first step to writing your vows should be creating a list. Jot down all the things you love about your fiancé, what you're looking forward to most in your marriage, and what promises you want to make to your future husband or wife. Set the list aside for a day or two, then go back and highlight your favorite items on the list. Use those as the starting point for your vows.

4. Write Up to Three Drafts

Once you've made your list, done your research, and written your first draft, walk away. Take a few days—even a week—to give you and your vows some space. After you've taken time apart, go back and reread what you wrote. A little separation from your words will do a whole lot of good and allow for you to fix anything with a clear head. If needed, do this one or two more times. But after three times, stop. The bottom line is that you wrote from the heart, and continuously rewriting will drive you crazy! Don't put that pressure on yourself.

5. Don't Wait Until the Last Minute

Plan to have your vows written at least three weeks before your wedding. This will give you time to write without the added pressure of the approaching day and also give you time to practice reciting your vows in front of the mirror. Trust us: You'll be thankful for the rehearsal when those wedding day jitters kick in!

6. Say "I Love You"

This seems like a no-brainer, but Monique Honaman[4], wedding officiant and author of The High Road Has Less Traffic, says she is often shocked at how many couples leave out this little three-word phrase from their vows. "Isn't that why people are getting married?" she asks. "Yes, we assume that's a given that we must love someone if we are willing to stand by them through thick and thin, but it's always nice to hear and emphasize."

7. Tell Your Partner You'll Be There Through Thick and Thin

Almost every vow we've ever heard touches on sticking around through sickness and health, through good times and bad times, and for richer or for poorer. They're sentiments are repeated so often, Honaman says, "We can become immune to what they really mean." So when you express your intent to stay by your spouse's side, it's smart to say what that means to you and how you'll go about it. "The reality is that all marriages have their cycles of peaks and valleys, not always based on huge dramatic changes in life, but just because life gets busy," Honaman says. "It's nice to communicate your intent to get through those valleys together."

8. Acknowledge You'll Need Help and Support of Others

You've gathered your friends and family to celebrate your wedding, but the truth is, you'll need them just as much during your marriage. So, Honaman recommends you "use your vows to acknowledge that you need others to help your marriage be successful," she says. "This may mean acknowledging the role of religion or God in making your marriage work, or the role of family and friends who will help support you when times get tough. I believe it's helpful to know the two of you aren't in this alone."

9. Share the Highs and the Lows

“Many people make the mistake of thinking that vows are only about the highs in your relationship,” says Alexis Dent, founder of vow- and toast-writing company XO Juliet[5]. “But guests (and your S.O.) want to hear vows that are real. If you've been through bumpy spots, spots where you thought you wouldn't make it as a couple, or spots where one or both of you had physical or emotional hardships, you should express that.”

Your guests know that no relationship is perfect, and you and your partner know it, too, because you’ve been there. “Perfect relationships don’t even exist in fairy tales. Look at Cinderella: That relationship was two steps away from not happening!” Dent emphasizes. So while positive vibes are a must-have on your wedding day, skipping the trying parts—you know, the moments that made you realize your partner would be there for you through it all—could create a lack of realism that alienates your guests. “Of course, it shouldn’t be to the point where people are wondering why you’re getting married! But sprinkling the lows among the highs will confirm what everyone wants to hear and feel at a wedding: that love is not simply a feeling but a choice, and that you and your partner are choosing to love one another.”

10. Actually Make Promises

“A common hiccup when people write their own vows is that they only tell cute anecdotes, turning the vows into glorified love letters,” Dent describes. But a vow is so much more than that: It’s a promise, and a serious commitment that you’re making in front of a whole lot of witnesses. That doesn’t mean they have to be heavy, though. “You can vow to not only stick by their side forever, but to also be the one to kill spiders whenever they creep their way into your home,” suggests Dent. And if you really want to express your feelings to your partner, consider writing separate love letters to one another to share before the ceremony.

11. But Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep

Seems obvious, right? But the earth-shattering, mountain-moving, and reality-defying declarations of love belong in a Mary J. Blige song—not in your wedding vows, and certainly not in your expectations for marriage. "Stop promising perfection," says psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author Esther Perel[6]. "That's a de facto lie. Promise humility, humanness, compassion, empathy or at least the effort at those things. People fear realistic means boring and drab, but that's not the case. You don't have to promise each other heaven rather than good (and less good) ole fun on earth."

12. Don't Try to Include Everything

Iit's understandable to try and fit everything you're feeling into your vows — but another pro tip for how to write wedding vows is resisting that to include literally everything. "It's impossible to fit every single emotion and memory into your vows," says JP Reynolds, M.Div., celebrity officiant. (That is, of course, unless you want a ceremony that's hours long!)

13. Acknowledge that You're Perfectly Imperfect

"How would it sound, if at some point in your vows, someone just said, ‘I’m going to f*ck up'?” Perel asks. "That would get people’s attention. And, there is nothing more hopeful than promising your imperfection. It’s the opposite of what people think, but it’s like, 'We are resilient. We’re not beginners. We’ve already gone through some stuff, and this is the affirmation of our strength.'"

When you marry at 30-something, don’t pretend you’re still an insecure 17-year-old. "Self-esteem is the ability to see yourself as a flawed person but still hold yourself in high regard," says Perel. "A very good homeopathic medicine is to be honest and accountable for your shortcomings, and to actually predict all-out mistakes and flops. Invent your imperfections in your vows. It's like, 'I have no doubt that at some point I’m going to drive you crazy, and I hope when you bring it up, I won’t be defensive and try to justify why I should be able to continue what I do. I hope when I mess up, I own it. I won’t just blame you to hide my failures better.'"

14. Feel Free to Mention Super Specific (and Even Slightly Weird) Stuff

We're not saying to air out all your dirty laundry, but we are saying that it's so much more interesting for your friends or family to hear you acknowledge your odd, but lovable, quirks in your wedding vows.

"When you break the narrative, and you begin to tell more personal stories, people listen more," she explains, "because it’s so unusual to do vows that are not just puppy-eyed and starry-eyed, and that actually put the couple in the front of the community and say, 'You guys are our friends. You know us. You know damn well what happens between us.'”

15. Avoid Words Like Always and Never

This kind of language has already set you up for failure.

Perel suggests thinking about it like this: "It's not, 'I'm always going to be great. It's 'I'm going to do my best when I'm usually pretty subpar, because you, the love of my life, make me want to be better.'"

You can, however, promise to strive for constant self-improvement, and acknowledge that it’s not necessarily your spouse's responsibility to fix your mistakes.

16. Go After Laughter

The ability to laugh at yourself will serve you well in marriage and vow writing. "Humor can show a lot of relational self-awareness," says Perel, "and that you take yourselves seriously, but not too seriously. It's an acknowledgement of the fragility, sensibility, and vulnerability, and can help make your vows real."

17. Get Inspired with Books, Songs, Movies, and Poems

If you have a favorite line from a movie or song that expresses your feelings, use it as a starting point. Also, browse through some children's books, like Maurice Sendak and Ruth Krauss's I'll Be You and You'll Be Me and I Like You by Sandol Stoddard. Kids' books often have a way of communicating deep, complex emotions in simple sentences, so they can provide some inspiration.

18. Embrace Sentimentality and Don't Worry About Being Cheesy

Writing your vows isn't the time to worry about being corny or cheesy. "If the words are heartfelt, then they're not cheesy," says Reynolds. "I've never heard vows that made me roll my eyes!"

19. Feel Free to Use Other Vows as a Template

It can be helpful to start out with a set of standard vows and then personalize them. If you're looking for a good starting place, 15 Traditional Wedding Vows to Inspire Your Own[7] offers vows from different cultures and faiths around the world. They can be a helpful guide for anyone who is struggling to write their own wedding vows.

20. Practice Reading Out Loud

You’ve got it all down, but the only way to make sure everything sounds perfect is to hear how it sounds. “Reading your vows out loud will help you catch spots where the grammar might be iffy or where you’re missing a word, as well as figure out if the structure is cohesive,” Dent explains. “It might sound great in your head, but hearing your voice saying the words will highlight anything that might be off. There's a reason we learn in grade school that, if we read our writing aloud, we can better edit it properly and ensure that it will make sense.” So while your S.O. is at work or the gym, read your vows out loud…and then do it again.

21. Indicate Pauses and Intonation

Unlike writing a letter, vows are a speech and require moments to pause, breath, or emphasize words and phrases differently. “Not every line will be the same. In one line you might be talking about a funny moment when your partner laughed so hard they peed their pants, and in the next you might be referring to a struggle the two of you overcame to end up at the altar—which require very different emphasis and tones,” says Dent. Other moments also deserve a pause, allowing your guests to process the emotions you’re conveying. Dent continues, “You’ll want to allow them time to laugh or tear up without interrupting your flow. You don't want to rush through your vows, and your guests don't want you to either. For the best comprehension and emotional reactions, take it slow and focus on breaks, pauses, and intonation.”

22. Ask a Trusted Friend to Listen and Edit

“Many couples want to keep their vows secret before their wedding day, but that’s not always a good idea—particularly if you’re uneasy in the writing and public speaking department,” says Dent. “Once you’ve rehearsed out loud and made notes about where to take a breath, it’s time to practice with an audience.” You might know exactly what you’re trying to say, but that doesn’t mean your guests (or your partner!) will hear the same thing or really get it. A close friend who is a great sounding board (and a pro at keeping secrets) is an important ally to have. “They can give you constructive criticism and help you improve your vows to make sure you really get that meaning across.”

23. Make a Fresh Copy of the Vows for Your Ceremony

Whether you typed your vows up or wrote them on a napkin at a bar, you might think having them down on paper is enough, but think how they’ll look when they come out of the best man’s jacket pocket at the ceremony. “Yes, the focus will be on the words themselves, but the aesthetics matter, too,” says Dent. “Do you really want to watch your wedding video and see yourself holding a crumpled and stained piece of paper?” Instead, copy your vows neatly into a notebook or onto a clean piece of paper (that’s neatly folded!) to use during the ceremony. “Plus, this way you’ll be able to frame them and hang them in your home when your wedding is done!”

24. Keep the Vows a Secret From Your Partner Until the Ceremony

"Your vows are a gift to one another, so don't share them ahead of time," Reynolds explains. "It really doesn't matter if one person's vows are longer than the other's. Let them be your words, and don't worry about whether or not they're perfect."


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Get Inspired with these Real Vows

Looking for a little more inspiration? Even after all those tips on how to write wedding vows, you probably want some actual examples. These couples penned their own vows, and look how beautiful and meaningful they turned out!

Lisa and Chris

Lisa Kurtz and Chris Harihar tied the knot in a classic ceremony at Maritime Parc in Jersey City, New Jersey, which overlooks downtown Manhattan. Having Manhattan in sight was special to them, as they live, work and thrive in New York City. A string quartet played during the ceremony, and their recessional music[8] was an unexpected twist: "Headlines," by Drake.

Lisa: "Chris, you are my best friend and the love of my life. Your kind heart, generous nature and wonderful sense of humor make it incredibly easy to love you. You are caring, thoughtful and one of the most intelligent people I have ever had the fortune of meeting — let alone marry and call my partner. I love you more than you will ever know. I promise to be loving, considerate, and patient when you’re running late at the office. When you’re sad, I will comfort you, and when you’re happy I will share in your joy. I will strive to be the very best wife I can be and continue to create a beautiful and happy home to grow our family for all the days of my life."

Chris: "Lisa, you are the purpose in my life and my beautiful best friend. Every day, I look at you and see the perfect partner — stunning and smart, strong but delicate, loyal and loving. I am incredibly proud and thankful to hold your hand for the rest of my life. I love you, utterly and eternally. Today, in front of our friends and family, I promise to be the very best husband I can be, there for you without ask, and protecting you without hesitation. With you, I am excited to build a beautiful home together, where we can watch our chubby, mocha latte children, grow into the ultra-cool nerds that they are destined to be. And though not every day will be a good day, through the hard times like wedding planning, and the good times at Greek restaurants, every moment we share will be a blessing because we are together. Know that I love you now and forever, for all the days of my life."

Marissa and Gabriel

After surviving Hurricane Irma in 2017 together, wedding planning didn't phase Marissa Artman and Gabriel Rocheleau. Two years into their relationship, they got married at Walker's Landing in Fernandina Beach, Florida, in a military-themed ceremony inspired by Rocheleau's military service.

Marissa: "Gabriel, You came into my life at exactly the right time: when I wasn't ready, and yet, when I need your love the most. In the past two years, we've experienced great triumphs and literal disasters together. These trials have pushed the boundaries of what we thought we could endure, and in the end, I feel more strongly connected with you in a resolve to get up and try again. As you always say, adapt and overcome. I love you dearly for all that you are. I respect you for your passion and admire you for your quick thinking. I am proud of you for so intensely protecting those you love and adore you for your tender nature. I am amazed by your inquisitive mind and tickled by your sense of humor. I may not want to admit it, but I even love your awful puns. You have stuck by me through the best and worst, and loved all that I am. You help me to be the finest version of me that I can. Your love for Petri [our dog] might even rival mine. You are kind, encouraging, challenging, vexing, and wonderful. Thank you. As your wife, I promise to love you with the same determination and confidence you've given me. I vow to support you through more ups and downs. I swear to respect you and remind you of your accomplishments and aspirations. I pledge to commit myself to our family and the good I know will grow from it. I promise this all to you until I am no more."

Gabriel: "Marissa, I love you with all my heart. I have been thankful for these past two years that you were not the best driver on that fateful day. Stopping in the middle of a busy 90/04 to see if everyone was okay, there I met the woman who is standing before me today. When we started dating, I gained a family, a woman who loves me, and an adorable whippet both whom I adore with all my heart. We have survived trials and tribulations, from Hurricane Irma to differing political views, we have pulled through. We are survivors and with our perseverance and dedication, there is nothing we can't accomplish or overcome. I promise to take care of you even when you get food poisoning on New Year's Eve. I promise I will unclog the shower even though only one of us has long hair. Marissa, I love you unconditionally and always will."

Devin Lee and Jeremy

College sweethearts Devin Lee Hawthorne and Jeremy Duke met at Middle Tennessee State University in 2012. Years later, when Jeremy proposed to Devin at a park in Pittsburgh and she said happily said yes. They married each other in a beautiful ceremony at Westbury House on the Square in Columbia, Tenn.

Jeremy: "Devin Lee it is impossible for me to put into words the passionate and infinite embrace you have on my heart. You make me a full person. Your love, support, and warm affection embolden my faith and my hopes. Committing the rest of my life to you is actually pretty easy, because without you I am nothing. As we begin our life together in front of those whom we are closest, I make the following vows I vow to wake up every morning and thank God that he gave me you, my perfect woman I vow to be your steady rock in turbulent times, there to calm the chaos I vow to put your needs before my own, I vow to sell my tacky furniture. I vow to watch reruns of Gilmore Girls and Friends and eat a vegetarian meal every once in a while, Like once a year... I vow to be the man that you inspire me to be and the man that you deserve. Finally, I vow to spend every day I have left on this earth showering you with a zealous love and a faithful commitment. A love that many waters cannot quench, a love that floods cannot drown."

Devin Lee: "Jeremy, I can't say we fell in love at first site or that I wasn't hesitant to go on a date with a co-worker, but I can say with 100% certainty that today I am marring my soul mate. A few years back I heard a sermon about love. I learned that even thought I felt ready for the responsibilities of a lasting love that I had to wait (which I hate to do). I had to wait for the person God created for me to be ready as well. During our first few months I learned about your adventures and how you came back home because you were ready. From that moment on I knew my wait was over! Over the last two years you've shown me what a great love looks like and every morning I wake up and fall more in love with you. I vow to put us first and make sure we are constantly working to grow together. I vow to love you and honor our commitment when we are near and far from each other. I vow to remember Soup is a side — not a meal. I vow to support and encourage your dreams and help you grow. I vow to never get tired of hearing your pooh bear laugh and to be the first person to laugh at your skits. I vow to stand by you in life's wonderful moments and when life is difficult. Also, for making me wait so long - I vow to make you wait on me getting ready for the best of your life. Jeremy, You're the mmm to my bop, the Luke to my Lorelei, my lobster and I will always give you my final rose. You're the person I waited for and you were worth the wait. Today I become your wife, your other half and I can't wait for all the blessing we will wait for together."

Brooke and Steven

For their Temecula, Calif., nuptials, Brooke Peterson, a benefits specialist, and Steven Triplett, who is in retail management, penned their feelings in a spontaneous manner. The result: vows that were unstructured, yet completely heartfelt.

Brooke: "I love that you open doors for little old ladies. I love that you would spend your last five dollars just to see somebody else happy. I love that you have 'blonde moments' — like thinking Jamaica is part of Hawaii. But more than that, I love that you can laugh at them afterwards. I love that you're strong and honorable, yet warm and compassionate, loving and accepting of all people. But most of all, I love that you and I both love each other so much. I promise to stand by you, and to be the president of your fan club. I promise to never let anything come between us, to fight for us, to love you through good times and challenging times, and to always maintain a sense of humor and adventure as we take our next steps together into the unknown and beautiful future."

Steven: "You are beautiful, kind, gentle, loving, caring — and did I mention that you're funny? So funny that sometimes only YOU laugh at your jokes. When I really think about it, spending forever with you just doesn't seem like it's going to be long enough."

Kristen and Dennis

Kristin Van Handel, a textile designer, and Dennis Russo, a theatre professor, both structured their vows as promises to each other—but they didn't plan it that way; they actually wrote their vows separately. The couple love how they just happened to express their feelings for each other in the same way.

Dennis: "As the cliché says, you showed up when I was least expecting you. I intend to love you, hold you, and grow very, very old with you. These are my promises: I promise to always be there when you have troubles, and to know that sometimes simply letting you talk about your problems is enough. I promise to be the most dependable person in your life. I promise you that laughter will always be commonplace in our house. I promise to do my best to age gracefully in body and soul, and not to become a cranky old man. I promise, from this day forward, to live my life as a member of a band, and not a solo artist. I promise to lead and follow accordingly, and to keep our relationship in good balance. To quote a favorite writer, 'You fill up all those empty spaces.' For that I am grateful, and every day you will see that appreciation."

Kristin: "I am truly blessed to be a part of your life, which as of today becomes our life together. I promise to encourage your dreams, because that is what makes you so unique. I promise to celebrate the joy of every day with you. I promise to stand by your side through life's most joyous moments and challenging ones. I promise to be kind, patient and forgiving. I promise to always honor your passion for hockey. I promise to always remember that laughter is life's sweetest creation, and I will never stop laughing with you. But most of all, I promise to be your true companion always. For one lifetime with you could never be enough."

See More:

References

  1. ^ wedding vows (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ make everyone cry (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ your relationship (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ Monique Honaman (highroadlesstraffic.com)
  5. ^ XO Juliet (xojuliet.com)
  6. ^ Esther Perel (www.estherperel.com)
  7. ^ 15 Traditional Wedding Vows to Inspire Your Own (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ recessional music (www.brides.com)

TK of Your Wedding Ceremony Etiquette Questions Answered

During the procession, in what order does the wedding party, including the children, walk down the aisle?

This is a great question. While you can certainly change it up—we love a strong groom’s entrance—there is a traditional order[1]. The bride’s attendants enter first, either escorted by someone from the groom’s attendants or alone. The maid or matron of honor would enter last, with the best man if both roles are filled. Then come the ring bearer and flower girl, either single file or together. At the altar they can stand with the wedding party if they have the attention span; otherwise, have them sit with their parents near the front. Then, of course, comes the bride. For same-sex couples, one, both, or neither partner may walk down the aisle, so it depends on what the pair decides is best. If they have a wedding party, the group will follow a similar order as above.

For a guide on the processional order, watch this handy video[2]!

References

  1. ^ traditional order (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ watch this handy video (video.brides.com)

Shop the Wedding from NBC’s “Making It” Finale on Etsy

Gather round, Parks and Recreation[1] fans! Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson teamed up for another perfectly sentimental televised wedding[2]—this time as their real-life counterparts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

In last night's season finale of their NBC crafting competition show Making It, the duo—who serve as both hosts and producers—tasked the three remaining Makers with creating a wedding backdrop and an heirloom-quality gift for a bride and groom. The network then teamed up with Etsy to furnish a full-out ceremony and reception so the happy couple could really get married during this final episode, aptly titled, "Happily Ever Crafter." (Psst! You can watch it here[3] in its entirety.) Offerman even got to officiate!

“While I am known as a woodworker, much of the magic we experienced on Making It was beyond my expertise," Offerman tells Brides. "Every day, I was inspired by the creativity of the makers and would often think to myself, 'Wow, I think I can do that,' although I have no experience with knitting or glass blowing, and I hope viewers at home feel that same inspiration.”

If you saw David and Talisa's stunningly special wedding on the show last night, we're betting you felt that inspiration in your bones. Making It judge and Etsy's resident trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson doesn't remember exactly how the idea to do a wedding as the series finale came up. "It was just like, 'What should we do? We should do something big. What if we did a live wedding?' " she says. "For me, I am obsessed with weddings. It's by far my favorite category to work on, so I started doing cartwheels saying, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Let's do this!" Then NBC brought in an event management team to help with the production, and it was my role—with my Etsy family—to source the products and find things to really match the couples."

As huge fans of love[4], crafts[5], and—of course—Poehler and Offerman over here at Brides, we called up Johnson and bride Talisa to chat all about the experience — including what it was like to work with said cherished celebs.

"I remember walking down the aisle, hysterically crying what I'm sure was an ugly cry because I was so nervous, and seeing Nick at the altar," Talisa says. "He comes up and hugs David and me and just tells us, 'Everything is going to be okay.' Right after that, all of my nerves went out the window."

Ron Swanson to the rescue yet again! Below, read through Talisa and Johnson's wedding planning insights, peep breathtaking photos from the actual day, and shop Etsy for some of the gorgeous items you saw featured in last night's episode.

References

  1. ^ Parks and Recreation (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ perfectly sentimental televised wedding (www.youtube.com)
  3. ^ here (www.nbc.com)
  4. ^ love (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ crafts (www.brides.com)

Why I Won’t Be Getting Walked Down the Aisle

When my fiancé proposed with a sword (yes a sword), it was very clear that my wedding was going to be, let's see...a little bit different.

Long story short? I’m not getting walked down the aisle.

If we take it back a few centuries, it’s clear that walking the bride down the aisle is about giving her away[1]. It’s about transferring “ownership” from her parents to her husband. Not only do I find this transfer of possession problematic, but I feel that for all intents and purposes, I left my parents' care long ago. In fact, I would argue that I left it over 10 years ago when I went off to college. That’s not to say that I don’t rely on them at all—I obviously do—but when it comes down to it, I feel that my wedding should focus on my partner and I coming together as a unit—which (as much as I love them) has very little to do with my parents.

Traditions[2] can go one of three ways. You can take them for what they are (history and all that), you can adapt them and interpret them in your own way, or you can reject them entirely. Assuming all individuals involved are consenting with equal power (not always the case throughout history!), it all comes down to personal preference, what’s important to you, your beliefs and, of course, your family.

Sigh...Family.

First of all, I’m Jewish, and the tradition I grew up with is for both parents to walk their daughter down the aisle[3]. The plus side here is that both parents are showcased as equally important (down with the patriarchy!). The downside, however, is that I’ve had to stomp on two hearts on my path to independence.

Let me emphasize that I have very loving parents who have supported me for many years, so they are very upset and hurt by my decision to not partake in this aspect of the traditional ritual. On the one hand, I wish more than anything that they would be proud of my choice and appreciate the independence[4] they helped cultivate. I also wonder whether these 15 seconds of my life are worth the distress I’m causing. Then, I remind myself that small moments can produce deep meaning and lasting memories, and I remember that I want to create a memory that’s right for me.

That doesn’t mean that I can’t compromise. Despite my resolution to walk alone, my parents and I do acknowledge that this ceremony is, to some degree, about two families merging. To respect that, we’ve invited our families to walk down the aisle before us. They will be accomplices to, not facilitators of, the next stage of my life.

I’m so excited to walk down the aisle by partner’s side (we're meeting in the middle), to combine our two last names into one[5] (yes, we’re doing that too!), and to make a commitment. I know that, for me, reworking these rituals and avoiding tradition for tradition’s sake allows me to be my most authentic self. That is more important than living up to parents’ expectations or dealing with difficult conversations.

See more: 7 Feminist Alternatives to Outdated (and Patriarchal) Wedding Traditions[6]

In the end, a marriage is about you and your partner (or partners![7]). So many of us get caught up in trying to please those around us, that we forget that the wedding itself is about that, too. Those who love you will respect your decisions, even if they don’t agree with them. So listen to your gut, take a second to visualize the ritual you are creating.


15 Gorgeous Vow Books To Keep Your Love Alive For Eternity

When you’re excitedly—and nervously![1]—standing at the altar, even the most practiced wedding vows[2] will probably be a blur after you say ‘I do.’ As you move on to your reception and honeymoon, don’t let the most intimate part of your wedding day fade away—instead, record your precious words in a vow book.

Photos and videos[3] are a great way to capture all of the special and emotional moments on your wedding day, but vow books are a lovely wedding keepsake to remember why you got married in the first place. Whether your vows flow from pen to paper effortlessly or you are struggling to condense all of your feelings into a few sentences the morning of, jotting them down in a vow book will help them live on forever. You can use the book for notes, first drafts, and ultimately, the harmonious blend of words you say on the actual day.

After the wedding, and during the tough days that come with marriage[4], you can look back on the book as a reminder of the love you and your partner share—with it, you can remember all things you agreed to from promising not to snore to sticking together in sickness and in health.

From pocket-sized options you can actually take to the altar to larger booklets you can easily style on your coffee table[5] in your newlywed home, these books come in a range of designs to fit any wedding and couple's style. Personalizations, song lyrics and engravings make these keepsakes even more special.

Whether you go traditional, add in some heart melting quotes[6], or throw in a few jokes[7], you will want to remember your wedding vows. Here are 15 beautiful vow books to store the words you will never forget.

See more: Is It OK to Write Your Fiancé’s Vows for Them?[8]

References

  1. ^ and nervously! (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ wedding vows (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ Photos and videos (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ tough days that come with marriage (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ coffee table (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ heart melting quotes (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ throw in a few jokes (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ Is It OK to Write Your Fiancé’s Vows for Them? (www.brides.com)

How to Host Your Wedding At Your Home

There are so many benefits to hosting a wedding in the privacy of your own home—sense of familiarity, undeniable charm and unique sentiment make for a day that’s original and noteworthy. Inviting your loved ones into a space that holds some of your most cherished memories—as a child, an adult, or both!—nothing says love like a wedding fit with a “home sweet home” welcome mat. Since residences are rarely suited for events and large gatherings, private homes need considerable attention when it comes to finalizing logistics like lighting, parking, and additional rentals.

Depending on the size of your home—and the number on your guest list—it’s important to consider factors like catering, landscape design, ceremony setup, and decor. For example, for larger homes built with a significant number of hosting rooms, the need for an outdoor tent might not be as necessary, whereas for, a more intimate setting, the use of a backyard tent might prove useful for added space. Finding the balance between wanting to complement the unique features of your humble abode and adapting the space to your unique wedding aesthetic is something that some of the industry’s best planners, photographers, florists, and caterers have mastered. Lending their best advice for throwing a successful (and seamless) private home wedding, we reached out to these masters of all-things tying the knot and gained some insight for throwing our own private home bash. Here are 17 tips for hosting your wedding at your home.


4 Types of Wedding Venues That Will Entertain Your Guests (So You Don’t Have To)

Planning a wedding is enough work without having to take a few steps back and think about entertaining all your guests[1] even during wedding-weekend downtime. Out-of-town guests might arrive a few days before your big day and be on the hunt for things to do around town[2]. You might even have friends and family that make a vacation out of your wedding and look to you as their camp counselor and itinerary planner for the weekend.

To avoid having to put together scheduled activities for your guests or feel like you’re in charge of making sure they have fun all weekend long, here are four types of wedding venues to pick from that will leave you worry-free about whether or not your guests are having a good time.

An Activity Packed Resort

If you’re looking to go with more of a traditional wedding venue, select a property that not only has a beautiful ballroom for you to get married in, but has lots of activities around the resort that your guests can do again and again to relax, have fun, and feel like they are on vacation during your wedding weekend.

Lindsey Kurtz, director of catering sales at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, says that at her property, they have a team of professionals on-site to make sure that every guest has a fantastic experience, that way it’s not just the couple’s job to entertain.

Kurtz says that the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate offers a golf resort and spa, a wave pool, a lazy river, cabanas, and is driving distance to Disney World[3], Sea World, and Universal.

A Theme Park

While at first it might seem like a very out-of-the-box wedding venue, a theme park[4] or a local attraction can make for an exciting place to have your wedding, especially if guests are allowed access to the property before the wedding or after for no additional charge.

Stevi Bramich, from Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, says that your guests have access to many of the aquarium’s exhibits, like the California sea lines, stingrays and jellies, and the opportunity to watch beluga whales swim during cocktail hour.

The Great Outdoors

One of the simplest ways to make sure your guests have a to-do list that will keep them occupied throughout your wedding weekend is to pick a place rooted in the great outdoors[5], where they can go for a bike ride, take a hike, or swim in an ocean or lake.

Brooke Spanjian, of the Inn at Weathersfield[6], says that guests can take a covered bridge tour, go on a brewery tour, berry pick at a local farm, kayak or snowmobile during the winter, all before or after the wedding happens.

See more: 8 Destination-Wedding Resorts With Activities Your Guests Will Love[7]

An Historic Castle

Another alternative for a venue that will make you feel like part of the royal family and will keep your guests occupied exploring for days, is to get married at a castle[8].

Sydney Masters, from Kilkea Castle, a 12th century fortress and estate, says that guests can spend their downtime before the wedding takes place, going golfing, fishing, doing archery, going horseback riding, skeet shooting, or visiting a history Irish brewery.

References

  1. ^ entertaining all your guests (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ things to do around town (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ Disney World (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ a theme park (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ pick a place rooted in the great outdoors (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ Inn at Weathersfield (weathersfieldinn.com)
  7. ^ 8 Destination-Wedding Resorts With Activities Your Guests Will Love (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ get married at a castle (www.brides.com)

19 Outdoor Weddings With Breathtaking Views

When finalizing a location for your outdoor ceremony or reception, the importance of your surroundings can make or break everything from your wedding photos to your overall design aesthetic. With you and your new spouse the obvious focal point on your big day, it’s nice to offer your guests something just as enjoyable to look at during the day’s various celebrations. Whether exchanging vows in front of a beautiful mountain peak or opting for a sandy walk down the aisle on a beach retreat, there is an unlimited number of backdrops that guarantee a swoon-worthy panorama.

When talking to the experts about planning a wedding in front of some of the most breathtaking views in the world, we were shocked to find that there are multiple factors to consider so that you (and your chosen wedding style!) aren’t competing with the natural beauty of your surroundings. Using a complementary color scheme with hues found within your landscape, rather than competing with them, is an element that should never be overlooked. Maximizing your space to fit both your guest list and your backdrop is another factor that can transform the feel of your day.

To guarantee a day-of affair that’s worthy of the most captivating sights, we sat down with the wedding industry’s top planners, photographers, and overall experts to formulate the essentials for planning an outdoor wedding that can keep up with the most visionary of couples. Here are 19 tips and pics for stunning outdoor weddings that will get the creative juices flowing!