The ceremony is arguably the most special part of your wedding day—it's the moment you two finally become husband and wife, after all!—which is why you want to ensure things to go as close to your initial plans as possible. That's why it's so important that you understand and are comfortable with the details and flow of your wedding ceremony ahead of your big day. Otherwise, you risk certain things not going as planned and, worse, even disappointing you, your groom, or your families. Here are some things past brides wish they had done differently when it came to the wedding ceremony.
Writing her own vows.
Kelly B. says she's not a strong writer, so when her husband told her he was planning to pen his own vows, she decided she'd rather recite something traditional. "My husband was fine with, and so was I until the wedding day. When I heard the beautiful words he had written about me and spoke in front of all our friends and family, I felt awful having nothing to show in comparison," she explains.
Not having a shorter ceremony.
There may be a lot you want to squeeze into your ceremony, but you should consider the overall timing. "I think our ceremony went on for a total of 52 minutes. My husband and I joke about how we both felt like our back was going to split in half after standing up so straight for so long," says Zara H., who wishes she kept this portion of the wedding quicker. "Our officiant just kept talking and talking and I even noticed our guests yawning! It was awful."
Not having an unplugged ceremony.
"We didn't think we had to ask our wedding guests to turn off their cell phones—we thought that was common courtesy, but we were wrong," says Lisa M., who wishes she and her husband had asked guests to leave their electronics in their pockets during the ceremony. "We learned the hard way that you can't expect people to behave differently simply because it's your wedding. They're going to whip out their camera phone like they do every day, unless you specifically tell them not to. We should have had our officiant request that all phones be put on silent before our ceremony began."
Not asking friends to withhold from posting on social media.
"In the midst of all the wedding-day craziness, I didn't realize that some people might be posting photos of me in my wedding dress as soon as I walked down the aisle. But while you're up there saying your vows, you don't want to think about other people commenting on pictures of you on social media," Lydia K. says. "You should be focusing on the beauty of the day. One social media poster even got in front of our paid photographer to snag a shot! Don't let this happen to you!"
Spending too much on flowers.
"I spent more than I care to admit on having my florist decorate the entire ceremony, from the chuppah to the walking path," says Alison C., who wishes she had cut back on her floral budget to make room for other things she wanted later. "It seemed like such a big deal when I imagined the scene set, but not only did she not follow my vision at all, she didn't use them during the reception. It would have been so simple to have her reuse the same decorations, but she charged us for all new ones. It was a waste."
That her vows were too long.
"Everyone said they loved them and that it changed their way of thinking for love and relationships, but I still feel I talked too long and hate re-watching the videos," Melissa C. says of her vows. While she's happy she penned her own ceremony exchange, she wishes she had kept it brief.