Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crafting our Self-Uniting Ceremony

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but Dude and I have decided to take advantage of a little-known but totally awesome marriage license available in Pennsylvania called a self-uniting marriage license. 

I won’t get into the history of it, but basically, it’s an old Quaker tradition that only requires the bride and groom to say “I take you as my husband/wife” in front of two witnesses for the marriage to be legal.

We decided to go this route because we’re not religious at all, and felt it might be hypocritical for us to join a church and say some religious-based vows.  We also wanted the freedom to create our own ceremony and not have it performed by a random stranger we picked based off their reviews on WeddingWire.

The awesome thing about a self-uniting marriage license is that our wedding ceremony is basically a blank slate.  We can make it as funny or as sentimental as we like.

The worst thing about a self-uniting marriage license is that our wedding ceremony is a blank freaking slate!!  It is so hard to even know where to begin when you have no idea if your ceremony should have readings, if it should be 10 minutes or 30…

But thankfully, Dude and I are awesome Googlers though and we found a ton of resources all over the place.  We took inspiration (and sometimes we blatantly copied and pasted with no intention of editing) from the self-uniting ceremonies of Mrs. Wizard on WeddingBee, and Robin and Collin on Hitchdied.  And ceremony structure and readings from Beau & Lyn’s wedding on anotherdamnwedding, Mrs. Cherry Pie on WeddingBee and Candyman and Louise’s wedding on thirtysomethingbride.   

And we came up with this outline. 

Wedding Ceremony Outline

Part 1:  Welcome/About Self-Uniting Marriages

Part 2:  About Marriage

Part 3:  Remembrance

Part 4:  Pre-Vows

Part 5:  Vows

Part 6:  About Rings

Part 7:  Ring Exchange

Part 8:  Close

Part 9:  Pronouncement/Kiss the Bride

Part 10:  Introduction as Husband & Wife

Are we missing anything? 

We’ve come up with a script that we both like, but sorry, I’m not gonna share it with you until I start recapping the wedding.  But I will tell you this – I had MOH BsB proofread it for me and she said she got misty-eyed! 

I think I’m going to make it a personal challenge to make as many people cry at our wedding as possible. 

Now that we’ve got the script, we have the two hardest parts left:  1) Writing our vows and 2) Picking an Officiant.

Oh my GOD why does spell-check hate the word officiant?? I legit had to go to Dictionary.com to make sure I was spelling it right.  I’ll save you from following the link – that’s the correct spelling. 

So anyways, we have a couple people in mind for the officiant, including my sister-in-law, Dude’s brother-in-law, and a mutual friend.  But, honestly, the person we think would be best for the job, and the one who knows us the best, is one of Dude’s best men.  Is it too much to ask for a best man to be the officiant at the ceremony?

As far as vows go, I’ve been jotting down notes for mine for a couple of months, but I just know I’m going to procrastinate until the last minute to put anything on paper.  Note to self:  remind bridesmaids to force me to write my vows before wedding day…

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