We can help you to create ceremony moments you will love in the experience, in the photos, and in your memories for years to come. A great deal of time and money goes into the planning and execution of the reception that the ceremony is often an afterthought. Don’t allow such a pivotal life event become a forgotten part of your wedding day!
Set the scene! Will you choose your family’s home church? Another church? If you are having a destination wedding, you may need some assistance if you have your heart set on a church wedding. Some churches do not allow non-members to get married there. Others do but require that one of their pastors perform the ceremony. Still others are open to renting the space to you, and they don’t mind if you bring your own officiant! Each one of these churches will also have a rental fee. Churches may charge up to and over $1000 for a ceremony with a rehearsal the day before.
Garden weddings are gorgeous! Here in the Low Country of South Carolina and the Coastal Empire of Georgia, our brides love the live oaks with the Spanish moss in their ceremony backdrop. The Forsyth Park Fountain is another popular outdoor spot for a ceremony in Savannah. If you choose a square in Savannah, a beach spot on Hilton Head, or under a live oak tree on a country estate, there will be arrangements to be made and rental fees to be paid. Eloping with a handful of your loved ones to witness your ceremony is free in many spaces as long as you don’t put down chairs. Having a large wedding on an estate could cost thousands. You decide the setting for your ceremony!
Catholic and Episcopal weddings have a prescribed script to follow, but you may have a few options for readings or elements that you can choose for your ceremony. You will need to work very closely with your priest as you craft your wedding mass. Some brides and grooms include communion in their wedding mass, for themselves, or themselves and the wedding party, or for everyone who chooses to receive the elements. Churches often provide a list of optional readings that they approve. Take the time to read them and select the ones most meaningful to you. Then ask a person who is special to you both to read the passage during the ceremony. This is a lovely way to include loved ones without adding to your wedding party. The formal wedding may be lengthy, but it carries with it the weight of the commitment being made by the bride, groom, and their families as they join together.
Anything goes for an informal ceremony! That’s what makes it so difficult to script. And yes, you still need a script. Will you have a pastor or a professional officiant, or will you ask a special friend or family member to complete an online application and then officiate for you? There are a variety of ceremony scripts on the internet, or you could ask your wedding planner – we always have several on hand. Will you write your own vows or use a version of the traditional ones? We have a script writing and vow writing service that we offer so that you can have a personalized script for your ceremony that is well-written and crafted just for you. Choose a reading or two that is precious to you: a passage of Scripture, a poem, a passage from a novel, a letter. We can help you to choose those as well. The more thought you give to these, the more meaningful they will be. Allow them to show your personality as a couple.
The moment your guests arrive, the music should be playing. What kind of music do you want for your ceremony? Are you in a church? Use that organ! Announcing the bride with Trumpet Voluntary on a classic pipe organ is regal and ceremonial – what an entrance! If this is your style, choose prelude music that is of the classical genre so that the musical style is consistent. If you have you have a favorite modern song, have it played on the same instrument as the classical music. You can also find a lovely arrangement of a popular song arranged in a classical way – check out the Bridgerton soundtrack. Other instrumental options for a formal wedding are strings (solo violin, string trio, other combinations), piano, brass, or classical recordings played by your DJ or sound technician.
For less formal affairs, your options are endless. Can you have a band for your ceremony music? of course, how fun! How about a jazz ensemble? Yes, please! Guitar? Soloist? Choir? Trio? Your Spotify playlist? absolutely! How do you choose? The style of music should coordinate with the style of the event. If you can give your musician(s) your style, they can choose some fabulous music that is just perfect for your ceremony. Not only will you want music playing when the guests are arriving, but music should also play after the recessional. Give your guests some fun music for their exits too!
What is your song? Do you have a song? Will you be using it for your first dance? If not, maybe that is the perfect song as a focal point for your ceremony. We had a bride whose absolute favorite song was “From this Moment On” by Shania Twain. She was certain that she wanted to walk down the aisle to that song. Well, remember brides, you will get 20 to 30 seconds of your processional anthem… that’s it. Choose your favorite part because that’s all you get. After explaining this to our bride, she decided to have a soloist perform the song with a band back up during their unity candle ceremony. Everyone enjoyed the entire song. We had another couple whose special song was “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac, so we played it for them through the chapel sound system even though the rest of their music was piano and violin. You are creating the soundtrack for your ceremony. What music will speak for you in those special moments?
A wedding is a production full of special moments. If you are unsure how to create these moments, get help from your officiant, musician, or wedding planner. Allow the professionals to work their magic and make some wonderful memories for you and those you love.
Haley and Danny
Venue ~ Montage Palmetto Bluff ~ May River Chapel and The River House
Planning ~ Swanson Signature Events
Photography – Alicia Magnuson Photography
Beauty – Bride’s Side Beauty
Strings – Two Strings are Better than One
Florals – Carlson & Co.
Transportation – Diamond Limo