Your wedding ceremony in 5 steps

From the father 'giving away' the bride to the 'yes' and signing the certificate... Do you know how a wedding ceremony goes? Ceremony speaker Grietje Pottie tells us how to build a beautiful symbolic celebration and gives tips to make it an unforgettable moment.

Photo (top): Wedding Planner: Be Your Guest - Photographer: Cedric Demeester

1. Here comes the bride ...

The bride and groom arrive. With music that is special to you - and why not live music? - give the ceremony its own meaning from the start. Is the father giving the bride away? If so, it would be nice if he or she also says a message for the groom or a wish for the couple.

In the welcoming speech, everyone is warmly welcomed by the officiant. "I think a wedding ceremony is the perfect moment to say those things that are otherwise rarely or never said," says Grietje. "With couples who have a good relationship with their parents, for instance, it is nice to express their gratitude to their parents.

2. Tell your love story

Don't want an overly formal, stiff or preachy ceremony? Then make your wedding ceremony personal and especially sincere by telling your love story. Grietje: "What was your first impression of each other? How did the feelings grow? How did the proposal go? Funny anecdotes are certainly part of it. I think that a ceremony should be a time for a laugh and a tear. A ceremony speaker brings a nice balance to that."

Photo: Photographer: Tom Leuntjens - Ceremony speaker: Love and Other Stories 

3. The wedding vows

"Really say your wedding vows to each other and to those present", advises Grietje. "This is how you give the most beautiful moment in the ceremony the most personal, emotional charge. I always advise writing out the vows beforehand. It is such an overwhelming moment that you can sometimes forget something.

You can also incorporate a special ritual into the vows that symbolically highlights your love for each other. Tying ribbons, lighting a candle together... there are plenty of possibilities. 

4. Saying yes

In Belgium, you officially say 'I do' to the registrar of births, marriages and deaths for the municipality or town where you are getting married. But if you have a separate ceremony, you can also give your own interpretation of the moment. For example, the speaker will read out a text which will express exactly what marriage means to you. The 'yes' is usually sealed with the exchange of rings and a kiss.

"To emphasise with a kind of official gesture that the marriage has been consummated, I often use my gavel. With a tap of the gavel I then confirm that bride and groom are married. Do you have children? Then it can be fun to let them 'knock off' the marriage. That way they will be closely involved in this special moment."

Ceremony: Words of Eve - Photographer: Anneleen Jegers Photography​​​​​​​

5. Signing the deed

Bride and groom sign the deed, together with the witnesses and the ceremony speaker. "It is nice to provide music at this point of the wedding ceremony to break up this 'silent' moment a bit and it is another opportunity to choose a song that is very meaningful to you", says Grietje.

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