Typically, the wedding ceremony takes up only 5% of the day, and the reception stretches for 60% of the day. While the hours dedicated to dancing in celebration is certainly a meaningful and well deserved part of the day, we challenge you to think about what is truly the most important part of the day. That’s right. The tiny 5% of the ceremony.
AofE encourages you to think about how you can elevate and place importance on the heart of the day: the ceremony because those fifteen minutes will mean so much more to your lifetime than any of the hours that come after. That’s why we crafted the path to an intention filled day!
First, pick the style of vows you wish to give. Perhaps your relationship is full of laughter and you want your vows to reflect that with blending humor into your promises. Or maybe, you’re a bit of a romantic, and want to share your beautiful heartfilled story of your first kiss. Refer to AofE’s blog Match Your Vows to Your Values, to see which style fits you best, and get a list of prompts as starting points for each!
With your style in mind, and helpful prompts to get your creative juices flowing, head over to AofE’s blog, Ready to Write Your Wedding Vows? Join Our 10-Day Vow Writing Challenge. This is a free guide we offer that takes you through the steps of actually putting pen to paper and writing your vows. Don’t fear the blank page, but instead let AofE guide you into telling your story beautifully and uniquely you. After forming those perfect promises, you are ready to transfer your messy drafts onto something that will last the lifetime of your marriage. Purchase AofE’s heirloom vow books for an elegant and luxurious way to preserve your vows. By transferring your sacred oaths to our archival quality hardcover books, you can keep your vows displayed proudly for generations to come.
Finally, with the personal and sentimental vows crafted and held in beautiful binding, you are ready to give your promises to your partner with confidence and love. With our heirloom books, no memorization is required, and they look stunning in your hands, so all you have to focus on is the love between you and your partner!
2. An Inviting Experience
Remember that 5% statistic? After the tears are shed and you and your partner become officially married, you still have a lot of celebrating to do (95% of it!). That’s why the root of this article will take you through the different ways to add those same butterfly feelings of the ceremony into the rest of the day! Starting with creating a welcoming experience for your guests.
We at AofE believe in the power of a stylized guest book table. To create an inviting environment that is both stylish and loving so your guests are drawn to sharing their advice and wishes with you. Pair the perfect setup of your aesthetic with AofE’s white and elegant guest book to create memories that last a lifetime.
Our guest book not only has the same archival-quality hardcover as our vow books, but puts a focus on the love and intention of the day. Guests are invited to share their best wishes on the page along with a spot for a photograph of them. Additionally, and our favorite feature, guests will fill out a word of advice card, that is then placed in an envelope and secured with a gold numbered seal.
Then on your anniversary corresponding with the number on the seal, you are able to return back to your guest book, viewing all of those beautiful photographs and memories, and opening and reading the advice placed by your guests all those years ago. This creates such a loving tradition for you and your partner to make each anniversary special.
And since you’re going through the guest book to open each special letter, you know for sure, that your guest book won’t be relegated to storage after the big day. Instead, let it shine as a memento of your love. Beautiful enough to display, AofE’s Best is Yet to Come Guest Book looks amazing as a centerpiece for your coffee table, or upon your shelves.
3. Toasts Centered Around Love
One of our favorite moments hidden in the day is the speeches. Wedding toasts can be the perfect way to incorporate intention back into the day, by centering them around love. And to do that, start with asking your most treasured loved ones to give the wedding toasts.
Couples are no longer bound to the traditional rules of the maid-of-honor and best man speeches. While those are some of the most important people in your life, be open to letting a parent, close sibling, or cherished friend the opportunity to share in the love of the day. You never know who may bring the most heartwarming, tear-jerking words to life.
By dedicating the time and focus during your reception to toasts, it allows for a refocus of energy, and sets the mood for the rest of the evening – one of love, happiness, and probably a good many laughs. Let the speeches be a celebration of both of the partners, and the love that they share. And preserve them through AofE’s beautiful toast sheets included in The Best is Yet to Come Guest Book and reread the love each anniversary.
4. Crafting Purposeful Moments
As we go through all of the paths of creating an intentional day, we can’t miss all the ways you can craft purposeful moments. Throughout the day, you may be overwhelmed with love and emotions as guests congratulate you, as your wedding planner guides you effortlessly through your list of activities, and as your wedding party pulls you and your partner to the dance floor. But amidst all these moments, we want to give you options on how to make time for moments between just you and your partner.
Our first, and fan favorite, option is for couples to consider a first look. The benefits of a first look are endless and if you want to go into depth about this option read our blog Nervous About Wedding Ceremony Vows? Our Favorite (Romantic!) Alternative or check out our instagram stories feature all about the benefits of a First Look.
But here are our top reasons to do a first look–
• It creates an intimate moment with you and your partner before the ceremony to share in (and don’t worry, nothing can take away the magic of seeing each other on the opposite ends of the aisle). By taking the time to have this moment with just your partner, you can be better grounded and ready for the rest of your loving (and sometimes chaotic) wedding day.
• A first look can give you more time on your wedding day! By seeing one another before the ceremony, you can start the day earlier with your partner and take all of your formal portraits and family photographs. By doing so, you can now enjoy more of your cocktail hour with your loved ones.
• First looks allow couples who are otherwise unable to have the time and space to share personalized vows. Whether by a structured religious ceremony, or dislike of publicly speaking and sharing in your devotion, the first look creates a private moment for you and your partner to share in those personal sacred oaths (and it gives your videographer the perfect voice over for the day!).
Remember when we said nothing can take away the magic of seeing your partner on opposite ends of the aisle? It’s so true. There’s something surreal about those first seconds at the ceremony when you are seeing your partner surrounded by those you love, and you are actually about to get married.
That’s why one of our simplest tips can make all the difference. As the first person walking down the aisle reaches it – pause. That’s all it is. Before walking down to meet your partner, take a few moments to soak it all in. Trust us, it’s worth it.
As the day goes on, and the celebration and dancing begins, we recommend couples take a few moments to sneak away from the crowd. While the joyous festivities with your loved ones are important and oh so fun, you just married the love of your life! Have a private moment of celebration just the two of you – bring your photographer along and get a few more awesome photographs from the night.
One of our most important tips on how to craft purposeful moments between you and your spouse on the wedding day is aptly named the glue and by this, we want couples to pretend they are glued together. If you are going over to talk to Aunt Sally, your partner comes too. If they want to break it down on the dance floor, you go too. The day is all about the celebration of the two of you, and in the fun of it all, you want to make sure you and your partner stay by each other’s sides and experience the day together.
The Last Dance
A modern tradition couples are participating in is the private last dance. This is a way couples can tie together at the end of the night by doing what matters most – holding one another. As you start the reception with a public first dance, end it with an intimate moment with the house lights down, just the two of you. Plus, if you’re planning an exit, this allows time for guests to get set up!
5. Continue the Celebration
We all know the wedding day is just the very first pages of the lifetime journey of marriage. So when crafting this list of intentional details to add, we wanted to give space for the most important aspect of getting married– the marriage.
Your union is what all the planning and parties were leading to, and we believe the celebration shouldn’t end with the wedding. Instead, we encourage you to use your anniversaries as grounding pillars for your venture together as a married couple.
Do so by reflecting on values of your relationship, and the year you spent together as each anniversary arrives, with our heirloom Best is Yet to Come Anniversary Book. This archival-quality hardbound, lets couples document their joy and love each anniversary, while guiding them to their future. Not to mention, the anniversary book allows for a unique tradition as they complete the pages to create a special memory for every anniversary, no matter how grand or small you chose to celebrate.
Additionally, the book acts as a guide.. Use the front pages as an inspiration to select the perfect anniversary gift each year by reading the compiled list of traditional and modern gifting ideas. No need to Google best gifts for him or which year is cotton? The Best is Yet to Come Anniversary Book provides you with everything you need for each celebration.
And as a further continuation, return to your Best is Yet to Come Guest Book. Each anniversary, there’s a sealed envelope containing your loved ones best wishes and advice written back on your wedding day, waiting for you and your partner to open up! And don’t forget your vow books! Pull your vow books off the shelf and revisit the sacred promises and love to one another.
By dedicating the time to the tradition of reading and using your three wedding books each anniversary, you and your partner are gifted the experience of reliving those wedding day butterflies each year. It can be your north star when feeling lost, and a beacon of love for the years to come.
This is your love story, and it deserves to be seen. So display those beautiful bound books upon your shelves, as a centerpiece for your coffee table, and in gorgeous glass cloches for your vow books as a symbol of your love. And overtime, allow these heirlooms to be passed to the generations to come, cementing your legacy of love.
The Intentional Day
Overall, the most important part of the wedding day is the love you share with your partner. So, we at AofE hope you can take our top 5 tips and make the day your own as a celebration of love and joy, filled with all of those purposeful, intentional moments. Carry those details beyond your wedding day and into your journey of marriage by exploring our wedding collection for timeless keepsakes. Heirlooms like our vow books, guest book and anniversary book are the perfect way to create traditions for a lifetime and a legacy to last for generations!
Photo Credit for Main Image: @SariBlumPhotography and @blum_weddings