Today’s awesome guest post comes to us from wedding planner and wedding celebrant Nelly Grange of wedOtahiti. Enjoy!

As an established wedding planner in Tahiti, I have quickly come to realize that couples travelling to our islands paradise to have a tropical beach wedding in Tahiti were lacking options for a memorable ceremony. Beyond the legal wedding ceremony that takes place at the City Hall before the Mayor, the only choice for international couples for a beach wedding in Tahiti was to hold a template cookie-cutter ceremony, usually at a resort. This means, having the exact same wedding ceremony than the couple the other day, and last weekend, and the couple before them. To me, the wedding ceremony is by far the most important part of the wedding day, and I have therefore trained and certified as a Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrant in the U.S. in order to offer my couples what they wanted: a wedding ceremony in Tahiti that rocks. You certainly don’t want to leave it to the last minute.

Read the full post after the cut!

Sure, the wedding ceremony will usually only last about 20 minutes. That’s just 20 minutes in the whole day! Right? Many couples think of their ceremony as just a formality before everyone can rush to the cocktail reception. They concentrate on planning other bigger items and leave the ceremony to the last minute. Wrong. Here are 5 Tips From a Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrant in Tahiti to Have a Wedding Ceremony That Rocks:

How To Have A Ceremony That Rocks (1)

Choose Your Officiant Wisely

Whether you will want a religious or a secular wedding ceremony, the person who will officiate it on the day is key. It’s a make-or-break decision, literally. It is of the utmost importance to choose an officiant who is an excellent public speaker and has great presentation abilities. Lots of couples consider having a friend or a family member to read their ceremony, and by no means is this a wrong idea, BUT you will want him/her to rehearse reading your ceremony extensively in the days leading up to the wedding.

Tip: the pace of the ceremony reading should be slow enough to leave you enough time to repeat each sentence in your head after hearing it. This allows to involve your guests emotionally in your ceremony. Speaking of that…

Make It Personal

Your wedding ceremony should be personal, and should reflect who you are as individuals and as a couple. Whether you are religious, secular, spiritual, part of an interfaith or a multi-cultural couple, you should not content yourself with a ceremony that does not resonate with you. A good officiant will spend time with you to get to know your couple, to understand your beliefs, your values and what makes your bond unique.

Tip: not everyone is comfortable with sharing personal stories. A Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrant will know how to craft a ceremony that tells your story with as much or as little information you will dare to share with him/her. You must always have final approval over the wedding ceremony script.

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Include A Unity Ritual

The use of symbols is part of every wedding ceremony. Of course, symbols need not be universal in meaning but can be completely personal, as long as they strike a resonant chord in you, like the use of an heirloom scarf or jewelry, or of a personal object that means something to you. Symbols can also take the form of a ritual. Including a unity ritual in your wedding ceremony helps to represent the transition you are making into a married life and a commitment to each other.

Tip: don’t be shy about tweaking “traditional” unity rituals such as a unity candle ritual or a hand-fasting to make it yours. For example, as a wedding officiant in Tahiti officiating secular ceremonies of a Western-style, I sometimes incorporate a wrists tying with a Auti leaf, a plant sacred to Tahitians, into my ceremonies. This gives the unity ritual a tropical feel and a sense of place to the guests.

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Make It Fun

Cry. Laugh. During the vows. When the officiant talks. Be yourself. No one ever said you cannot crack a joke during your wedding ceremony. This your ceremony, your way.

Tip: you don’t want your wedding ceremony to be boring and your guests to be repeatedly looking away (or worst, at their phones) wondering when they’ll reach the bar. A ceremony that has a light, humorous tone, is one your guests will listen to and better yet, they will remember.

Live It

20 minutes. Those will be gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t let your mind wander to other things, or worrying about what comes next, like the cocktail or the reception setup. Be there. Get married. The rest is of no importance.

Tip: have someone in charge to coordinate your wedding day, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Preferably not someone who has a role in the wedding party or takes part in the ceremony, as one cannot be a “friendor” as we say, that is a friend and a vendor.

A Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrant will collaborate with you throughout the whole process, tailoring narrative to your specific story and history. He/she will make your vision of the perfect wedding ceremony come to life.

How To Have A Ceremony That Rocks (4)All Photos by AngelM

Nelly Grange is a Certified Wedding & Event Planner, Green Wedding Professional, Life-Cycle Wedding Celebrant and a wedding blogger in the Islands of Tahiti. Want someone with an intimate knowledge of the destination? Someone who has the clout to get you the very best services and special perks for your destination wedding in Tahiti? To learn more about wedOtahiti, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Nelly? Add them to the comments below!