need some wedding ceremony ideas

My friend Aaron is getting married! He and his fiancee Jia Ling have asked Buddy and me to officiate the Beijing ceremony. We're honored and thrilled, and looking for good ideas for the ceremony.

Please think back to your own wedding or commitment ceremony. Which part was the most meaningful for you? What part do you remember most vividly? Please leave me a comment so I can get some ideas for Aaron's ceremony.

As for me, I was in a little white country church in Alabama. Buddy and I were standing in front of the pastor (my uncle and godfather) and I was looking at the beautiful arched windows behind him. All we could see through the windows were leaves on the trees outside, it was a collage of emerald and jade and sunshine. It was more beautiful than any stained glass I'd ever seen.


Ah, weddings. I love them. My wedding was 5 years ago in November 2002, and the most vivid thing I remember is the day we had - one of those ideal crisp fall days, slightly overcast, about 58 degrees, kind of windy, but weirdly beautiful. Some brides might not want that, but fall is my favorite so I was in heaven. :) Our pictures turned out AMAZING.

ideas for the ceremony - one thing we did was a slideshow/video (with music and all that) just before the unity candle. I liked it because it gave the guests that might not have known both us (usually you know one or the other) a chance to see pictures of our relationship together, our families, etc. I didn't include baby pictures, it wasn't one of those - it was just pictures of us together with our friends and family. Short but sweet, and I think it helped each guest feel more connected to our wedding that day! Like - hey, these guys are fun, I'm glad they're getting married. I think that's very important in a wedding - that your guests feel happy about being there. however you choose to do it.

Posted by christin on September 05, 2007 at 08:53 PM CST #

What kind of ceremony? Chinese traditional ceremony or Western ceremony.

Posted by Forrest on September 07, 2007 at 12:29 PM CST #

We made up our own vows (working more or less from standard Christian ones, but leaving out the religion) and included a question-and-response from the attendees, asking them to commit to supporting us as friends and helping to keep our marriage strong. I guess they have done so: 18 years and counting.

Because people had come from all over the world and all phases of our lives, I did a sort of "family tree" showing how we all knew each other, and we also posted photos as Christin did.

As for the technical details:

looking forward to meeting Aaron this week at SNIA!

Posted by Deirdré Straughan on September 08, 2007 at 10:37 PM CST #

Thanks everyone for the wonderful ideas!

Forrest, the ceremony will be more Chinese-style but the couple is not opposed to adding a few Western elements.

Posted by melanie gao on September 10, 2007 at 01:54 AM CST #

I almost choked when I read this, thinking you meant another Aaron (you know who you are ;-} ) Especially since my former intern just emailed me to tell me he's engaged!
Weddings are individual events. I think I enjoyed mine, but it was a bit of a blur in spots. Looking back, I remember being a little hurt in the toasts, because the men were the ones more likely to grab the mike and speak, and they tended to be R's friends and spoke for him, till finally one of my friends grabbed the mike and spoke for me (especially considering how much work I had put into the event). Give the bride and the groom equal attention - it is a day for both of them.

Posted by I18n G.A.L. on September 27, 2007 at 06:00 PM CST #

Good idea Andrea, I'll make sure the bride and groom's friends get equal time at the mike. And no, as far as I know the other Aaron has no wedding plans. I did ping him and ask for an update though. :)

Posted by melanie gao on September 28, 2007 at 03:57 AM CST #

At a recent beach wedding, a family friend and her husband alternately poured tan-and-white sand into a glass vase (instead of lighting a unity candle). I thought this was a nice idea. You can say a little something about the symbolism.

Posted by Caroline on July 02, 2008 at 09:00 PM CST #

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