A wedding is a ceremonial event that marks the union of two people in love. It can take many forms, from simple to extravagant. It can incorporate religious, cultural or secular traditions. It can include a variety of rituals and promises that reflect the couple’s values and goals for their future together.

When you walk down the aisle to your partner, you are making a commitment to be there for one another “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do you part.” This is not only a promise to your spouse, but to all of those who will witness your marriage. You are promising to be faithful to each other and support them through the good times and the not so great times, to honor them as individuals and as a couple and to celebrate their individuality as well as your shared qualities.

The wedding ceremony has long been a time honored tradition in world culture. It is a beautiful and meaningful moment to share with your closest friends and family. The most important aspect of the ceremony is the exchange of vows and rings. The rest of the celebration is what makes it unique to you and your partner.

In the United States, we are a pretty diverse population and many cultures keep their wedding ceremonies intact even as they integrate with other American traditions. Some traditions have a long history in the United States while others are more recent arrivals. Many of the most recent traditions come from a desire to create a more personal and memorable celebration.

Some couples choose to tell the story of how they met and fell in love as a way to connect with their guests. Other couples opt out of this section as they feel their friends and family already know how they met. For those who are not as familiar, this is a great opportunity to share some of your favorite details about each other, such as home towns and current cities, schooling, career paths and hobbies.

The ceremony itself can be as short or as long as the couple chooses. It can be completely traditional, or it can incorporate elements of various religious, non-traditional or spiritual traditions. It can also be completely secular and non-religious, or a combination of all of these. The options are limitless and the beauty of this day is that it can be anything you want it to be.

After the ceremony is over, the recessional begins. The bride and groom lead the way, followed by their parents and then each of their siblings in order of age. The flower girls and ring bearers and the best man and maid or matron of honor follow next. This is all accompanied by cheers and shouts of joy from their loved ones.

Depending on your budget and the availability of your venue, some couples choose to marry in off-season months to save money. It can be a great way to still have the wedding of your dreams, but at a more affordable rate.

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