Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

Personalizing the Wedding Ceremony

The RI wedding ceremony is a special event where the two of you are joined together. You may opt for the traditional ceremony held in a church or may decide to have a more unique and personalized event. Couples have been married jumping from a plane, on the tops of a mountain, on a ship, on the beach, in their backyard and at city hall.

RI wedding ceremony
Photo by Captivation Photo Studio

Wherever you decide to have your RI ceremony, you may want to personalize it by including some of these ideas:

  • Select readings or quotations that reflect how you feel about one another. These can be taken from the bible, poetry, works of fiction, etc. Click on one of the following for a list of suggestions:
    Old Testament Readings    New Testament Readings    Poetry
  • The bride and groom can face their guests during the ceremony.
  • The bride can walk down an aisle runner made up of fresh rose petals.
  • Include the lighting of a unity candle.  This may include two small candles which are lit by the bride and groom's parents.  The candles are then used by the bride and groom to light the larger unity candle.
  • Have a Unity Cup. This is when each family fills up its own cup with wine. Then the bride and groom will each pour half of their family cup into one, shared cup. They will each take a sip. The shared cup represents their union and the half-filled family cups represent their individuality.
  • Have a unity sand ceremony instead of a unity candle ceremony.
  • Print a wedding program with a special message and distribute it to guests at the ceremony.
  • Remember deceased relatives and friends.  (See the below for ideas.)
  • Have a talented friend sing or play an instrument at an appropriate time during the ceremony.
  • Have a song written about how the two of you feel about each other or have a song written especially for your fiance
  • Instead of having your guests throw rice, have them throw rose petals, birdseed or blow bubbles.
  • Have butterflies, balloons or doves released during the ceremony.
  • The bride can hand a rose to each mother and/or to other guests (if it's a small wedding, because this can be costly!).
  • If you're uniting two families together, have a Family Medallion Wedding Ceremony.

Unity Candle
The unity candle is not only used to symbolize the newly joined couple but also the two families. At the beginning of the ceremony, the bride's parents light a candle on their side of the altar and the groom's parents light one on their side. After the couple exchanges their vows, the bride and groom will then each carry their family's candle to the center where they both light the unity candle that has been placed there.

You can also give each guest a candle at the beginning of the ceremony. The couple will walk down the aisle and stop at each row to light the candle of the nearest person. That person will then light the candle of the next person, until the entire congregation has a lighted candle. Of course you will have to check with your officiant to make sure that the church will allow you to do this.

Find more information and a large selection of unity candles and tapers.

Honoring a Deceased Loved One
We have received several emails from brides and grooms asking us how they can honor their deceased loved one on their wedding day. Many etiquette experts say that it is not a good idea to mix the joy of a wedding with the grief of a death. Therefore, you should not include their names on the wedding invitation. However, there are other ways you can honor them in a discreet and sensitive way. Here are some suggestions:

  • Say a special prayer (this can be done in private or said by everyone)
  • Mention their name (briefly) in a speech at the reception
  • Make a donation to their favorite charity
  • Have your bouquet include the deceased's favorite flower
  • Light a special memorial candle
  • Place a special bouquet of flowers at the altar
  • Choose a special reading
  • Sing a special song
  • After the ceremony, go to the cemetery and place the bouquet on the grave
  • Carry a framed photograph of a deceased loved one down the aisle

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