Bride & Groom University

We meet with lots of couples, all of them different. Despite their differences, there is one fairly consistent theme we see with them – most of our couples don’t have a clue about what they’re doing or “supposed to be” doing in regard to planning the different aspects of their wedding.

The evidence for this usually shows up when we begin asking them questions about their upcoming big day, and they answer us with the phrase that goes something like this… “This is the first time we’re doing this, so we don’t really know what we’re supposed to do.”

We empathise with them. We were there once ourselves. In fact, the development of Songs For Your Ceremony was in direct response to those couples who needed help with choosing the music for their wedding. As time has passed and we’ve gotten to work with and know many couples, we’ve come to discover that music isn’t the only thing they need help with. And, unfortunately, in some cases, we have seen some less-than-scrupulous vendors who take advantage of this naivety.

Again, unfortunately, our knowledge is limited to music and some of the activities that take place in the ceremony and reception, so in many cases, we can’t help our couples directly with some of their most pressing questions regarding, for example, wedding fashion, finances, and etiquette. So, in response to that, we have developed Bride & Groom University.

Education is a big deal for us here at SFYC (can you tell from the website?), and there is good information available on the net to help you plan all aspects your wedding. We’ve taken the initiative to try to locate some of the best educational articles on the web and bring them all together in one place. (A lot better than a Google search – no offense to Google, we love them – but some of the things that show up in search results are, shall we say, of not such great quality).

We’ve taken a look at hundreds of articles and other educational links and included them in the University. Clicking on the section links will take you to these articles, and your education can begin in earnest.

Check out Bride & Groom University

Top Ten Lists

When thinking about music or, for that matter, just about anything else for your wedding, quality should be “job one” as a popular commercial says. So, to help you with the whole quality issue, we’ve put together the SFYC Top Ten Lists.

Our top ten lists are mostly a combination of best selling, most popular items, with quality (high ratings). We also do our fair share of “separating the wheat from the chaff” by applying some important criteria to the lists so that all the items fit our quality standards and the definiton of the categories we use. For instance, when considering wedding music albums, we were looking specifically at albums that contain songs that can be useful for a ceremony including those for processionals, recessionals, preludes, and ritual music. If an album didn’t contain those items, regardless of its ranking, it didn’t make the list.

Also, we took liberites with some items that, although they weren’t necessarily the best sellers, “looked pretty neat.” Some of these were new items and hadn’t had the time to garner a lot of sales or ratings. Others we just plain liked. In general though, you’re looking at the best selling, highest rated items in each category. We hope it helps you plan the perfect wedding!

Check out the Top Ten Lists

Opening Words for a Wedding Ceremony

Whenever people come together for a formal occasion, some words are needed to “call the meeting to order”. The Opening Words of the ceremony are what your Celebrant or Officiant will use to do this, while also stating the purpose of the gathering.

For each selection in this opening words article, we provide alternatives to match the kind of ceremony you’re looking for. For example, we provide Traditional, Modern, Religious, Spiritual, and Romantic opening words from which you can choose.

Read More About Opening Words for a Wedding Ceremony

Sand Ceremony Vessels

The Sand Ceremony holds wonderful symbolism for your big day, and it’s a great substitute for a Unity Candle Ceremony when you’re getting married outside. Here’s a quick tip: Make sure you buy a vessel with an opening large enough for both of you to pour the sand into at the same time. This is true not only for a family with children, but also for just the two of you.

I performed a ceremony once where it looked like more sand ended up on the table than in the vessel. The couple were giggling, as were some of their guests, so it ended up being a happy mess, but it was still a mess nonetheless.

If you have your heart set on a Sand Ceremony vessel with a smaller opening, make sure you use a funnel (perhaps a nice glass decanter funnel) that will direct the sand neatly into the vessel.

Here’s an example of a funnel you can use: Clear Glass Decanter Funnel

And happy pouring!

Christmas Wedding Ceremony

Just in time for Christmas, we’ve added a Wedding Ceremony that reflects the season.

Our Christmas Wedding Ceremony of Light and Love features candles (lots of candles) and includes a Christmas Unity Candle, and seasonal piano music. Vigil candles will be held by the guests throughout the vows and the exchange of the rings. Those candles will be extinguished after the Unity Candle lighting in order to give the Unity Candle more prominence both in the ceremony itself, and in the light that it radiates. This ceremony should be held in a semi-darkened room in order to symbolize the light shining through the darkness.

The words of the reading are from “The Gift”, a seasonal favorite by Jim Brickman, and the reading background music is an instrumental version of that song. Finally, in a seasonal flush, the guests will ring bells as the Bride and Groom recess down the aisle at the end of the ceremony to the song “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” – a nice lead into a cocktail hour or dinner that might feature some upbeat Christmas music.

Read More…

Latest Updates

We’ve added some new material to the site. First off, there is finally a link to this journal. Also, we’ve added pages in a new category of the site… wedding receptions. In fact, there’s a whole new Wedding Reception Idea Center that we launched yesterday. It will include information on wedding reception events, activities, and music. You can access that here: Wedding Reception Idea Center. Right now it only includes Cocktail Hour information and music, but we’ll be adding as time goes on.
Beyond that, if you’re a Celtic Music afficionado, we now have a Celtic Wedding Music page that features selections for all the different parts of your ceremony, from the prelude to the postlude and everything in between. You can access that here: Celtic Wedding Music.

We’ve added a Google Plus One button to all the pages of our site so, if you like what we’re doing, be sure to visit and give us the old “plus-one.” And finally, be sure to visit our Coupons and Specials Center to find some great deals for your wedding.

That’s it for now. Hope you had a great Halloween, and that you’re enjoying the wonderful Fall weather!

Top Six Wedding Compilation CDs with Largo from The Four Season’s Winter

Antonio Vivaldi gave us some great music for weddings when he composed the Four Seasons. And, virtually every one of his “Seasons” contains at least some music we can use for the wedding ceremony. The Largo, from Winter can be used as a bridal party processional song. Here, we provide our six picks for the top wedding compilation CDs with the Largo from Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.


How Long Is A Wedding Ceremony?

Many of our couples are unsure about how long their marriage ceremony should be. The answer is… as long as you want! The average ceremony we do is about 15 minutes. I did a ceremony a couple of weeks ago that was about 15 seconds long – that’s right, 15 seconds.

When you think about what’s necessary for a ceremony here in New Hampshire, it’s not hard to see where it could indeed last just 15 seconds.

There are only three requirements for a ceremony in NH:

First, there has to be a Certificate of Marriage present.

Second, the Celebrant needs to hear each member of the couple say that they want to marry each other. This is often achieved by the “I Do” part of the ceremony.  (e.g. Celebrant: “Do you, John, take Mary to be your wife?” John: “I do.” Do you, Mary, take John to be your husband?” Mary: “I do.”)

Third, the Celebrant must declare you married. (e.g. “I now pronounce you husband and wife” or “married.”)

After those three requirements are met, the rest is literally fluff. Of course, most of our couples would like a bit more than that, and some, quite a bit more. The longest ceremony we’ve ever performed was 35 minutes, and a Catholic marriage ceremony with a mass can last upwards to an hour.

So, how long “should” a marriage ceremony be? Anywhere from 15 seconds to an hour or even a bit more, with the average being about 15 minutes.

P.S. If you’d like more information on some of the events or activities beyond the “I do’s” take a look at our “Wedding Order of Service” page at our website.