You don’t have to say ‘I do’ to the ‘Up-do’

As often as I officiate, I am still always struck by the beauty and meaning of weddings. Sometimes I even get a little misty-eyed, yes, after all this time. A wedding is quite a big milestone in life, and people make a lot of it. Well they should, but just how to do that is the question.

Everyone has their own style, and I’ve spoken with couples who are extremely romantic and those who are decidedly unromantic. I get that, really, I do. The wedding industry definitely leans towards romance, so it can be a little more difficult going against that grain.

Lots of people are not into the fairy-tale, princess, over-the-moon, heavenly and heavily romantic vibe. What about them? I’ll get to that in a minute.

But if you are looking for that extra dose of romance, and a wedding is romantic by nature, here are the areas to think about: location, words, music, and themes.

First, find a location that resonates for you. Maybe it’s the place you first met or fell in love, or where you had a special vacation. Think:  wooded area or open field, or maybe by a lake or stream feels especially dreamy. An evening wedding lends itself well to candles, fireplaces and fireworks.

Find just the right words for your vows, and if you’re lucky, for the entire ceremony.  Readings can bring the feeling, and there are plenty of romantic readings to choose from, going all the way back to Shakespeare.

Infuse the wedding with a theme, especially using that candlelight and gorgeous flowers to enhance the romance. Make it a fairytale wedding, but I caution you – you can jump the shark on this one. Use just enough elements, not too many. How much is that? Good question.

Music can tell a story – choose love songs for your processional, recessional and your first dance. Romantic elements are here, there and everywhere.

What about the non-romantic types? Couples who self-identify as down-to-earth, straight-forward, or not fussy, sometimes have a hard time in the world of weddings. All the emphasis seems to be on the flowery and romantic end of the spectrum.

Just review those same elements – location, words, music and themes – only this time think about your taste and your style.  Your vows and readings might be inspired through science, history, or literature. Your flowers can be minimal and not too ornate. Your song choices, fun, humorous or just your favorites tunes. Your theme can be books, the outdoors, or anything that reflects who you are, and most importantly, you don’t have to have a theme, and a more casual reception style, such as a brunch or afternoon wedding fit well.

And I’d like to add one more element for brides – and that is your clothing. If you are not heavily into the romance don’t choose a poofy sparkly big princess gown. Don’t have make-up and hair styles that don’t fit you. As I like to say: don’t to the ‘up do’ if it’s not you! There are many amazing dresses that are more understated and yet stunningly beautiful.

It comes down to being true to yourself, which is easy to say, but hard to do, especially with friends and family pouring on the advice. Stay strong people! Stay strong.


What gorgeous photos! Thank you Lisa Rhinehart!!!



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  • Blog Author

    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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