Wedding Whimsy

During difficult times, a few laughs are helpful. I was thinking about how I add a little touch of humor in wedding ceremonies and thought I’d share some of that.

I never want to laugh at anyone, so I won’t be writing about any of that “wedding fail” type stuff; to be honest, I hate that entire genre. What is funny about things going wrong? But laughing with others is fine and having some light-hearted elements as part of a wedding day is more than fine. After all, it’s a happy day!

One effective and easy way to add humor is in the “Declaration of Intent” – the part where the officiant asks the couple the question to which they reply: ”I do,” or “yes,” or “we will” … something positive one hopes! Sometimes we call this the “I Do’s” or “The Asking.”

When adding whimsy to the “I do” – I suggest having one or two serious questions as well, and just one amusing one. Balance is important. Here are some examples:

Do you promise not to expect any serious conversation, effort, or decision from each other before you have each finished the mornings first cup of coffee?

Do you ____ pledge to love, honor and respect ____, and will you support him in the good times and the bad, help him with last-minute cosplay changes, and never watch a Marvel show without him?

_____, do you take _____ to be your married partner? And do you promise to memorize all the words to ‘Sweet Caroline’, to actively support her lifelong obsession with the Boston Red Sox and to staunchly pledge your eternal repudiation of the Team Who Shall Not Be Named? 

The very same approach goes for the wedding vows themselves, which is not the same as the Declaration of Intent, by the way. I am referring to the words that couples speak to one another, which can be read or accomplished in the ‘repeat after me’ method. A funny line or two is great – but remember the seriousness of the moment as well. 

And then there are rituals! I love unity rituals and actions that express sharing. Once I created a pretzel ritual that absolutely added humor for the couple. It grew out of a story from their personal journey. Just a little research revealed that the knot in the pretzel is actually a symbol of good luck and so the entire idea became less gimmicky than one would expect.

The German tradition of “sawing the log” is an old  custom – and I’ve included this in the actual ceremony (it’s usually done afterwards), resulting in lots of  good-hearted laughter and cheering as the couple worked their two-person saw. 

Cake Toppers are awesome! Photo: Rhinehart Photography

I have learned about Dr. Who when a couple had their rings brought to them in a tiny replica of the TARDIS, which stands for “Time And Relative Dimension In Space” – the time machine from that cult classic show. 

There are so many ways to bring elements of levity to a wedding. Here is some inspiration for any couple with a sense of humor or specific passion. The only way it will really work, however, is when it comes from a real place in your lives.

Superheroes – I have seen groom and groomsmen with superhero t-shirts under their suits.  Cake toppers with superheroes are also great, and signage such as ‘you’re my superman,’ and ‘you’re my Lois Lane’ or ‘You’re my Wonder Woman’ all add elements of whimsy. More and more cute, crazy and customized cake toppers are available every day. 

All things “nerdy” are still popular, from Game of Thrones to Lord of the Rings, Dr. Who, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Star Trek and Star Wars, to video games, board games, and retro passions such as Monty Python, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Spaceballs. Anything like this might provide an opportunity to reference them in the text of a ceremony or include them as table décor or invitations.

Pets with bow ties and flower collars – you just can’t beat that!

Photo: Cassie Costella Photography

Location, location, location. Hold your wedding in a bowling alley – and bowl! Have your wedding at a campground – and make it glamping. How about on a farm, or any number of large houses available to rent through sites like Airbnb?

Defy color traditions – a bride that wears black, a groom wears white, or purple or red.

I once had a groom who pulled out a guitar and surprised his bride by singing his vows. 

Whimsy is wonderful, because, as Erma Bombeck once said, “marriage has no guarantees. If thats what youre looking for, go live with a car battery.” 

Lois Heckman is a certified Celebrant officiating in the Poconos and beyond. She writes about creating meaningful weddings, focusing on ceremony, ritual, and diverse traditions. She has a thriving practice and is an instructor at the Celebrant Academy. Find her on Instagramfacebook and website

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