By JP Payne

Weddings require a lot of planning. There is no way around it. In order to be sure the details are properly attended to, plans simply must be made. For example, who will preside? Do you and your fiancé want a more traditional wedding with a minister or priest, or would you prefer a non-denominational officiant? Is there a caterer in the family who can create culinary delights at a discount? Is there a local florist who makes fabulous arrangements that you already know and trust? These relationships must be established before the ceremony can even begin.

Paige Stevens Photography

So, it’s clear that one phase of the wedding is planning. But does everything need to be completely predictable? Wouldn’t it be fun to surprise your partner with a bit of spontaneity?

One elated groom shocked his new bride with a dive into the South Anna River immediately after their ceremony. She dove in after him in her beautiful wedding gown and swam happily into his open arms. Their family and friends on the riverbank laughed heartily and cheered the drenched newlyweds.

A rather introverted bride truly surprised her husband-to-be with a song in lieu of her wedding vows. She sang it a cappella and all of the guests applauded in total amazement. On another occasion, the groom arranged to have his bride’s sister flown in from Afghanistan. She was serving in the Armed Forces but got permission to arrive at the wedding just in time —in her uniform.

Kristine Pringle Photographers

So you see, there is no need to be totally compliant with wedding traditions and protocol. It’s your wedding day, so make it your own. Do something fun and creative, but certainly remain polite and kind. Help make your day a lasting memory by adding your own personal touch to the ceremony. Tell your wedding planner, or your best friend, or perhaps your sister about your plans. But don’t share the idea with many people. Allow your witnesses and guests to also enjoy a bit of ceremonial spontaneity or surprise that they will remember for years to come. It will also give folks something fun to talk about at family gatherings.

JP Payne is an Officiant and Celebrant. She writes customized vows so no two weddings are ever the same. For more information find JP Payne, Officiant and Celebrant on Facebook.