Hey - it's all about you; take back your ceremony!

It is a ritual - time honored and sacred - but that does not mean your wedding ceremony has to be like every other...yawn. Of course, some couples choose to be extremely original and opt for exchanging vows on a roller coaster, while bungee jumping or even dressed as trekies. I say - good for them for such uninhibited displays of originality. But even if you prefer a more traditional and "scream-free" wedding ceremony, you can still find creative ways to infuse your ceremony with elements that are distinctly you. Browse my favorite ceremony ideas:

A Scenic Location

Not every wedding ceremony must take place in a house of worship. Outdoor locations and other unique ceremony sites can make for ceremonies that are both spiritual and memorable.

A Refreshing Welcome

Welcome and refresh your guests by serving lemonade, iced tea or water. It's a nice touch, and your guests will appreciate the gesture. Depending on the season or nature of your wedding, you can use your refreshment of choice to tie in the theme or style of the day.

Personalized Pew/Row Decorations

Who says your ceremony decorations must be floral? How about draping framed photographs of the bride and groom tied with ribbon over the ends of each row?

Customized Programs

Summer brides - how about ceremony programs in the shape of a fan? Beach brides - use a shell or small piece of drift wood as a weight, and place programs on each guests' chair before arrival. You get the idea...Or keep the shape and style traditional, and include a personal letter or poem to add some interest to this often overlooked detail.

The Grand Entrance

There are other ways to make your entrance beyond the traditional march with your father. Ride in on a horse.... Or be escorted by both parents, a close uncle, brother, friend-even a pet!

Monogrammed Aisle Runner

You will know this is your ceremony while walking down the isle on a runner personalized with your monogram or logo.

Beyond "Here Comes the Bride"

If walking down the isle to the same song as thousands of brides before you doesn't sound appealing, let your favorite tune can't make a memorable substitute!

Gender Bend the Bridal Party

Who says your maid of honor must be a "maid?" If your best pal happens to be a guy, have a "man of honor." Same goes for the best man; there's no reason why there can't be a "best woman."

Write your own Wedding Vows, Readings, Poems etc.

Nothing puts that special personalized stamp on a ceremony quite like vows and readings prepared by the bride and groom themselves. These spoken words expose your mind and your heart to each other and to your audience.