Sunday, April 1, 2007

Week Fourteen: Your Wedding

This is the second part of a topic that began last week with "The Significant Other in Your Life." Not everyone who is following these journal prompts is married, and this is not meant to exclude anyone. So if it doesn't pertain to you, just skip this prompt!

*When were you married? Why did you pick that date?

*Where were you married? Be specific, and include the building (house of worship, courthouse, wedding chapel, etc.), not just the town or city. Explain why you chose that particular location.

*Did you have a wedding planner (a professional, or a friend or relative that helped out)?

*How formal or informal was the wedding?

*Who married you? Was it your family priest, pastor, or rabbi? A justice of the peace? Captain of the ship? ;-)

*When you obtained your marriage license, what were the qualifications (if you remember)? For instance, did you have to take a blood test or get your parents' permission (if underage)? Do you remember what the fee was?

*If there was a wedding rehearsal, where and when did it take place? Was there a rehearsal dinner? Who attended or who was unable to attend? Were there gifts exchanged then?

*Who were the members of the wedding party, and how were they related or connected to you? Who was the maid/matron of honor and the best man?

*Describe the bride's dress. Was it a family heirloom, purchased or made for this wedding, rented or borrowed? Did she/you wear "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue"? What were they?

*Describe the bride's bouquet.

*Describe the bridesmaids' outfits. Was there a color theme?

*Describe the groom and the groomsmen's outfits.

*Was the building decorated? If so, how?

*Where did the parties prepare and dress for the wedding? Who helped with the dressing, hair and makeup, if applicable?

*Were there ushers who weren't part of the regular wedding party? Who were they, and how were they related or connected?

*Was someone in charge of a guestbook and/or receiving gifts? Who were some of the special guests that attended? Who traveled the furthest to attend?

*What music was played and/or sung, and by whom? Why these music choices?

*Was the bride walked down the aisle, and if so, by whom? If not the father of the bride, then whom and why?

*Did you use traditional vows, write your own, or "borrow" some you liked?

*Describe the ceremony: the sequence of events, the prayers, music, exchanging of rings, lighting of candles, communion or drinking of wine, stepping on wine glass, etc.

*Describe the wedding rings: were they family heirlooms, or purchased? Where were they purchased? Were they a matching set?

*Did anything interesting, tragic or funny happen during the ceremony (i.e., at my cousin's wedding, the flowers on the candelabra caught on fire during the prayer!)?

*Who was/were the photographer(s)? Were the photos taken before or after the ceremony? Why?

*Describe the reception: the receiving line, the cake and champagne, toasts, dancing, etc. Where did it take place? Was it directly after the wedding, or at another time and location altogether? Why?

*Did you open the gifts at the reception, or later? Did someone open them and record them for you?

*Describe the bride and groom's going-away clothing. What vehicle was the "getaway" car? Was it decorated traditionally (soaped-up windows, tin cans, streamers, etc.)?

*Did you go away on a honeymoon? When and where (this could probably be a whole other journal entry!)? If you did not go on a honeymoon, explain why.

*Did you enjoy your special day, or was it stressful? What would you change and why? What worked out especially well, and why?

Most brides have a bride's book or wedding book with photos, invitations, programs, engagement announcements, etc. If for some reason you don't have one, you could create your own and put in your writings, along with the photos and ephemera. It would be interesting for a man to write his perspective of his wedding (which, of course, would vary from the woman's). A divorced man may not have access to photos or ephemera from his wedding, as often it's the woman who retains the wedding book after a divorce. It could be a special gift to his children to write about his wedding for them, as sometimes it is not a topic that's brought up with the father by the children.

Some people have been married more than once. Although it would take time, it would be interesting for your descendants to have journal entries about more than one wedding, not just the marriage that produced children. You could compare and contrast the weddings, too; especially the details of each that worked best for you.

Part three on this particular topic (marriage) will be "Your Anniversaries," coming next week.

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