I hope that everyone is having a great week! I'm continuing on with the wedding series this week and I'm excited to share our wedding ceremony with you today!
Collin and I had a very unique wedding ceremony venue that came with unique challenges. After narrowing down ceremony venue options and playing with the logistics of the day, we landed on the idea of having the wedding ceremony at The Chi Omega Greek Theatre at The University of Arkansas! We actually wanted to have our wedding ceremony on Old Main lawn, however the space was already booked for our wedding date. When I went to check the availability dates on the University of Arkansas Facilities calendar, I noticed the Chi Omega Greek Theatre popped up showing booked for a special event on a previous weekend, and that got my wheels turning! :) So I called up the events/facilities contact at the UofA and asked if a wedding ceremony would be allowed at The Chi Omega Greek Theatre, she said, " I don't see why not!"
This place is so special to us for many reasons. Collin and I actually met for the first time just around the corner in a building where our math class was held. You can read the story of how we met here! This is also the place that I became a Chi Omega, and how special that the Greek Theatre was actually a gift to the University back in the day. We met on this campus, our names are forever engraved on this campus, it just seemed too special not to have our ceremony here!
I pitched the possible idea to Collin and my family and of course everyone's concern about an outdoor ceremony is weather. But as much as you can plan, you can't REALLY plan and prepare for weather. Yes, you can have a plan B, but sometimes you just have to trust your gut and go for it! So that's what we did. :)
The ceremony went great! Collin and I were in our own little world during the ceremony. I loved that even though we were in such a large public space, the ceremony felt so intimate. I could have been anywhere in the world and I wouldn't have noticed.
Amanda and her team did such an amazing job informing guests, preparing for the ceremony (floral, communion, cuing the music, lining up our bridal party, the list goes on! Steve Wilhelm with Lightworks Events handled all of our ceremony sound and did a fabulous job!
Collin and I did pre-martial counseling with Finley Robinson from Fellowship Bible Church. Finley was a perfect fit for us and was so accommodating when Collin's transfer happened. We can't say enough good things about Finley, how he has guided and shaped us for the challenges that lie ahead, and helped Collin and I to talk about issues that may have not come up before the wedding had we not chosen to do pre-martial counseling. Finley did such an amazing job at the ceremony. As a wedding and event planner I had seen MANY wedding ceremonies prior to my own. Which makes envisioning your own wedding ceremony a little challenging. Finely crafted a beautiful message and did such a great job. We couldn't have imagined it any other way.
Having the ceremony on a college campus and in a public area made the logistics that much more complicated. Where will the wedding party gather prior to ceremony? Where will guests park? Should we offer a shuttle? Signage? rain plan? Unexpected guests? The list goes on! Amanda Reed with BatesReed Brides did such an amazing job planning out the logistics with me. We created signage to direct guest to parking, we hired Piggy Back NWA to handle shuttle from parking to the ceremony, and I spent months tracking down a room on campus to rent for the wedding day for our wedding party and family to rest in between pictures and the ceremony.
Photography by: Miles Witt Boyer
Videography by : Dave and a Camera
A few ceremony planning tips:
-Talk with your officiant on how the ceremony will be run (this is important when talking with your planner about programs and order of ceremony)
-Don't forget about programs! Whatever you do, one large sign, program fans, traditional programs etc. Just don't forget them. It's a nice touch and guests like to know what's going on :)
-If you are at two separate venues for your ceremony and reception think about parking and transportation and if you need to have some sort of plan for this have one.
-Plan your ceremony music and have a back-up copy on your phone or one of your bridesmaids phones just in-case, unless you have a musician or live music at the ceremony. I would still have a back-up playlist just in case ;)
-Have a plan for after the ceremony, usually your planner and photographer will guide you since you'll still be in a dream-like daze from the ceremony :)
-How are you getting from Ceremony to Reception? Do you need to finish up family portraits? Do you have a wedding portrait session? etc.
-Don't forget about your guests either, make sure the officiant makes an announcement on what's happening next, cocktail hour? Buffet open upon arrival at reception? etc.
It's crazy how much time and planning goes into the wedding day and the actual ceremony is only thirty minutes or so. Well that's all I have to share in words so here are some of our favorite pictures from the wedding ceremony! Enjoy! (DISCLAIMER: I had a hard time narrowing down ceremony pictures... :) so be warned there are quite a few below)
Stephanie Grace Benton
Uhm hello handsome Husband!! ^^