(Photo by me. Words, my vow-inspiration, by lovely Jane Austen.)
Neither Gabe nor I feel particularly bound by religious wedding-ceremony traditions. A few years ago I got all wild and left the very conservative Lutheran church of my youth*. Gabe was raised Catholic, but doesn't feel strongly about incorporating those traditions on our big day. We want our ceremony to be godly, loving and reflective of who we are...all told, our ceremony should be the easiest piece of the wedding puzzle.
And yet even with this freedom, the ceremony is one piece that I'd rather not plan. At all. I'd like to hot potato that sucker on to someone else and call "Not it!!" in the event that a guest take offense at our less-conservative ceremony. Don't get me wrong: We love God. But, we're not the preachy type. Not the buttoned-up 10 minute prayer, lengthy Bible-reading, formal 30 minute wedding sermon and seven hymns type. While we want to incorporate some religious pieces, we'd like to use quotes, passages from literature and secular songs to supplement other parts of the ceremony.
Label me a pessimist, but I just feel an incident headed my way if I don't plan our ceremony carefully. A handful of people I know would likely be offended by our incorporating of secular readings + music. And truth be told: It's my biggest wedding stress. While I want to avoid incident, I also refuse to mold our ceremony into a buttoned up conservative church service...something that isn't us, solely to pacify others.
So, I'm in need of some help: Are there any wise ways to plan a ceremony that reflects you as a couple...while still appeasing guests who might have strong religious opinions?
Additionally, I'm a long-time fan of writing personal vows...something I didn't see at weddings I attended prior to leaving my church. Any stellar resources, quotes or passages for vow inspiration?
*This is the ultra-abbreviated version. I don't mean to be flippant, but it's a long, emotionally-exhausting tale. We'll leave it short and sweet.