We need to start with a basic understanding of some of the differences in what we are referring to:
Wedding-–A Wedding is when two people get married but for most folks the word wedding incorporates all the pageantry associated with the wedding day. This included the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner (if there is one), the ceremony and the reception.
Ceremony—This is the central event of a wedding day. This is what makes a couple legally married. It is the only legally required part of the day. It requires an officiant.
Officiant — Someone who is authorized by the State to solemnize a marriage by performing a ceremony. In NC this means a Magistrate, an Ordained Minister or the Head of an Indian Tribe.
What are the different ways to get married or types of ceremonies? (All legal weddings in NC require two (2) witnesses of legal age. (18) and an officiant.)
Elope or Elopement—This is a short notice, quickly planned wedding. Often associated with “running away to get married”. It does not have to mean leaving your hometown. This is when you decide to get married in the next few days and only have 2-10 folks present. There is no wedding party (best man, maid of honor, flower girl, etc.) This can occur in your home, a local park, at your office, or even the officiant’s home. The ceremony is very short and contains the legally required words to make you a married couple. You can go to the magistrate’s office in NC or find an officiant who does short notice simple ceremonies. We have custom written several short ceremonies for elopements.
Simple Small Wedding—This ceremony is a step up from an elopement. This is a simple wedding that does not include a rehearsal, has a small guest list of about 10-50 people, may or may not include a reception and is planned weeks or months out. If there is a wedding party it is very small. (1 or 2 attendants per side.) When you are planning a small simple wedding, you will want more ceremony than an elopement provides. These ceremonies make room for more customizing and personalization. You can choose or write your own vows, include readings and even include a unity ceremony. Simple small weddings are often held in the family home, a local park or community center or small venue. Often the wedding couple and their friends and families provide many of the services needed for the day-food, photography and music. Some couples hire Professionals for the more public portions of the day, a photographer and dj for example. This type of wedding is best suited for our Basic Ceremony Package. You can see more information about it here.
Fully Customized Wedding—This is most often referencing all the traditions associated with getting married. This can include a larger wedding party, with multiple attendants including a flower girl and/or ring bearer. A rehearsal is held usually followed by a rehearsal dinner. The day of the wedding is filled with many activities focused on the wedding couple. The ceremony is the start of the public portion of the wedding. A Premium Ceremony reflects the couple’s love, beliefs, interests and relationship. After the ceremony, there may be a cocktail hour while the couple gets photos taken and then the reception is held. There are usually professionals hired for most of the tasks of the day: a planner/coordinator, a venue, a caterer, florist, decorator, photographer,
Contact us to help you figure out what you are looking for as you plan your big day and how we can work together to make your dreams come true!