Foreword Reviews

Do-It-Yourself Wedding Ceremony

Choosing the Perfect Words and Officiating Your Unforgettable Day

Clarion Rating: 5 out of 5

This is a comprehensive resource for anyone planning a wedding who doesn’t want to leave the details of this joyous event up to their officiant.

The DIY movement hits the traditional wedding ceremony and changes things up in many artful and satisfying new ways in the revised edition of Dayna Reid’s Do-it-Yourself Wedding Ceremony: Choosing the Perfect Words and Officiating Your Unforgettable Day. The author is a minister and has officiated at weddings for fourteen years; this experience with many different cultural and religious traditions gives authority to her suggestions for different readings, music selections, and other components so couples can tailor a celebration that most meaningfully expresses their interests and beliefs.

Reid outlines potential elements that might be included in a marriage ceremony, from the procession to the recession, and delves into deeper examination of each so that couples can create a truly personalized event. It is empowering to have all the tools and templates needed to craft a celebration of the marriage union whether it is a spiritual or nonspiritual ceremony, a first wedding, a renewal of vows, or a ceremony uniting a blended family.

The book describes wedding elements from many cultures, such as the Hawaiian exchange of leis, the African American tradition of jumping the broom, and examples from Jewish, Christian, Zen Buddhist, and Celtic wedding ceremonies. Couples can read about ways to involve children in the event, honor their parents, and recognize loved ones who are deceased or unable to attend their wedding. There is a chapter full of sample ceremonies and Reid even discusses how to become ordained or become a marriage officiant, in case a pair wants to have someone special in their lives perform a custom ceremony.

Some of the examples of readings, prayers, and quotes will be familiar to wedding veterans, such as quotes from the Bible and Kahlil Gibran, but others are derived from a bouquet of surprising and unusual sources, such as Robert A. Heinlein, Armenian blessings, the Star Wars movies, classic children’s books, and popular song lyrics. It would be fun to attend a wedding where the bride or groom recites a scene from the film Sideways, quotes a Beatles lyric, or murmurs the paean to love by an Ent and his Entwife from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers.

It’s easy to imagine how this book might look after a wedding couple got through with it: spine bent, replete with pages that are dogeared, stained, underlined, and packed with a rainbow of curly edged sticky notes. This is a comprehensive resource for anyone who is planning a wedding and doesn’t want to leave the details of this joyous event up to their officiant. Others will welcome a book that outlines how to create a wedding ceremony that honors a couple coming from different cultures or beliefs. Whatever their background, Reid’s book is a great reference for couples who want to devote as much attention to the significance of their vows as the selection of their wedding feast entrée or flower arrangements.

Reviewed by Rachel Jagareski

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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