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Below are questions related to “Wedding Vows and Ceremony Etiquette” which have already been submitted and answered by Andi, our seasoned wedding pro. See if these might answer some questions about your wedding ceremony and spark some wedding inspriation, too! Click Here to view more “Ask Andi” questions and answers on a variety of wedding planning topics.

Wedding Vows and Ceremony Etiquette

My fiancé and I both have children from previous marriages. How can we include them in our wedding?

The best way to include your children in the wedding is by having a Unity Ceremony. This will include the entire family. Usually the bride and groom each have a tapered candle, which represents their individuality. Together they light one big pillar candle, which will symbolize their unity as one.

In your case, have your children stand next to you during the unity ceremony, each with a tapered candle of their own, then all of you will light the pillar candle, symbolizing your unity as one family! This is a very heart warming ceremony. I’m sure you, your children and your guests will be a bit teary eyed!

Best Regards,
Andi

My fiancé and I would like to write our own vows. Are there any restrictions in doing this?

Your wedding vows are expressions of your commitment to one another. Most officiants are willing to allow this, as long as the basic principles of the traditional wedding vows are expressed in one way or another. In most religions, these would include the promises of being true to one another; to love and honor one another; in good times and bad; in sickness and in health; until death do you part.

Make sure your vows express your beliefs. Make your words personally meaningful, keeping it simple and brief. Even though you will have these vows memorized, make sure that you (or your officiant) have a written copy, just in case you draw a blank and need a little help.

Best Regards,
Andi

I need help finding a place to get married outside! Thanks so much!

First things first! Before you and your fiancé start looking around at different ceremony and reception sites, you must determine the size of your guest list and the size of your budget! Since I don’t have this information, I can only suggest some sites for the two of you to consider. Have you ever thought about a country inn, a vineyard, or maybe a riverboat? Do you have family or friends with large backyards? Is there a local club, (with a lot of outdoor space), that would love to host your wedding? Are there any historical sites, art museums, botanical gardens, parks or conference retreats within a reasonable distance? As you can see the possibilities for an outdoor wedding are endless!

While doing some research myself, I found some very interesting venues, right here at Pittsburgh Wedding.com. Look under Locate Wedding Vendors, click on Banquet & Reception Facilities. I am sure many of them would accommodate you nicely. They are all very different, each one having their own unique qualities! If you find one that appeals to you, set an appointment to visit and discuss your wedding plans. Make sure you look at several places before making any final decisions!

While conducting your search there are a few things to keep in mind. How comfortable will your guests be? How accessible is it for your guests? You may need to hire minivans, a bus or even valet parking. (The tab and tips would be on you!) Find out if there are any restrictions you need to know about. Are there sufficient rest rooms? How easily can tables and chairs be set up? Is there any place for the wedding party to change? Will you need a place for coats? Is there room for the gift table, the cake table and the chocolate fountain? Will your vendors have easy access, and enough room to perform their services comfortably? Is there adequate lighting? Is there adequate wiring for your sound system, DJ, or band? Find out if a liquor license is needed, and who is going to assume liability if a guest becomes inebriated and has an accident. Find out if there are any restrictions on decorating, and how much time before and after the wedding you will have for everyone to set up and break down?

If you find the perfect yard and the perfect host, you may want to consider having a tented reception. Tents these days range from very simple to very extravagant! They have arches for entryways, stained glass panels, and even chandeliers! You can get a colored tent to match your wedding colors. They come with generators for heating in the winter, and cooling in the summer months! Be sure to check around for pricing, it can differ greatly between suppliers. A 60-foot by 60-foot, or a 40-foot by 100-foot are adequate sizes for about 200 guests. (This would include the dance floor, too!) Whatever you do, order the tent in person, not over the phone! You want to see exactly what you are getting before your big day arrives!

Best regards,
Andi

My mom and dad have severed ties with me due to the person I am marrying. I was wondering if it is okay to have a cousin or uncle walk me down the aisle and give me away.

It used to be only the father of the bride, or in his absence an older male relative or close friend, could serve as an escort to the bride. Your cousin or uncle would be perfectly acceptable. In today’s day and age, it is even acceptable for the bride to walk alone! Not knowing your age, I will say this; if you are an older bride, it would be acceptable for one or two of your children to escort you.

On the other hand, if you are a young bride, an aunt or even a friend can escort you. This decision is entirely up to you. During the ceremony, is the minister going to ask “Who gives this woman. . .?” If so, you might want that rephrased to, “Who will support this marriage?”, or you may want to leave it out completely.

Best regards,
Andi

I am interested in having my wedding in Pittsburgh because I am from there, but I live in Maryland. I am looking for a church to have the ceremony in, any suggestions?

Although there are many, many churches in Pittsburgh, the one that stands out in my mind is Bellevue Christian Church. Not knowing your religious beliefs, I thought a non-denominational church would be appropriate. It is a beautiful church, and it is about 110 years old, which really gives it a unique character!

I think the location is pretty close to what you are looking for, only twelve miles from Pittsburgh. Right here at PittsburghWedding.com, you can find more information about Bellevue Christian Church in the wedding directory, under Ceremony Locations. I hope this information is helpful, I know it is hard to plan things from afar!

Best regards,
Andi

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