Wedding Ceremony Personalization and Entertainment

By Elisabeth Scott Daley, WED®, ABC™ – “A Passion for Performance”

Today’s wedding ceremonies can be as personal and creative as the individuals who are tying the knot.

Brides and Grooms can go to the courthouse or they can head to Vegas where they can get married pretty much any way they want!

They can get married on a Gondolier, they can go to the “drive-thru” chapel…they can even have “Elvis” himself perform the ceremony.

Wherever they decide to “do the deed”, many brides and grooms are choosing to make the actual wedding ceremony a true reflection of their personalities.

Some couples prefer to use traditional vows; some might augment a traditional ceremony with love poems or letters drawn from famous music or literature. But what I am seeing most often is that many couples are choosing to write their own vows based upon the relationship they share with their spouse-to-be. Including lines as humorous as “I promise to always let you watch football on Sunday.” or “I promise to always help clean the house.” It might seem silly to some, but it’s real and a part of the relationship and therefore a very important part of the ceremony.

Just as all DJs are not created equal, neither are officiates. In fact, some officiates are downright BORING. They read the traditional vows from The Bible and have little more vocal inflection than Ben Stein in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” insuring that the ceremony puts EVERYONE to sleep!

However, I had the pleasure of working with an incredible officiate named Rev. Jay Bowman in The Outer Banks of North Carolina recently who was, hands down, the BEST wedding officiate I have ever witnessed! His skill and his passion were truly impressive. His connection to the bride and groom was immediately evident. His ability to engage with the guests was impeccable. His delivery was flawless! He is a MASTER at what he does!

(By the way, he charges more than most but he is well worth it! Does that sound familiar?)

The ceremony was on the beach, which is quite popular in The Outer Banks. It was a beautiful October day. The sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze coming off the water. Rev. Bowman was wearing really cool sunglasses and casual resort attire, which was completely appropriate for a beach wedding.

The importance of the vows, the rings, every spoken word in the ceremony was given the gravity they deserved without being stuffy and archaic. The warmth and the “real-ness” of what we jointly experienced was instilled into the hearts of everyone in attendance.

My favorite thing he did was the “Sand Ceremony.” Rather than the bride and groom “buying” sand of different colors to look pretty, Rev. Bowman reached down and scooped sand with two large sea shells, directly from ground the bride and groom were standing on where they said their vows. His delivery gave extraordinary meaning to an “old war horse” standard.

Thanks to the set-up and hand-off of this seasoned pro, the reception began on a high note and went up from there! I sure do love my job!

For More Information: Rev. Jay Bowma, My Outer Banks Wedding


  • Liz Daley, WED®, AWP™ - A Passion for Performance

    Liz Daley is a seasoned veteran of stage and screen and is the owner of Liz Daley Events, a boutique entertainment company in Virginia opened in 2004 that delivers dramatically different results. She got her first radio job at 16, but her passion for live entertainment moved her across the country performing from New York to Nashville as well as the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas! She works with brides and grooms to create Classic, Fun and Memorable wedding receptions. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Boston Conservatory of Music, she is a certified Wedding Entertainment Director® and the National President of the Wedding Entertainment Directors Guild® and an Accredited Wedding Planner™ with the Association of Bridal Consultants. She is currently co-hosting educational performance workshops for Wedding DJs and Masters of Ceremonies with Peter Merry, “The Fun Wedding Experts”.

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