One of the most important elements of a wedding celebration is the ceremony itself, because after all that is why you are bringing all your family and friends together right? Committing yourself to another individual in front of those who love you is a special experience. Modern couples are consistently looking for new, unique ideas to incorporate into their wedding ceremonies to make it a true representation of their relationship.

Naturally Yours Events is incredibly lucky to work with couples from many different backgrounds and cultures and we enjoy observing the individuality they bring to their ceremonies. (Feature photo above by This is Feeling Photography.)

Mix Your Own Whiskey

Photo by Studio Finch

Laura and Aaron wanted an small ceremony with their closest family and friends before starting the celebration with the whole crowd. During their ceremony, they incorporated a whiskey blending where they poured two different types of whiskey into a barrel to enjoy together at a later date.

Involve Your Community

Photo by Studio Finch

Laura and Aaron also took advantage of the intimate nature of their ceremony by having their guests participate in a ring warming. The couples’ wedding bands were passed to each guest for them to hold in their hands for a moment as they thought of a blessing for the newlyweds.

Taste the Elements

Photos by Allison Williams Photography

Deidrea and Will decided to incorporate the Tasting of the Elements into their wedding ceremony. These elements include water, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and honey representing different aspects that make up a marriage. Below are a few excerpts from their officiant’s words describing this ceremonial tasting.

They first experience WATER.

Water represents transparency- Drinking this water today is a pledge that the two of you will always strive to be open and honest with each other. Water is the willingness to make oneself available to both see and to be seen.

They now share VINEGAR.

Vinegar is bitter. Vinegar symbolizes the difficult times ahead. The taste of also vinegar reminds us to hold on to and appreciate the good times. And while its bitter taste may be strong, the sour taste is only temporary and once it passes through us, it can actually can serve as an opportunity to cleanse and renew us.

They now experience PEPPER.

This pepper is a symbol of strength formed by adversity. Throughout the bitterness that life may bring, your survival as a couple depends on your ability to remain grounded and forge through many of the challenges that lie ahead. Pepper is strong as should be your love.

And finally they taste HONEY.

Because thankfully, life is not just vinegar and pepper. Honey is a preview of the sweetness that marriage has to offer. It is a delicious example of the happiness that life has in store for them when they lead with love and remain in the youthful sweetness that they stand here with today.

Incorporate Your Cultural Background

Photos by I Luv Photo

If you and your partner have strong cultural ties in your family, make them a highlight of your ceremony! Fusing multiple cultures together provides a unique representation of you as a couple as your families come together.

Tanya and Saumil are an example of multiple cultural backgrounds including Puerto Rican, African American, and Indian. Their ceremony began with the Indian tradition of a Baraat as they danced their way into the ceremony space to the music of a Dhol player.

To represent the bride’s Puerto Rican heritage they performed a lasso ceremony. The infinite shape of the lasso reflects the timeless and eternal nature of the union they created. It also represents a shared bond, protection, and strength that comes from their joint efforts.

Finally the couple jumped the broom! An African American tradition dating back to the 160os, the couple physically and spiritually crosses the threshold into the land of matrimony. The jumping symbolizes making a home together, sweeping away the old negative energy and making way for all the good things to come in life.

Show Off Your Talents

Photo by Megan Saul Photography

Do you or your partner have any hidden musical talents? Share them with your crowd by performing a special song during your ceremony or have a close family member or friend perform a song that means something to the both of you.

Run Your Own Ceremony

Photos by Jessica Eileen

Mollie and Jamie did a big twist on their ceremony and went without one of the most common things a ceremony has – an officiant. Instead, they walked down the aisle together, led themselves through their vows and ring exchange, and invited guests to share well wishes and marriage advice. They did of course have an ordained individual to make things official on paper after the ceremony but we thought this was such a unique take on making their nuptials truly personalized.

How are you planning on making your ceremony unique? We’d love to help you have your vision come to life and be a part of your special day. Naturally Yours Events adores planning with couples that are looking for new ways to personalize their wedding ceremony. Let’s chat about your ideas today!

Stacey and Chris, who met through mutual friends, wanted a wedding day with an emphasis on their ceremony and a good dance party. With the help of Naturally Yours Events, they planned a wedding that was full of love and party vibes.

They got ready at the Renaissance Hotel where they laughed all morning with their friends before heading down the hotel’s rooftop for their first look. Pure joy was spread across both of their faces the rest of the day despite the rainy, cloudy weather of Chicago.

Hosting ceremony in Lacuna Lofts‘ Blank Canvas room, Stacey and Chris exchanged vows that they had written themselves. They made their ceremony personal by asking Stacey’s friend to officiate and a couple of their friends to say readings.

Guests were invited down to the Reverie Gallery to continue the party. Dining tables were adorned with either gold pillar candle holders or various painted jars and vases filled with ivory blooms and greenery. The combination of Fab Flora‘s elegant blooms and the unique, rustic flair of the venue came together to set a beautiful backdrop for Stacey and Chris’ celebration. After the dance floor got rockin’ with Cage and Aquarium‘s tunes, guests were treated with lots of sweet goodies including gelato! Yum! Thank you to Uttke Photography for capturing their day.

Vendor Team

Wedding Planner: Naturally Yours Events, Kristen / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Lacuna Lofts / Caterer: LM Catering / Photographer: Uttke Photography / Videographer: fortyONE films inc. / Florist: Fab Flora / Hair Stylist: Blohaute / Makeup Artist: Shannon O’Brien / DJ: Cage & Aquarium / Lighting: SC Lighting Design / Photo Booth: Zippy Booth / Bakery: Vanille Patisserie / Gelato: Massa Cafe Italiano / Late Night Bites: Buddy’s Special Events / Hotel: Renaissance Chicago / Transportation: Third Coast Trolley and Limo

Tanya and Saumil exuded an immense amount of love on their wedding day. Their ceremony showcased their different cultural backgrounds including Indian, Puerto Rican, and African traditions. The fusion of the day truly represented them as a couple.

Their celebration was captured by I Luv Photo and filmed by Fox & Ivory. We absolutely loved their meaningful ceremony and bright, summer color palette. See all the details below!

Saumil wore a Sherwani, traditional Indian attire, for the ceremony and later changed into a Western style suit for the reception. Tanya wore a champagne colored, beaded dress that complimented all of the peaches, reds, and blushes in her flowers. They did a first look before ceremony where they just had the cutest reactions to each other and could not stop smiling through their photos.

The ceremony started with a traditional Indian Baraat, dancing outside the venue with a Dhol player. Tanya and Saumil incorporated a lasso ceremony symbolizing their bond and the African tradition of jumping the broom.

The reception space was bright and airy with centerpieces that added a pop of color. We adored the Spanish tile escort cards that doubled as guest favors and added even more colorful decor to the tables.

Vendor Team

Planner: Naturally Yours Events, Carlene Smith
Venue: Marriott Lincolnshire
Ceremony Officiant: Rev It Up
Florist & Lighting: Atmosphere Events Group
Photographer: I Luv Photo
Videographer: Fox & Ivory
DJ: Cage & Aquarium
Photo Booth: Mag Booth
Bakery: Sweet Mandy B’s
Appetizers: India House Company
Hair and Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists
Dhol Player: Mehul Adhikari

After meeting at work, Megan and James hit it off when he sprained his ankle and they bonded over the injury since Megan did personal training. They started their relationship with a first date at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer which would turn into their wedding venue a few years later!

Megan and James wanted a lighthearted, natural wedding that encompassed their love for each other and their families. They also knew they wanted Megan’s daughter to be a big part of the day as they came together to create a new family. See how the day unfolded with these beautiful photos from Ed & Aileen Photography.

These two were the cutest, we love how Megan winked at James as she walked down the aisle to marry him! They included Megan’s daughter by having her participate in a handfasting ceremony, wrapping the cords around each of their hands symbolizing their commitment to each other. This girl took her maid of honor duties very seriously as she made sure her mom’s dress always looked perfect.

We are in love with the way all of the floral and hand-designed paper details complimented both each other and the personal touches that Megan and James added. Take a look at their custom family cake topper!

And then we danced the night away!

Vendor Team:

Wedding Planner: Naturally Yours Events, Carlene Smith
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Cafe Brauer
Photographer: Ed & Aileen Photography
Officiant: Anita Weds
Ceremony Musician: Fretless Music
Florist: Vale of Enna
Videographer: Whitney Cinema
Lighting: Sound Investment
DJ: Toast & Jam
Photo Booth: Fotio
Caterer: Tigerlily Events
Bakery: Cacao Sweets & Treats
Hair and Makeup: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists
Invitations: Evr Paper

Wishing all moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day! As you celebrate mom this weekend, you may be thinking about ways you can make her feel special on your wedding day. Yes the day is about you and your partner – so don’t worry you’ll still be in the spotlight – but moms deserve a little credit and appreciation too. They’ve gotten you this far in life, right?

Involve her in getting ready.

Moms deserve some pampering so include her for hair and makeup services to make sure she’s feeling confident and at her best on your wedding day.

Share a special, private moment alone with mom and thank her for her support. You never know what last-minute words of wisdom she can offer you.

Have mom help you get dressed and put on your shoes & accessories. Make sure she’s dressed beforehand so she’s ready for the photos that will happen during this moment!

Pick out a special gift for her.

Find a memento that she can remember your wedding with like a piece of jewelry, embroidered handkerchief, or a personalized letter and photo album.

Feature her memory.

If your mom is passed, think of ways that you can honor her at your wedding. Include her favorite flowers in your bouquet, carry a photo of her with you, leave an empty chair for her at ceremony, read a letter from her during dinner, or pick out a song she loved for a specialty mother dance where you invite all guests to dance with their mother or someone special in their lives.

Give her a role during your wedding ceremony.

Choose to walk down the aisle with your mom or both of your parents so you can share in that moment together.

Have her involved in a tradition like lighting a unity candle, participating in a hand-fasting ceremony, or a blessing you and your partner in your new life.

Make her your dance partner.

Choose your mom’s favorite song for a specialty dance with her. Or, cut footloose and hit the dance floor while belting out some 80’s pop songs together.

Thanks to all the moms out there!

Photos courtesy of Ed & Aileen Photography, 430Studios, George Street Photo & Video, Allison Williams Photography, Laurel + Prairie, Cage + Aquarium and Ingrid Bonne Photography.