- Posted 31 Jul 2015 | By admin
Your wedding ceremony will be the defining ritual that joins your lives and your families and will be the first impression of your celebration to follow. Many couples today opt for relaxed, personalised ceremonies of love and laughter that engage their guests and immerse them in the significance of the moment. A special dimension may be added to your wedding ceremony by including loved ones and there are multiple ways of achieving this. Apart from the obvious inclusion of bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearer the following are possibilities for including special friends or family.
Most are not aware that it is legally acceptable for one of your nominated friends or family members to deliver the bulk of your ceremony. A much loved sibling or close friend could come forward, stand with or near the celebrant and deliver. Certain criteria must be adhered to and the celebrant must be present and take full legal responsibility.
The Presentation is an optional inclusion in your wedding ceremony and most couples choose to acknowledge mums, dads, step dads or whoever your significant parent figure may be. Traditionally addressed to whoever escorts the bride, today The Presentation is often addressed to all parents who generally stand and respond to the celebrant’s questions. On one occasion when a couple had chosen to omit this element, I was questioned by a very sad dad at the close of ceremony, as to why he wasn’t acknowledged. Never underestimate a father’s pride!
Sharing meaningful words is a choice made by most couples in their wedding ceremony. Short or not so short, humorous or heartfelt, there are a myriad of choices for suitable passages to be read either early in your ceremony, towards the end or both. Grandparents often share their wisdom about the secrets of their happy union and this adds a unique authenticity and warmth. At a recent ceremony when three young children read a short verse each to open their uncle’s wedding, you could have heard a pin drop. It was indeed a memorable moment!
Children of all ages are a delightful inclusion in a wedding ceremony. Depending on age, you may have to be prepared for the unexpected but my experiences have only been heart-warming. Their usual roles of petal drop or bringing the rings forward may extend to solo music, escorting the bride or carrying bespoke banners to introduce the bridal entrance. Anything is possible!
Many couples elect to include symbolism or ritual in their ceremony. Your celebrant will be able to elaborate on the many to choose from and what might best suit your location. The following or similar words from the Warming of the Rings Ceremony may be shared as your rings are passed around the circle of your family members…
‘we ask that you pause for a moment, warm these rings with your love and voice a silent wish for William & Katherine; to their health, happiness, great adventures and all that is noble and good in life. When these rings are exchanged they will contain something priceless: your love, hope and pledge of support for their union.’
For those who choose to acknowledge loved ones who have passed you might like to consider a Cameo pinned to your bouquet, lighting a candle in their honour or displaying a photo together with a simple mention towards the beginning of your ceremony…
‘William & Katherine would like to pause for a moment to remember those who have passed who hold a very special place in their hearts.’
Civil ceremonies today are generally quite short and you may run the risk of short changing your guests if you insist on the bare basics. Ultimately it is your choice what you include in your ceremony but you might like to engage loved ones and in so doing enrich the experience for all, creating undeniable warmth, transforming your ceremony into something that is uniquely yours. Something special to set the scene for the wow party to follow!