Many couples struggle to find ways to include every-single-person-they-love in their ceremony. I get it, I have an eye-wateringly large family and wanted them ALL to be involved in my big day… If I didn’t listen to the advice of my wonderful Celebrant, I would have had 12 bridesmaids… eep! But, including your friends and family in your bridal party isn’t the only way to get them involved.
I’ve gathered my TOP 5 ways to include everyone from your fun Aunt to introverted teenage brother in your ceremony –
- Ask them to do a reading – We’ve all got that friend that you can hear before you see (spoiler alert: I.am.that.friend). This person is perfect to perform a reading during the ceremony. To make it even more spesh, ask them to choose the reading that they will read so it acts like a bit of a ‘blessing from them to the couple’.
- Have them as your witness – This one is good for the introverts out there! All they have to do is sign their name a few times. As long as they are over the age of 18 years, the two witnesses you choose can be your parents, friends, siblings, Uber driver whatevs! Ok, maybe not that last one, because Mr Uber Driver’s name will be on your wedding certificate until the end of time, so you may want to re-think that one.
- Include them in a ritual – Rituals are becoming more and more popular and are a perfect way to include children, step-children, parents etc. If you don’t know what I mean by ‘Wedding Ritual’ do yourself a favour and Google it. You can include a sand ceremony, a candle ceremony, handfasting, ringing of bells, lantern release or a cultural ceremony that resonates with your heritage in your ceremony and it is a great way to include friends and family. (You’re Googling it now aren’t you?)
- Have them hold the rings for you – Traditionally this falls with the best man/groomsman, but many couples are using this as an opportunity to include the bride and groom’s Mothers in the ceremony. You can choose whoever you like, just make sure you choose someone trustworthy… Not a job for drunk Uncle Darryl.
- I’ve left the best until last to reward all of you that are actually reading my full post…Include them in your vows – This is my faaaaavourite thing to do in a ceremony. Adding a ‘Crowd Vow’ to your ceremony is so inclusive and I love it so much. You’ve invited everyone there because you love them all and want to share your day with them. In the crowd vow, we ask them as friends and family, will they promise to love, support and help guide the newlyweds in their journey of marriage? They all say I do, and our hearts are full. There are subtler ways to do this, for example, asking your future step-child/children to come up and commit a vow as a family about welcoming the new person into the fold. It is so heartfelt and (I believe) important that the children are included in the ceremony somehow. Ok, so, now I’m crying.
I hope these tips have got you scratching your head about how you can include your inner circle of loved ones in your big day.
Contact me for more ideas on how we can create your dream wedding ceremony.