How can we make our ceremony personal to us?
Updated: Feb 17
I am featured in the latest issue of Your North West Wedding Magazine. Here's what I said.
As a Modern Celebrant I always spend time getting to know my couples and suggest things to include in the ceremony to personalise it to suit your style.The benefit of choosing a Celebrant over a Registrar is that the only real limitation is your imagination so the choices really are endless and they are all yours to make from fun, traditional or modern to religious, symbolic and quirky. You don't have to have the same tone throughout it can eb and flow between styles to make sure that your ceremony is brilliant from start to finish. Here are some things you could consider.
1. Location, location, location
Don't just think about the ceremony content, think about where it is taking place and consider somewhere really unique and special to you both. Be that in a barn, a bandstand, in woodland or on a beach - there are some real gems out there.
2. Make an entrance.
Your personalisation starts before anyone has even sat down. Think about the layout of where your ceremony is taking place and talk to your venue about the options. For example, could everyone sit in a circle so no-one has a bad view?
When it comes to walking in, mix it up a bit. Walk in alone, with your BFF, together, with a llama, your dog….. Don’t like the idea of everyone turning round and looking at you as you come in? Already be at the front and let your guests come to you. Want someone to walk in ahead of you handing out popcorn usherette style…. DO IT!
3. Involve your guests in the ceremony itself.
This isn’t just restricted to readings, although that's always a good place to start. If you find a reading you like but that isn't quite right, your celebrant will use a little bit of artistic licence to make it perfect and if you don't have anyone that you want to read it from your guests they will gladly do it for you. You could even ask one of your guests to write something for you or perform a song for you.
You can involve your guests in symbolic ways too by including something like unity candles, sand ceremonies, handfasting, tree planting, ring warming or simply by mentioning special people in the ceremony itself. Maybe if there are some absent loved ones there could be something special that happens to remember them…
4. The biggest bit of the big day.
My favourite part of any ceremony is the bit where I tell all your guests your story, what brought you together and what’s kept you together. By working with a celebrant they can also help you to create beautiful personal vows, as well as suggesting culturally appropriate traditional elements that you could include for example a hindu necklace exchange after your rings.
5. Remember to have fun Want everyone to have a shot when you tie the knot or have an impromptu game of Mr and Mrs part way through? It doesn't have to all be serious. Likewise, the music choices don't just have to be something that give you goosebumps or happy tears. Music that makes your guests smile or laugh or sing along always goes down well. Enter to the theme tune to Jurassic Park if that’s your thing or get everyone there to sing Wonderwall as you leave.
Don't just think about the obvious, think about every single element of the ceremony, there is something you can do at every point of it to make it yours if you choose a Celebrant led ceremony. Goodbye cookie cutter wedding, hello fabulous unique ceremony.