There are so many ways to personalise your wedding ceremony, but often it’s best to start with the basics and decide what you’d like to keep, what you’d like to ditch and what you’d like to adapt. The joy of a celebrant wedding ceremony, is that it can be anything you want it to be – traditional, contemporary, quirky or elaborate. It’s the very heart of your day so make it a true reflection of your relationship and the things that you hold dear. Here’s a quick guide to the main elements to consider:
Seating and ceremony space
Have a think about how your guests will be seated – circle, theatre style, crescent, chevron … this influences the feel of the ceremony and how you arrive.
Is there anything that you’d like to ask of your guests during the ceremony – ring warming, pebble casting, no photos, no social media posts … This is a good time to let your guests know if they have a part to play in your ceremony. I love inclusive wedding celebrations, so let’s dream up ways to involve your loved ones together.
How do you plan to arrive (together, separately, along an aisle …) and who will accompany you to the ceremony space (parent, family member, friend … ) or perhaps you’ll arrive independently? There are no rules, so if you want to arrive hand in hand with your partner, that’s perfect.
Traditionally, this is a moment to confirm your freedom to marry if you wish to include it.
Warm words of welcome to your friends and family, to set the tone and steady the nerves.
Address and love story
This is the most unique part of your ceremony and the chance to share some of the key experiences that have brought you to this moment, what makes your relationship work, what you love about each other and what drives you crazy! … Often couples take a seat for this part of the ceremony, allowing them to take a breather and share in their story alongside their guests.
You’re free to include anything from song lyrics and extracts from books, to prayers and poems. I can help with lots of recommendations, or research something completely new!
Remembrances and acknowledgements
This is an opportunity to say thank you to friends and family that have helped you along the way and remember those that cannot be with you.
You can include traditional vows or contemporary versions, they can be written by you or selected from a range of alternatives. Personal vows are incredibly special and I’m always happy to help you put your thoughts into words. They can be read aloud, repeated or a response can be made, for example ‘we will’. At this point, you can also choose to make a family promise or a commitment to your children if you have them.
Exchange of rings
Giving and receiving rings, or exchanging another lifelong gift marks the commitment that you’re making to each other.
These are moments which symbolise commitment, unity and new beginnings and can take any form that feels right for you – blending sand, lighting a candle, planting a tree, handfasting … or many other options that we can create together. Take a look here for some inital ideas.
Pledge of support
Your guests can make a promise too – pledging to support you in your future married life together.
Including your guests is one of the most joyful aspects of a celebrant wedding. For more ideas, check out this recent blog.
Signing the certificate
This can be part of the ceremony or done separately afterwards. It can be witnessed by close friends/family or all guests.
The final part of your ceremony – looking forward with hope and sharing your plans for the future.
This is your chance to celebrate with a kiss as a married couple and often results in the loudest cheer of the day!
Ta dah – you’re married! Have a think about how you’d like to leave the ceremony space (perhaps with music, singing, confetti …) and where your guests should be directed to next.
There are endless combinations of elements that you can include in your ceremony and this outline is just the starting point for creating something which is just right for you. Get in touch for an informal chat and to start planning your own beautiful ceremony.
Bluebell Ceremonies – Creating beautiful, bespoke ceremonies to celebrate the special moments in your life.
Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Cotswolds.