What’s in a ceremony?

Q: What do you want included in your ceremony?

A: Uh, I dunno.. What’s normal?

Nothing’s particularly ‘normal’ about a wedding, really.

But here’s an outline of how many people choose to structure their wedding ceremony.

  1. Arrival – Think about how you want to turn up to your wedding. Will you arrive with someone, will you have music playing, will you already be there to greet your guests as they arrive?
  2. Introduction – Consider how you want your celebrant to kick off your ceremony. Perhaps include a highlight reel of your relationship so far, a reflection of your beliefs around marriage, a bit about how perfect you are for one another, an acknowledgement of how special your guests are to you, etc.
  3. Readings – There may be some special people you want included in your ceremony. They could read a poem, share special song lyrics, or write their own reflection on you. These days, there are so many options for the open-minded couple.
  4. The Monitum – a legally required statement to be made by your celebrant.
  5. The minimum vows – a legally required sentence to be said by you and heard by your witnesses and celebrant.
  6. Vows – Apart from the first time you see each other, this is my favourite part of any ceremony. Many people like to write their own vows and keep them a surprise from each other until the ceremony. Some people write theirs together. Some people like to be asked questions and respond with ‘I do’. Some people write each other a letter and skip saying vows in their ceremony.
  7. Exchange of rings – many people give one another rings after they have said their vows. Often as they exchange rings, they say a small statement about the significance of the rings.
  8. The Kiss – hopefully this is self-explanatory!
  9. Signing of register and certificate – you’ll need two people over 18 to act as your witnesses. This doesn’t have to be someone in your bridal party. If may be parents, siblings, friends.. anyone who heard your celebrant say the Monitum and you say the Minimum Vows. It’s often nice to plan a song to be playing during this time.
  10. Final well-wishes – Some words summing up all our positive and happy thoughts for you as you head off down the aisle as a married couple.
  11. Presentation of the married couple – this is the announcement that you are in fact, completely and utterly married. Think about how you want this shouted from the rooftops, hint: you don’t have to change your name if you don’t want.

Picture of the always smiling Sarah & Tommy, captured by the clever Tilly Clifford at Nu Lumeah.

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