As a celebrant, I am always banging on about the importance of the ceremony. Not only is it the moment where you actually become married, it kick starts the whole celebration and sets the vibe for the rest of the day.
I love the way the wedding industry has evolved, even in the past five years I have been a celebrant. Couples are really understanding now the importance of the ceremony, the value of a s**t hot celebrant in creating the magic and the flexibility that comes with a modern civil ceremony.
There is absolutely no reason you should have to settle for a stuffy, soulless celebration… unless of course beige and boring is your vibe. So do your research, choose the right person to steer your love boat and make sure they are writing your ceremony from scratch!
As obvious as it sounds, that really is the key piece to the personalised puzzle. The content of the ceremony itself is where the real magic lies and if done well, it will celebrate your love story, your individuality and set the mood for the biggest party of your lives.
But aside from booking an amazing celebrant and a team of vendors who are ready to run with your vision, here are a few other ways you can take your ceremony from beige to bangin’ and leave all your guests raving about it being totally ‘you’.
1. Signature Drink on Arrival
If you don’t mind a tipple yourselves, chances are your mates will love a welcome drink. You can tailor it to suit your vibe and tastes. Whether it be mimosas, aperol spritz, personalised craft beer or a concoction of your own, your guests will immediately relax into celebration mode with drink in hand.
2. Signage or Order of Service
A perfect way to speak your language as a couple. Welcome signs are super popular at ceremonies nowadays as they tie in the styling, but you can also use them to assert your voice by leaving a quirky message for your guests.
The order of service (little ceremony program) isn’t something you see too commonly outside of the church, but when it is done creatively, it can also be such a great way to put a stamp of individuality on the day. I have seen hilarious wedding party bios in ceremony programs, instructions for treasure hunts or reception games or even lyrics for group sing-a-longs.
You can also use it to express your values as a couple. Perhaps you have donated money to a charity close to your heart instead of doing bomboniere. Let them know in your program and encourage them to do the same if they wish.
If you aren’t blissing out to ‘Cannon in D’ on the daily, then don’t feel the need to walk down the aisle to it. Music is one of the most powerful ways to incorporate your personalities and passions throughout the whole day and this includes the ceremony. Go. To. Town.
So what is a processional anyway?! It’s the entrance, a potentially grand and dramatic moment where you see your love in their wedding day get-up for the first time. However, it doesn’t need to look anything like in the movies if that’s not your vibe. It’s a moment full of feels, but for some full of anxiety just at the thought, so feel free to ditch tradition and make it suit your personalities.
That may mean you rock it out down that aisle hand in hand to your fave party tune, or perhaps you are both already there mingling with your guests as they arrive. Whatever it looks like, make sure it feels comfortable and right for you.
I always encourage my couples to have a crack at writing their own vows. It’s an incredibly special opportunity to spill your guts in front of all your faves, but most importantly in front of your lifer.
Personal vows are a game changer when you’re aiming for a ceremony that really reflects you and your lover lover.
6. Include Others
I am a big fan of having special people involved in your ceremony, but that doesn’t mean they have to get up there and deliver a stale old reading with no relevance to your modern marriage. They can tell part of your story, add some juicy tidbits I may not have been told, or give you some good old marriage advice of their own.
They could also sing, play music, sign as your witnesses, hold up your piñata as you smash it or come dressed as Mr Darcy from Pride & Prejudice and challenge the groom to a duel. And yes, they are all real examples. Point being, there ain’t no rules.
I love ending a ceremony with a toast or a special drink. It’s a great vibe and can be a really symbolic way to start your shared celebration and a really personal and unique ceremony memory.
Word to the wise, avoid fireball. Everyone would prefer Nanna to keep her bra on at the reception.
8. Ditch the Weird Traditions
Sometimes it’s not only what you include in your ceremony that makes it unique, it’s what you leave out and there are many weird traditions that can move straight to trash. Unless you see yourself as a dowry, don’t be given away. Don’t exchange rings if you don’t want to and don’t carry flowers if it’s not your thing. Allow your guests to sit on whichever side they choose, in fact don’t even give them chairs at all.
You do you babes and everyone will love it to pieces!
About Amy Watson: Amy is a Sydney based marriage celebrant and MC who has been shaking up ceremonies since 2015. She has a unique and modern approach to marriage making, with the aim of always reflecting the individuality of each couple and giving their love the celebration it deserves. Like a perfectly mixed margarita, she balances those upbeat and celebratory vibes with sincerity, sensitivity, a pinch of sass and a whole lot of love.