Be outrageously YOU with Jennifer Claire
Personalising your wedding to the max is not only achievable, it’s also extremely fun! And I want to share a secret with you. You can start your wedding day with a kickass ceremony that is like nothing you and your guests have experienced before.
Let’s be honest, for the majority of people attending a wedding the ceremony is the first bit that everyone wants to get out the way before they head to the bar and the dancefloor. Newsflash – it doesn’t have to be that way if you book a wedding celebrant.
Celebrant led ceremonies are the perfect party starter. To quote the crowd-rousing, foot stomping words of Queen: ‘We will rock you’.
If your mind is now swirling wondering how this magic can happen let me enlighten you. Now is the time to own your ceremony and start your own traditions. Make choices that reflect you as a couple. You can work with your celebrant to incorporate a mix of traditional, cultural, religious, symbolic, alcoholic, or just plain crazy.
So, let’s look at them one at a time and delve a little deeper into the secrets to personalising your wedding to the max…
Traditional (with a twist)
Just because you book a celebrant doesn’t mean your wedding ceremony can’t still be traditional – you may just want to add a twist. Passionate about music? Include live music and singing. Get your family and friends on their feet playing kazoos (true story) whilst you sing your heart out to your favourite song.
If you can’t bear leaving your pampered pooch at home whilst you celebrate, how about including them in your wedding party as the ring bearer? There are even dog chaperone services to make sure your furry friend is looked after.
A popular way to make your ceremony stand out from the crowd is to write your own vows. Humorous, ultra-soppy or consisting of your favourite film quotes or song lyrics, your celebrant can help you put your thoughts and feelings down on paper so you and your other half can look into each other’s eyes and express how you feel about each other.
Cultural and/or Religious
The world is such a small place and therefore more and more couples from different cultural backgrounds and religions are falling in love. This can result in epic weddings! You have the freedom to mix things up and create something extra special that reflects your differences in a positive way and may help satisfy the wishes of family. Perhaps you would like a reading with religious content or want to kick off your ceremony with a traditional dance.
You may decide there are traditional wedding elements that you want to include in your ceremony. Whether that is the couple standing under a temporary alter covered in flowers, the bride’s mother pouring water into her daughter’s hands or the couple exchanging floral garlands, you can work with your celebrant to sensitively add them.
There are so many symbolic rituals you can include it is impossible to talk about them all, so I will focus on two of my favourites.
A ring warming is such an intimate ritual and works particularly well with a smaller guest list. The couple place their rings into a small pouch or jewellery box which is then passed from person to person. Each guest can hold the rings and make a wish or a blessing for the couple. Once ‘warmed’ and returned to the couple, they represent the combination of strength and belonging to their family and friends.
Or how about a unity candle ceremony. This involves lighting two single candles, each representing the two individuals. The candles are then used to light one central candle to symbolise a stronger, larger, and more powerful energy and light they have together as a union. It can be personalised in many ways such as the type, colour, and size of the candle.
If you and your guests like the odd alcoholic beverage you are in luck! There are a variety of ways you can include your favourite tipple within your ceremony.
If you love a cocktail, then how about making or creating your own. It could be a favourite one that you both enjoy drinking; a new blend of your most loved spirits or the cocktail could be used as a metaphor of life, the chosen ingredients (bitter and sweet) representing the highs and lows of marriage.
A mead ceremony is steeped in tradition from ancient China to the pages of the Epic of Beowulf. In Norse tradition, mead brewed from the blood of the man Kvasir was said to turn those that imbibed it into scholars or poets, tapping into the vast well of knowledge held by Odin himself. Some couples choose to use mead or honey wine as a way for them and their guests to toast their union.
If you would like something with more longevity, then a Wine Box ritual may be perfect for you. It’s got a cool time capsule feel about it. You each place handwritten love letters into a box, followed by a bottle of wine then the box is shut and sealed or locked. You can then crack open the box to celebrate a milestone anniversary of your choosing, whether that’s your first, your fifth or your fifteenth. Make sure you buy wine that ages well though!
It’s not really for me to tell you what is a crazy idea, after all to one duo a couple’s quiz may be pushing the boundaries of what they feel comfortable with and for others that would be tame. Remember, you are only limited by your imagination!
So, there you have it. I have given you a small taster of how you could rock your ceremony.
Take ownership of your ceremony, book a celebrant and let them know exactly what vibe you want as you say your I Do’s. Be confident that a celebrant led ceremony will be a topic of conversation, for all the right reasons, for the rest of your wedding day.If you are thinking ‘we need to find ourselves a celebrant right now’ then check out www.thecelebrantdirectory.com to search who is in your local area. Most celebrants will travel nationally and internationally so search for the type of celebrant who fits you, be it alternative, completely wacky, traditional or anything in between. Find my column in every issue of Outrageous Bride magazine for more wonderful wedding inspiration!
Jennifer Claire is a lover of all things celebration. The founder of The Celebrant Directory, she believes that every ceremony should be full to the brim with personality and works with couples and celebrants to add that extra spark into getting hitched.
Image by Nisha Haq Photography