You know what they say… you are a reflection of the company you keep. Your mates play a freakin big role in your lives together. They might have introduced the two of you on the dance floor of a dodgy pub at uni, stolen a phone to swipe right on your significant others Tindr profile while you weren’t looking, or let you borrow an outfit for your first date; and, for better or worse, they will have their part to play in your life as married folk too – cheering you on through victories and new adventures and lending you support/a hand/ice cream/emojis when times get tough. Plus they’re really fun (just like you two!), so let’s not leave them sitting idly by counting the minutes til canapes and wine start flowing only to finally release them on the dancefloor when Daryl Braithwaite ‘Horses’ comes on…let’s get ’em really involved in your wedding day.
I’m often heard banging on about making your ceremony personal, and including your special ‘love story’ is a great way to make the ceremony all about you. But if you don’t want me up there re-telling it, why not incorporate a bit of wedding trivia instead? We can pre-prepare questions and take a walk down memory lane by asking your guests to answer questions about you two (Where did they meet? What did Dave first think of Sophie? Where was the first place they went overseas together?), OR we can really up the ante by having your guests prepare a quick answer to some questions when they enter, before calling on them throughout the ceremony to share their responses (When did you first meet them as a couple and what were your impressions? Share a story about them as a couple? How would you describe them as a couple? What’s something about the bride/groom the groom/bride doesn’t know?)
Contrary to popular opinion, your witnesses do NOT have to be part of your bridal party. In fact, you can have anyone over 18 (who has been present throughout the ceremony and who can hear and understand the legal wording that is said in the ceremony) to act as your witnesses and sign off on the marriage certificates. So why not put all the over 18’s names in a hat and draw your witnesses on the spot right before the signing? You could even go a bit Oprah and hide a special card/treat under 2 seats and whoever finds it gets the witnessin’ honour!
As they say, it takes a village… so how about having your besties make some vows on the day as well? Marriages rely on community so having your nearest and dearest offer their love and support to you as a couple can be a great way to acknowledge the ongoing role they will play in your relationship. This can be a ‘repeat after me’ or ‘we do’ style vow – “Do you all promise to love and support these two in marriage, participate in their fortnightly themed dinner parties, and head to Splendour in the Grass with them every year til their old and wrinkly?” to which your crowd responds, “We DO!”. It can be a simple pledge to tear up the dancefloor at the reception or just a cheer or round of applause from all the guests in attendance to show how psyched they are to be sharing in the day with you. Group vows can come at the beginning of the ceremony to create a light, joyful, inclusive tone or closer to the vows to have your community show their support for you as a couple.
Ditch the readings and go rogue with some ‘in-ceremony-speeches’
Not really the ‘reading’ types? Then you should definitely considering ditching the readings and focusing on injecting more of the stuff you like into the ceremony. Like your mates. Like your mates who were there for an important part of your relationship, or ones who have supported you through tough times, or ones who are great at talking on microphones. Invite one or some chosen ones to share some of their own lovely words during the ceremony – anything from words of wisdom about marriage to why they think you both are just the best match ever, or maybe someone has the inside scoop on a pivotal moment in your relationship and can tell everyone what REALLY happened.
Got a favourite song and some musical mates? Or a favourite song and no musical mates? Let’s get a little bit Love Actually up in here and involve your guests in a sing-a-long. A group song can work beautifully at any point of your ceremony but is particularly excellent during the signing or as you walk back down the aisle/exit the ceremony. Pick a song you love that everyone is familiar with and let them know before the day so they can get their heads around the lyrics, hand out lyric booklets for them to sing a long, OR let us surprise you! There’s nothing like a group sing-along to set the tone for a party, to get everyone laughing and break the ice, PLUS you get to be serenaded by ALL the loves of your life!
For more ideas on how to include your favourite people on the planet in your awesome wedding ceremony – get in touch HERE.