Marlee K Bruinsma, Civil Marriage Celebrant 0438 144 269
If you have children, you can include them in a number of ways:
Many couples have friends of both sexes and often have a unisex wedding party, with the bride’s male friends standing on her side, along with her female friends, and the groom’s female friends standing on his side during the ceremony. This tends to be a lot of fun even if taking a little bit of co-ordination with wedding attire.
This is especially a good practice where the bride and groom have very uneven size families so that it balances out the numbers on either side if seated. Another good tradition is placing the bride’s and groom’s parents and close family diagonally opposite them (not the bride’s family seated on the side the bride is standing or the groom’s family on the same side as the groom) so that they can see their children more clearly as they say their vows.
Some brides and grooms like to make an entrance together rather than having the groom waiting for the bride. Each time this has been done in a ceremony I have officiated at, the guests have greeted them with spontaneous applause.
Or the groom can make an entrance, followed by the bride after a suitable interval. I have fond memories of a groom who walked with his groomsmen down the aisle to “I’m Too Sexy”. Another courageous groom and his men made their entrance cantering down an embankment on their horses. The brides followed after an interval to their own songs and entrances.
The bride can walk half way up the aisle or path, where she meets her groom and both walk together to the ceremony area.
One couple I married led a procession of their guests through New Farm Park to their wedding venue, accompanied by an Andes band.
Some couples like to include their dog as the ring bearer or ride their favourite horse to the ceremony area.
I have officiated at several weddings where the ceremony was a surprise for the guests. You can’t surprise each other as bride and groom as you both need to sign paperwork at least a month before your wedding. You can have an engagement party and get married, or invite the family for Christmas and get married or have a birthday party and get married! It’s super hard to keep the secret however. In one wedding I did, the only surprise was for the bride and groom as all their guests knew they were getting married but managed to keep it a secret that they had found out about the wedding!
If you and your partner are from different cultures or backgrounds, you can design a wedding ceremony that honours both heritages. For example, I did a coin ceremony for a bride from the Philippines and a groom from China. We used 8 coins (a lucky number in China) while the coin ceremony itself was from the Philippines.
Ways of walking down the aisle
You can walk down the aisle with both parents, with a grandparent, your children or a best friend. Both of you can walk down the aisle together or separately or with your parents. You can dance down the aisle or or even not have an aisle!
Marlee referred to many memorable occasions in our life and special people (also our furry ones). It is lovely to keep this for the future in the booklet you gave us. Marlee, we had several people comment on the way the ceremony was held and how lovely and relaxed we all felt. Thank you so very much for all your assistance.
Karen and Casey
Everything went exactly as planned. You really helped us to come to decisions at moments where we didn’t know which direction to take – keep this up! Thank you for making sure that our ceremony ran seamlessly and the certificates for the kids were a wonderful touch, everyone commented on how beautiful it was! We can’t thank you enough for all your help as we planned our ceremony, as well as on the day itself – we’ve received a lot of compliments about the different elements involved and I’m glad we went the extra distance as it meant a lot for both families to have as many people involved even in the smallest way.
Grace and Fabian
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