How to involve friends and family in your ceremony
We all know a wedding day is about you, the couple, the loved-up legends at the centre of this epic celebration. But it’s also likely you wouldn’t be at this point in your life without the support, wisdom and fun of the incredible people who form your community. They’re often the ones who’ve been an integral part of your story, and teasing out some of these connections during your ceremony can add a unique, meaningful, and sometimes hilarious element.
Finding a way to involve some of these fabulous folk can not only create a ceremony that feels super personal to you, but it can also make your guests feel included in all the amazing feels you’re creating on your day.
But how do you incorporate your friends and family into a ceremony without it taking an age to get through, becoming monotonous or falling flat? We have assembled some of our favourite creative concepts to help inspire your imagination!
Who says the groom and his gents can’t make an entrance? Why not crank his favourite tune, and let the guys take centre stage as they make their way down the aisle as a group, cheered along by the guests. Give everyone a moment to settle, welcome the guests, then introduce the bride!
And if you’re feeling truly non-traditional, why not enter as a couple together, surrounded by your closest family or friends? This one is sure to start your ceremony with a unique, epically upbeat feel.
If you feel more like you want to let Dad have his moment, why not pause at the top of the aisle to hug Mum too? This is your time to shine, so take the time to map out what feels right for you.
The all-inclusive welcome.
Once you’ve settled in, a quick acknowledgement of the groups present can be a great way to have everyone feeling included.
Whether it be a shout out to mates from uni, family from interstate, the London party crew or those friends you’ve made along the way, a mention in the ceremony itself will instantly have everyone feeling part of the day.
Turn the spotlight on the squad.
An extension of this can be an introduction of the bridal party. After all, we so often don’t find out why these fine folk are there alongside you, and knowing who they are makes for easy conversation at the bar later and a cracking vibe on the dance floor!
This can be just a line or two about each person, often with a sprinkle of light-hearted roasting or just a hint of humour to spark a little laughter and allow your guests to settle in.
An alternate angle.
Chat to your celebrant about whether they are happy to include personal insights from your closest friends or family.
Some will send a few questions to individuals on your behalf, which can prompt some excellent responses about you and your life together. Weaving these into a ceremony on behalf of your guests adds a perfectly personal touch and an inclusive tone.
Rework those readings.
And of course, there is always the more classic option of including a reading. You can think outside the square with these, though – look to your favourite movie, song or even Insta quote for inspiration. Or maybe you have a wonder with words in your friendship circle who will write something just for you. Our golden rule is, if it feels important or relevant to you, pop it in.
Remembering the special ones.
We know that whilst a wedding is a genuinely joy-filled occasion, nothing in life is all fabulous florals and flowing champagne. Your ceremony can be a poignant place to acknowledge those that cannot be with you on your day, whether it be due to physical distance, because they have passed, or for other reasons. Making mention of them can be an important way to respectfully hold space for them and your loved ones whilst allowing you to experience the happiest moments too. This is such a personal element we recommend talking to your celebrant about your ideas and listening to what they may suggest and recommend. Crafting something that feels right for you is key.
A popular outcome of the pandemic, and one we feel will stick, is the ability to livestream your ceremony over platforms such as Zoom. What could be better for friends and family that can’t be physically with you than to sit back, party frocks up top and PJs down the bottom, sharing the cheers and laughter and happy tears along with you? Zoom for the long-distance wedding win, we say.
The (not so) obvious options.
Some of the more “obvious” ways to include people are often automatically allocated to the wedding party. Sometimes mixing this up can be an excellent option to honour other important people in your lives. Have one or two of your favourite peeps hold on to and pass the rings to you during the ceremony (we love when grandparents are given this job!), pass out programs, fans or petals for tossing at the end of the ceremony (great for littlies with some help), or witness your ceremony.
If you like the idea of keeping your ceremony light-hearted, a witness lottery can be a fun option. Place the names of your guests on small pieces of paper in a box or vase; then, at the right moment in your ceremony, the couple draw out a name each – these lucky legends become your witnesses! (“rigging” the game somewhat is also not frowned upon – just don’t tell anyone!)
As long as your witnesses hear the legal bits, you’re good to go.
As you step into married life…
The end of a ceremony can get a little business-like – it’s all family photos here and canapés and cocktails that way. One way to inject a final, personal touch is to include a line or two of wisdom from someone special in your world. Your long-married grandparents, newlywed besties or your parents can be a meaningful or humourous fit. Ask your celebrant to read it on their behalf if you’re keen to wrap things up without losing all that emotion-filled energy.
We hope these suggestions have helped spark inspiration for you and solved that “how do I involve every bloody brilliant person” dilemma! But remember, be selective; a ceremony including ALL of these options will last for the entire night. You want to leave your ceremony elated, loved up and with enough energy to continue to enjoy every epic moment!
To find a celebrant who will help you include all these perfectly poignant, fun-filled and meaningful moments, look no further than our directory for some of the superstars of the biz.