Involving family & friends in your wedding ceremony.

Including your family & friends
Best ways to involve loved ones in your wedding ceremony.

More and more often couples are looking to include loved ones in their wedding ceremony. They no longer want family and friends to just sit and watch, they want them to play an active role.

So you’re planning your wedding ceremony and thinking of including your nearest, dearest, and loved ones. So how do you do this?

The trick is to make sure any involvement stays true to the theme and spirit of your wedding ceremony. It should be an added special personal touch.

So you know who you want to include but don’t know how to include them.
Many couples struggle to know the best ways to include family and friends. You might be looking at a way to honour your heritage and family traditions, or acknowledge specific loved ones, or celebrate the merging of two families into one through your marriage.

To help you decide the best ways you can include your family and friends on your big day, I want to share with you a list of my top 10 favorite wedding ceremony ideas. These are ideas that couples I have married used to cherish their loved ones during their ceremony.

My Top 10 List of the best ways to include people in your ceremony.

So having a bridal party is a great way of including people in your ceremony and a way that is tried and true. This however didn’t make it to my top 10 list not because it isn’t a fantastic idea. In my top 10 list, I wanted to include ways to include loved ones that you may not know about.

1) Walk down the aisle with a special person or people

Walking down the aisle is a very sentimental moment. Having someone by your side who has had a meaningful impact on your life will make that moment all the more special.

Consider breaking tradition and ask both parents, a grandparent (or two!), stepparents, or even a sibling or child to walk you down the aisle. Just choose the people that you cherish the most and who will cherish this moment with you.

2) Who do you want to ask for their continued love and blessings.

In traditional ceremonies, this was when the father of the bride was asked if he gave the bride to the man she was marrying. 

In contemporary weddings, this question can be asked in a lot of different ways and too as many people the couple likes.

You can ask just who is walking you up the aisle, your parents, select guests, or all of your guests. It can be one or everyone attending your wedding, it’s totally up to you.

Asking someone to be involved in this section of the ceremony is an honour for them as it is such a very special moment.

3) Give your mothers a special moment.

The Mother’s Rose Ceremony is a beautiful and loving way of honoring the couple’s mothers or other family members during a wedding ceremony.

The ceremony acknowledges the love and sacrifice that each mother has made to make her children who they are, two people ready to be in a committed, loving marriage.

As a token of the couple’s gratitude, they each offer a rose as a symbol of eternal love, to their mothers.

Asking someone to be involved in this section of the ceremony is an honour for them as it is such a very special moment.

4) Give your children a special moment.

So you’re bringing children into the marriage from a previous relationship and the person you are marrying wants to include them in the wedding ceremony.

A really beautiful idea is to have a special moment for the children that is all about them. 

Ask your children to join you at the altar and present to them a special gift of your love that they can wear or have with them as a reminder of this memorable moment.

The new parent could also write a letter to the children acknowledging his role in their life and the promises he makes to them.

Sometimes it’s really special to have your children standing with you at the altar as a part of your wedding party.

5) Call on musical friends.

A wedding ceremony usually calls for three pieces of music, one to enter with, one when you are signing the marriage documents, and one when you exit.

If you have been blessed with musical family members or friends consider asking them to perform at your wedding ceremony.

One of my brides had her brother sing while her best friend played the guitar as she walked down the aisle. During his song the brother’s voice momentarily cracked with emotion when he sore his sister come into view, it made the moment all the more special.

6) Have someone read a poem.

Do you have a favourite poem, song, or movie from your childhood, or maybe you like a modern quote from a movie or have song lyrics you love? Any of these can be added to your ceremony as a reading. 

Other poems and readings you may like to consider are traditional, modern, and poems religious texts.

You could also ask someone who is good at writing to create and read a special poem they have written just for you. 

It doesn’t matter what reading or poem you select, it’s just a really thoughtful and personal way to include this person in your ceremony.

7) Doing the Ring Exchange.

Traditionally the best man would hold the rings and pass them to each person getting married.

Why not choose someone else who you want to have a special role in your marriage ceremony.

This could be anyone, maybe a grandparent, one of your children, a parent, or a best friend or family member who is a guest. it could be anyone you like and being involved at the moment will mean so much to them.

8) Don’t forget your fur family.

Like me, so many couples think of their fur baby as a part of the family. If you wanted to include your pet in your ceremony you could have them as the ring bearer, they could walk you into or out of your ceremony, you could just dress them up as one of your bridal party or they could be included in the family photos.

If your fur baby is like a child, having them be a part of your day in any way will be special.

9) Wedding Ritual.

Wedding rituals are a fantastic way to include different members of your family. Some rituals will include or can be adapted to include all your guests.

The sand ceremony is a really popular ritual with my couples as the ritual can include parents and children.

I have also altered the time capsule for some of my couples so that all their guests could be involved by adding notes of wishes and advice. 

There are so many rituals to choose from your options are endless, but for the people, you have asked to be included this will be a special moment.

10) Witnesses.

Witnesses are a legal requirement for your wedding and traditionally are two people from your wedding party. This doesn’t need to be the case.

If you have someone truly special you want to have involved in your marriage ceremony, ask them to be a witness. This can be any of your family or friends. Some couples have had parents, others grandparents, and some family or best friends who aren’t in the bridal party. 

As the marriage documents are a legal form you need to keep in mind that your witnesses need to be at least 18 years old.

It doesn’t matter how you choose to include your family or friends in your wedding ceremony. Remember this is your day and the people you ask to be involved I’m sure will cherish and love the honour.

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AboutTanya McDonald
It goes without saying that being a marriage celebrant is an honour and a privilege. I have loved weddings and what they represent for as long as I can remember. Since becoming a celebrant I am able to fulfill my passion and at the same time treasure each opportunity I have to work with couples to help them bring their dreams and ideas into life through their ceremonies. I have been a fully authorised marriage celebrant since 2014 and I have helped couples enjoy thier journey to the altar since then. If you need a celebrant, I would love to discuss your ceremony with you.