Category: day of wedding

Wedding - Michael & Elizabeth

Involving family & friends in your wedding ceremony.

So you’re planning your wedding ceremony and thinking of including your nearest, dearest, and loved ones. So how do you do this?
I would like to share my top 10 list of favorite wedding ceremony ideas to including your family and friends.

Marriage Vows

Marriage Vows

You’re getting married, congratulations. You have your celebrant booked and now it’s time to add some personal details to your marriage ceremony wording.

The vows part of your ceremony is really special. This is the time in the ceremony you can express to each other your love and promises.  It’s also the time in your ceremony when after you have both said your vows, you are now legally married.

Wedding vows in some form can be dated to the Roman Empire (17 BC – 476 AD).  The oldest traditional wedding vows, however, can be traced back tothe manuals of the medieval church. The couples in these marriages would promise to “love and cherish” or, alternatively, the groom promises to “love, cherish, and worship”, and the bride to “love, cherish, and obey”.

Wedding vows have come a long way since then, thank goodness. Now couples although having to say the required legal vows can now add their own personal vows after this.

In this post, I will be providing you with some easy tips on writing your own personal vows to your partner.


Legal Vows do I need to say them?

Yes. If you wish to be legally married in Australia then you must say the legal vows as stated in the Marriage Act 1961.

Subsection 45(2) of the Marriage Act sets out the minimum words (or vows) which must be used by the couple for a non-religious (civil) ceremony to be a marriage ceremony: Each of the parties to the marriage must say the vows to each other.

“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded (wife, husband or spouse).

Couples wishing to personalise their vows further are able to lengthen their vows by adding their chosen wording after saying the minimum words (so long as any material added does not contradict the minimum vows).

Nicknames should not be used in the legal section of the vows. However, shortened names or nicknames may be used in the personal vow section.



Why is adding your own personal vows special?

After you have said the legal section of your vows you can add your personal section.

This is where you can add your personality, feelings, and promises.

When you start to write your personal vows, just remember to make them about you and your feelings for each other. 



The easiest way to start is to write down the answers to the following questions in point form. 

* What you love about the other person

* What you love about your relationship

* Why you decided to get married

* What you promise for the future

Then extend them into sentences using your own words. If you need any help writing your vows or if you would just like a sounding board to hear what you have written ask your celebrant for help.

Just remember not to make your marriage vows too long as it will make it hard for you to get through them on the day, especially if you are emotional when you need to read them.

It’s also a really lovely idea to keep your marriage vows a surprise for each other only revealing them during your ceremony. It’s a special gift you can give to one another on your wedding day.

Example of personal marriage vows

This morning I woke up excited because today is the day I marry my best friend. I love how when I’m too busy to be there to do household duties, you always look after things. You are the most beautiful, smart, and generous person I have ever known. I promise to continue wiping away your tears with my laughter, and your pain with my caring and my compassion. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you, my best friend. I will love you forever.


Don’t be afraid to write your own personal marriage vows. You can’t get them wrong if they are from your heart. 



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Wedding Rituals

How to include a wedding ritual in your marriage ceremony.

There are many different unity ceremonies and rituals, that couples can select from for their weddings and most are a symbol to show the uniting of the couple in marriage. Some can also include family and friends that show their support for your marriage.
While some rituals are more spiritual and based on religion, others come purely out of creativity.
Whether you’re looking for a religious or cultural ritual, or you’re simply looking for ideas to personalise your ceremony, there are many wedding rituals to select from.

In this post, I will be covering some of the more popular wedding rituals couples I have married included in their ceremonies.


So should I include a wedding ritual in my ceremony?

If you answer “Yes” to any of the following questions then a ritual would be a great addition to your ceremony.
Do you want to involve your children in the ceremony?
Do you want to involve your parents in the ceremony?
Do you want to say a special thank you and acknowledge your mothers and or fathers?
Does your family have culture or heritage traditions?
Do you want to do something special to celebrate your love in the ceremony?
Do you want to have something from your ceremony to keep in your home as a special memento of your wedding day?
Do you want to include a religious element in your ceremony?


So what wedding ritual should I select?

Look at who you want to include in your wedding ritual or what symbolic meaning you would like to have. Then look at all the different ritual options. If you can’t find a ritual to completely suit then why not adjust an existing one or create one of your own.

The wedding rituals my couples loved.

1) Sand Ceremonies
Sand Ceremonies are a unique way of showing the unity or joining of two people. It can also involve family showing they are an important part of the marriage union.
The grains of sand poured into a container become combined, symbolising the couple and or the children and parents coming together in marriage, and the joining of their lives. As it would be near impossible to separate the different coloured grains of sand, that’s how difficult it would be to separate the people involved in the ceremony.
The Sand Ceremony is also very popular as the blended sand is a beautiful keepsake and as the symbol for the couple or family joining as one.


2) Actually “Tying the Knot”
Both of the couples’ mothers present the couple with a long piece of thick ribbon or cord (2 or more different colours, maybe your wedding colours) which you will tie in a knot to symbolise the union of the two families. As a reminder of your special day, every year on your anniversary with the same piece of ribbon or cord you can again “tie the knot”.


3) Make a Time Capsule
You might not be able to wrap love in a box, but you can certainly capture the essence of your wedding day by creating a marriage time capsule. Anything can go into your capsule from love letters to each other, a bottle of your favourite wine, wishes, and advice from your family and friends or mementos from your time together.

The Time capsule not only gives you a charming way to store your wedding memorabilia but also allows you to have a visibly constant reminder in your home of the sacred commitment you have made to each other.
Some couples choose to open the Time capsule on their 5th or 10th wedding anniversary or on a day that they feel is significant to them. Then they add a new love letter for that time in their life.


4) Ring Blessing / RingWarming Ceremony

The ring blessing ritual can be a very special part of a wedding ceremony. It can involve just the couple, your family, your friends, or all of your guests. The idea is for the rings to be passed to each person involved in the ritual. When the person is holding the rings they bless them with wishes and then pass them on to the next person. When the rings return to the couple they will hold in them all the best wishes of love from the people who have held them.


5) Hand Fasting
The Hand Fasting Ceremony is Celtic in origin that dates back to the medieval and renaissance period. It involves the tying of hands together to symbolise the coming together of the couple and symbolically tied together in marriage.

6) Rose Ceremony
For your first gift as a couple, you can give each other the gift of a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love, and a single rose always meant only one thing; it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift as husband and wife, that gift would be a single rose.

Another version of the Rose Ceremony is to present roses to your mothers to represent your thanks for the many selfless sacrifices they have made and for the unconditional love they’ve so freely given


7) Chocolate and Champagne Ceremony
In this ceremony, the couple together eats some bitter dark chocolate and drinks some sweet champagne. The ceremony symbolises the idea that with marriage, you will have sweet moments and bitter moments, and either way, the couple will share them and weather them together.


Tips for having a ritual at your ceremony

If you decide you are going to include a ritual in your ceremony make sure you arrange all the items you need early.
You will be able to find ritual items from stores and online shops around Australia. eBay and Amazon are also great for finding the items you need for your wedding ritual.
If the budget is tight then the alternative is to make your own or look for less expensive options.

If your celebrant includes rituals in the ceremonies they do, as I do, then they will also have ideas on how best to source the items.

A ritual can be an amazing and unique way to personalise your ceremony. Having one well organised by your celebrant will mean that it will only add a little extra time to your ceremony, but a lasting moment that your guests will remember always.

For more information about marriage, rituals visit my inspirations page.

Live Wedding Music

Wedding Ceremony Music

Having the right music, your music choice, for your ceremony is a great way to give the moment a personal touch.

Selecting songs that have meaning to you and your relationship will help make each piece that much more special. It will also leave you and your guests with wonderful memories to take away from your wedding day.

Another great way of personalising your music is to have it played live. There are lots of options but some of the popular ones are String Quartets, Harpists, Pianists, Guitarists, Musicians and Ensembles, Classical / Opera Singers, Solo Singer, and Acoustic groups.

We are really lucky in Central West NSW to have lots of talented local musicians, so you are sure to find a fit for what you are looking for.

Just remember it is your ceremony and should reflect you as a couple. So just select music that you like and don’t be persuaded to select a piece that is not you just because it is a “wedding” song.

A wedding ceremony typically requires three pieces of music. One to enter the ceremony, one when you sign the documents, and one for when you exit the ceremony as a married couple.

Some of the talented local musicians in Central West NSW.

Smith and Jones
Smith & Jones, made up of keyboard player and vocalist Abby Smith, with guitarist and vocalist Sophie Jones, have never been ones to follow the pack. Though classified as alt-country, their goal has never been to remain within the confines of any genre, preferring to let their sound and their songs take them where they will.
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Gabbi Bolt
Gabbi is a classically trained pianist and contemporary performer with over a decade of experience. Her long awaited first EP, Grey into Blue, bonds her solid musical background with her natural talent for pop songwriting. Grey Into Blue brings to mind the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Sara Bareilles and Adele, whilst retaining the humour, vocal clarity, and lyrical depth that is so uniquely Gabbi.
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Andy Nelson
Andy Nelson is a highly talented singer/songwriter who is developing an ever-expanding fan base across the Central West of NSW and beyond. Having only recently taken a long-held love of playing music beyond his family and friends to public venues, his acoustic mix of covers and originals have struck a chord with audiences.
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The Safety of Life at Sea
The Safety of Life at Sea is a band with a distinctly vintage vibe inspired by blues, soul and funk as well as the classic songwriters of the 60's and 70's - with groove. The rhythm section takes a leaf out of the books of Stax and Motown, and the piano went for a weekend in New Orleans and never came back.
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Momentum is fast becoming the perfect choice for weddings from the Central West to the coast. They can provide both acoustic, relaxed style music for ceremonies, cocktails & canapes AND the kind of floor-filling hits that your guests will dance to all night long!
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Amy Viola
An acclaimed classical violist, Amy has performed internationally as both a soloist and chamber musician. Her captivating, intricate performances blend musicianship, creativity and soaring melodies. Amy is quickly establishing herself amongst festivals and house concerts as a unique artist and songwriter who isn't afraid to explore the bittersweet and raw reality of life in her lyrics.
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Both are playing different instruments and different parts, but as long as you’re playing from the same sheet music, you can create something beautiful.

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