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Celebrant secrets to a relaxed wedding ceremony

Posted by Debbie Skyrme on Friday 17th April 2020
Celebrant secrets to a relaxed wedding ceremony

One celebrant shares a few professional tricks to make sure that your guests feel like they are a huge part of your day… from the ones you’ve known for 20 years to the ones who’ve been in your life for 20 months and even the new  ‘plus ones’ that you haven’t met yet!.

After all, there’s always one person at a wedding that’s never met the wedding couple, so read on for celebrant secrets to a relaxed wedding ceremony.

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The Welcome… May all who come as guests leave as friends

Setting the right tone starts with making those people who don’t know anybody feel like they know everybody!

A super shiny smiling celebrant will BE THERE for your guests as they arrive.

I like to think of the celebrant as the host at a very lavish dinner party.

It is so easy to engage with people at this stage. We all have something in common – YOU! – so there is always something to talk about!

As the wedding officiant, I love to build the energy in the room by inviting guests to take their seats with tremendous gusto, by introducing myself before the couple arrives and by giving them a little teaser of what’s to come…a bit like watching the trailer to a smash hit box office movie!

I also like to get a round of applause for the dashing groom at this point. It helps ease his nerves and it ‘sets the tone’ for the fun that’s about to come!

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Photo credit: Moments Catchers

The Wedding rings… The worlds smallest handcuffs!

All joking aside, the rings are the most important symbols the wedding couple will exchange. They signify a commitment to life, to each other, to the future!

As a celebrant, I love to get the family and friends to ‘warm these rings’ by passing them around right at the beginning of the ceremony, holding them for a moment whilst making a silent wish.
By the time the rings are returned they are filled with all the love, support and wisdom of their family and friends!

It is possibly the most romantic and inclusive element of my ceremonies and it ticks the box of making everybody feel included!

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Photo credit: Moments Catchers

An inclusive Handfasting ritual

"I take your hands in mine…and with this string I will entwine!"

A Handfasting ceremony is so popular in wedding ceremonies nowadays and in true celebrant style, I have found a way of putting my very own spin on this ancient ritual!

I like to include as many guests as desired (wedding season 2020 sees me with my first record of 26 guests….yes that’s right 26!!)

In collaboration with my brides and grooms I like to explore a few things about each person involved that make them special to the couple.
This might be a special memory or a fun moment that has caused this person to ‘colour their world,’ to warrant them being included in the ceremony.
Each person then gets a ribbon in a colour that links to their story which they come up and place during the Handfasting.

Surprise participation in the ceremony

The best thing is that these guests don’t know until the moments before the ceremony that they have a special part to play in the Handfasting…. that is when I am chatting to them all, welcoming them and working through my list distributing my ribbons! This is such a great way of again of setting the tone and building the buzz!

These unsuspecting guests also don’t know what we’re going to say about them and so it creates the most magical TEARS OF JOY MOMENTS that every wedding ceremony so truly deserves.

These specially identified guests have made you who you are today. They have helped you arrive at this moment and so it is only right that we tie all of those memories and moments in a knot, a secure knot that will be the platform for your future! A ‘knot of love’ that will never become untied!

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Photo credit: Moments Catchers

Make a group wedding vow

It is not only my bride and groom making vows on their special day, oh no!

A great way of getting your guests involved and feeling part of the by now well-established wedding family is to ask one specific question of them all. For instance, 

"Will you continue to be there, to love and to support them and to babysit at short notice?

To avoid any embarrassment, the answer to this group question is,

‘WE WILL!’

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Photo credit: Moments Catchers

Share a final grand countdown

‘What feels like the end, is often the beginning’

There is nothing like a countdown to get the juices flowing, ready for those post ceremony bubbles!

It ends the ceremony on a high, and sets the tone for the party to follow.

It can happen at anytime towards the latter part of the ceremony but my favourite is either before the grand dramatic moment of tying the knot, or before the announcement of the newlyweds as they will be known from here on in… almost like a drum roll!

Come on, join in – you know you want to…10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1!!!!!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen let me present to you…a group of people who feel like they know everybody!!

Mission Accomplished!

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Featured Celebrant: Stewart O'Sullivan

Featured Celebrant: Stewart O'Sullivan

Stewart is a true Irish storyteller who thrives in bringing people together – the inspiration for his personal hashtag - #togetherisabeautifulplace

Read Stewart's profile here

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