Monthly Archives: January 2012

Baby Naming Ceremonies

If baptisms and christenings aren’t your thing, it might be a good idea to look into having a baby naming ceremony. There are very similar things in a baby naming ceremony that are done in a christening or a baptism.   This is a great chance to name the god Parents, or they can be referred to as Mentors or Sponsors. You can have readings, music and promises that you can make to your child and promises that the god parents can also make to the child. Just as any ceremony that you create the only thing that can stop you is your imagination.

There are all sorts of unique things that can be included in the ceremony. A nice idea is to have something that the godparents can present to the child so that they can always be aware of the significance of the day and the promises that were made to them on that day. It could be something traditional, like jewellery or another sentimental keepsake. A book might be made up with best wishes and advice for life written in it from everyone present on the day, and maybe photos could be added to give to the child at a milestone birthday, or at an age when they are old enough to appreciate it. A very thoughtful idea is to make a time capsule, with all sorts of things that are from the year the child was born, everyone present could contribute to the capsule and it could be sealed or buried by the parents and godparents on the day of the ceremony.

If you, or people that you know are musical, someone may even want to write a song especially for the child which could be performed during the ceremony. Depending on your beliefs and ideals, you could say a prayer, light candles, burn incense, have a astrological chart, a painting by someone artistic, or something that could involve all of the guests present on the day, people may want to make a video with all of the people present sending a message to the child for later in their life. You might want to plant a tree, or send seedlings home with people to plant.

All in all, it is the thought that counts. It is as much about the baby as it is about you welcoming a new life into your lives. Make it something that you can look back on as a beautiful time in your child’s life where they were surrounded by people that love them.

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Trusting Yourself

This may be a tough subject, but a friend of mine suggested a blog topic to me, to Trust Yourself.  She said it might not be something that a lot of people talk about. When I asked her what she meant, she told me about her own story. She was in a seven year old relationship, she had been living with her partner for quite some time and her partner had proposed to her. She said yes, and was happy to start planning their wedding and their new life together. As the planning process went on she started  feeling as though something about this wasn’t right, and it wasn’t nerves or cold feet. It wasn’t a normal nervousness about embarking on a new chapter in her life shared with someone else. In the beginning she thought that it was just how relationships worked and that maybe a wedding would make her feel differently about her partner, but when she was finally honest with herself she knew she loved him and cared for him, but wasn’t in love with him anymore.

She mentioned to me that she thought during the process how hard will it be if she had children with this man that later in life she would have to divorce their father. She couldn’t see herself with him 10 years down the track, a bit older, wiser and with fond memories made or imagine them happy in 10 years. She could only imagine sitting down with a daughter, saying “I’m sorry, I could have avoided all of this”.

My friend also mentioned to me the support that she received from the people around her, even though things were well on their way, deposits paid and the date of the wedding was drawing closer, she just knew that she couldn’t do it. While she packed her bags, the thoughts of the daughter that could have been and the conversation she felt they would have been destined to have is what kept her packing.  With her mum waiting around the corner in the car, she broke the news.

There were so many people who said that they wished that they had the strength that she had, friends who confided in her saying that it was something that they should have done, but it was just to hard. Even the ex- fiancé’s mother called to thank her. There were also the friends that she lost, the ones who couldn’t believe she could just do that.

When we were talking about all the feelings that she had  looking back now, she realises that she was going to settle, because she thought that she couldn’t get anyone better than him.  With hindsight she can see that she was being untrue to herself.  Compromising who she was, to do the things that only he liked doing, and the things that only he was interested in. She recognised that he wouldn’t do  the things that she liked, or try to even be interested in something simply because it made her happy. It was a very hard decision for my friend to make to end her relationship of seven years and to start again. She feels that it was the best thing that she did though, now she is happy  and in a relationship with a man that she adores, and her ex is happy, moved on with his life too. She has now found someone who understands her and allows her to be herself and to be loved for the person that she is.

Really isn’t that what we all want to find that person who ‘gets’ us, who realises that no one is perfect. A person who loves us for that special individual imperfect person that we are. Someone that when we are with them that wherever in the world we are, we are home.

Thanks to my lovely friend who shared her story with me, and also to my friend  Michael Thomas for the use of his fantastic image, check out his other work at www.mthom.com

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Rituals and Readings in your ceremony

There are so many different rituals and readings that you can have in your ceremony, it is a great way to include people in your wedding. There are different ways that you can do this, the great thing about having your wedding performed your way is that you can choose how much or how little you want in it. You can choose how many readings or how many rituals you want in your ceremony, and the only thing that can stop you is your imagination and time restraints that might be applied to you by your venue.

Readings are always popular and are a great way to have close friends and family involved especially if you have had to leave someone out of your bridal party  or are not having a bridal party and want to give them a special job to do on the day. Readings are great because they can be exactly what you want to say, these can be serious or funny, they can be something that has been written by someone close to you or it can be something that you loved the moment that you read it. If people come from a religious background and the parents are not to happy that they are not getting married in a church, some people may want to put a bible reading or have a family member say a prayer.

There are some rituals that are used more than others and it really depends on who you want to incorporate into the wedding, as to what ones you might choose. One that is one of my personal favourites, especially at a small wedding, is the warming of the rings.  What happens in the warming of the rings, is that you have someone pass the rings amongst all the guests that you have invited to your wedding, and they are asked to hold them for a brief moment and make a wish, give their love and warm thoughts for you.  When they have all held them and wished their best, they are brought back to you so that you can then exchange your rings.

A great way if you want to have your family or parents involved in the service is to have a candle ceremony. Candle ceremonies can represent a few different things and there are variations on them, but they can be a great way to represent the family that you have each come from and to show that you are still a part of that family, but now are making a new family of your own. Or to show that you have come from these two families to now be  joined as one.

Sand ceremonies can be a great way to represent the blending of families, you can have little vials of sand to represent each family, or each person, and they can all be blended as words are said into new containers. These can be purchased from speciality places or they can be collected from various locations that are important to you and the members of your family.

There are so many rituals that you can choose, the internet is flooded with them. There are hundreds of books of readings and talking to other people can also inspire new ideas, you can write your own and start a new one that you invent. I could talk to people about these things for hours. If you are thinking about having ritauls and readings in your wedding, choose ones that you love and you feel comfortable with. That way it will come from the heart and leave a lasting impression on you and all of the guests that you have at your wedding.

Have you been to a wedding that had interesting and beautiful readings or rituals, or maybe not so interesting or a bit off? I’d love to hear about them all.

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Children in the wedding ceremony

There are so many ways to have children be a part of your special day, and many children that may be included in your ceremony, too.  These may be children of your own or the children of someone close to you. There are many ways to include them in your wedding day.  You can have them as a part of the wedding ceremony, or part of the bridal party. Having them in the bridal party can sometimes be tricky, especially with really young children as they sometimes ‘don’t feel like it’ on the day. Sometimes they surprise you and are stars, but sometimes they don’t want the attention and just want their mum.

Some children really love it.  One child in a wedding I conducted wanted to stand at the front the whole wedding, he was the ring bearer.  When he was asked at the rehearsal if he would like to sit at the front with the other attendants he declined, telling us that he had an important job to do. He wanted to stand with cushion in hand ready to present the rings. He took his role very seriously.

Another way you can have children in your ceremony is to have them incorporated into your asking, or consider making vows to them. I recently conducted a wedding (see previous posts) and this is exactly what was done and it was beautiful and moving.  Many guests afterwards mentioned how lovely and special this was. This is where the groom also presented the little girl with a pendant matching the wedding rings. Not only was this a beautiful moment, the little girl involved was surprised and very proud of the gift given to her, to represent the love that they all shared. After the ceremony she was very proud to show it to people who were asking her about it.

You can also get your children involved with a candle ceremony or a sand ceremony.  These can talk about uniting families and blending families, and are a great way to symbolise that you will be a family and still remain individuals. Sometimes weddings can be hard for children, and with different step family and different family dynamics these things can be a good way to let children know that it is not just about the couple being married and now husband and wife, but a great way to bring up that you are all a family together now and they are loved and included in this day too. It is a good way to get children talking about everything involved in the day, especially if they are a bit older and not sure how they feel, or not prepared to talk about how they feel it may be a way to talk about it and reassure them that you want them to be involved as well.

Thanks to Lauren for the amazing photos, check her other photography work out here. http://purelytakenphotography.com/index.html

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