Monthly Archives: November 2014

Gifts for children in the Ceremony


Have you ever been to a wedding where children were given a gift in the ceremony? I have conducted a number of weddings where the Bride and Groom chose to give a gift to a child during the ceremony. It can be a lovely way to represent the joining of a family, or a beautiful way for couples who already have children to include and acknowledge the children in their ceremony. I have previously blogged about including children in the ceremony, you can read that blog here.

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Weddings come in all different shapes and sizes, just like relationships themselves. Families are complicated and sometimes messy, but this doesn’t mean that it should be hard to include children and make them feel part of the whole wedding experience. Some people don’t really want to draw attention to the fact that they were in a previous relationship or have children to someone else. Realistically, in this day and age, there are a lot of people who have children. Irrespective of whether they are children from a previous relationship or of the couples own.

Presenting the children with a gift during the ceremony can be a great way to make sure that children feel that the wedding is about creating, or acknowledging that they are a family, not just that their parents are getting married or their parent is marrying someone that isn’t their other parent. Giving the child a gift can make them feel included in the day and can be a wonderful way to include promises that you wish to make to the child. This can be done with different ‘gifts’, some of the weddings that I have conducted where this has been included have both used jewellery. (You can read more about these ceremonies here and here)

Have you been to a wedding where children have been given gifts in the ceremony to represent promises made to them on the day?

Thank-you again to Love Journal Photography for the use of their photos on this weeks blog. Check out more of their work here, and see their facebook page here.



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Filed under Ceremony ideas, wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

10 ways to honour those that have passed away in your Wedding


Honouring those that have passed away on your wedding day can be very tricky. It can be a real balancing act. You want to make sure you acknowledge people, but you don’t want to go into so much detail that you are upsetting yourself and important guests. A lot of it can depends on who you are honouring. It is understandable that these people are all missed greatly and it is a day that you would have loved to share with them.  Do you need to say something in the ceremony or is it something that you wish to do another way without words?

1. Mentioning your loved one in the ceremony.
This is the most obvious one, and is probably the one that most people think of. You can put as little or as much in to the ceremony as you want about  your loved one. It is much easier to mention elderly relatives that have passed away, especially if they passed away some time ago and they had a full and happy life. It is harder with someone taken too soon, and more recently. You need to think about how you will react when they are mentioned and if you will be glad that they have been acknowledged or if being reminded that they can’t be there with you will hurt too much.


2. Carry them close to your heart.
One way that you can honour the people special to you is to have photos of them in a locket that you wear on the day, or pin into your dress. A photo can be placed inside a pocket watch that is on your suit. A lovely idea I have seen is to have small frames pinned to your bouquet. I think this is a great way to have them with you all day and present in your day.

3. A photo table or photo wall.
I have seen this done at a number of weddings and it is a lovely way to remember all of the people that cannot be with you. You can also have photos of people who are unable to attend for other reasons not just because they have passed away. I have seen this done at quite a few weddings. It is something that is not “too in your face” for guests that are still feeling the hurt of the loss of their loved ones too.


4.  Leaving an empty seat at the ceremony.
I have yet to attend a wedding where this is done. When I first heard about it, I thought that it was a beautiful idea. But then I thought a little more about it and realised that someone has to sit next to that seat. Maybe your dad had passed away, but your mum would have to sit next to an empty chair and be reminded on an already difficult day that the man she loved is not there with her.

5. Choose a song that was special to the person.
This could be a wonderful way to honour someone special to you. You could have it when you are signing the marriage register or when you are walking out of the ceremony after it has finished. Especially if it isn’t a song that everyone knew was their favourite, only a select few would know. Maybe not a great idea if it was played at their funeral. And perhaps if it is known that it was their favourite song, give some of your family a heads up so that they don’t get  a shock on the day.


6. Making a note in your order of service booklets.
This is another way that you can mention special people that are missed on your special day and another way that isn’t too in your face. Although people will read it, it is usually before you have arrived for the ceremony. It isn’t going to be a surprise moment to anyone and those who are missing people are not going to be taken aback by this as much as they might if you were to choose to keep an empty seat or play a song that was special to the person that has passed away.

7.  Light a candle for them during your ceremony, or have one burning near their photo.
This is a lovely idea for inside in a chapel or any wedding that is indoors. If you are having an outdoor wedding maybe use a battery operated one burning for them, it would be upsetting to have a candle blow out when it is representing someone special to you. Something so small could have a big impact on select guests.

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8. Use something special to them as part of your favours or bonbonnerie.
This is a great way to represent your loved ones. You could have some family famous biscuits, made from your Nan’s recipe. Or have some special after dinner mints that were a favourite of your uncle. You could choose a candle scented with someones signature scent.  Again you can decide if you mention this fact to your other guests.  I attended a wedding where they used the names of people that they wished were at their wedding instead of table numbers.

9. Release balloons or butterflies.
This can be done at the ceremony or you could just choose to do this for your photos and at a time when you could take a moment or two to think of the person that you have lost. It doesn’t have to be something that is shared with everyone else.


10. Sew something of theirs into your dress or wear it as a pocket square.
It could be some fabric from something that was everyday for them. A handkerchief, or an item of clothing. You can have this visible, maybe in the shape of a heart or you could have it sewn into the dress close to your heart. You could choose one of your Grandpa’s blue ties and have it sewn into the hem of your dress as your something blue. It could be a small piece of someones favourite old t-shirt that they wore all the time.   Maybe they had a lucky coin or charm that you could have in your inner pocket or have little spot sewn into your dress just for it. The options on this one are endless.

At the end of the day, the person you are honouring was probably loved by so many people so be aware of those people too. I know it is your day, but you also need to think of those that might still be hurting and grieving. No matter how many years have passed. I’m a firm believer in that time doesn’t heal. It is just you are more used to the pain.
My Gran tells me all the time that before my grandfather died, he said to her that he would never see my younger sister turn 21. I know that every time one of her grandchildren turned 21, she would think of him and be sad that he couldn’t share the time or celebration with her. She is now seeing some of her great grandchildren turn 21 and I know that it is still a little bit upsetting for her every time she is invited to a party, although she is happy for the person who’s birthday it is.
Have you attended a wedding where they had a great way of honouring someone who had passed away?


Thank you to Love Journal for the photos for this weeks blog. Check them out on their website here or like them on facebook by clicking here.


Filed under Ceremony ideas, Wedding Planning

Children’s reaction to a Wedding



Now days it is not unusual for one or both parties to a marriage to have children, either together or from a previous relationship. Children are not always over joyed when the parents decide to marry. There are a lot of factors that come into play when you are thinking of including children in the marriage ceremony, and different ways that you can do this. I have blogged about it before, but there are things that you really need to consider. Children will react differently to news of a wedding for many reasons and no two children will react totally the same. There may be many varied reactions from the one child too.

Age may play a role as to how they react or how much involvement they want to have in the wedding. Some small children may be extremely excited about the idea of a wedding, they may love the idea of dressing up and be quite happy with the relationship in which the parent is in.  They may be at an age where they are not comfortable in being the centre of attention. Not wanting to take an active role in the ceremony may have nothing to do with their feelings about the parents relationship, but everything to do with the child themselves. Sometimes adult children are really pleased that their parent is happy and want to do whatever they can to make the day exactly what their parent wants it to be. In saying this though, sometimes adult children can be the most childish of all when a parent is remarrying. Even more so than a primary school aged child!

Some children see the news of a wedding as confusing. Where will they now fit into this new family unit? Will there be room for them in the new family design? Sometimes this really signals to the child that there is no hope at all that their birth parents will reconcile. As impossible as this concept may seem to some parents, some children may still hold onto hope that miracles might happen. A wedding puts an end to any idea that maybe things might go back to the way they were. If a child has lost a parent it may be confronting for them. Like they are betraying the memory of a parent if they are excited or really very fond of the new parent, or about the upcoming wedding.

Have you heard of any helpful ways to help children adjust to a wedding of a parent?

Thank-you to Untamed Images Photography for the use of their images on this weeks blog, check out their website here and follow them on facebook here to see sneak peaks  of all of their current weddings.

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Throwing the bouquet


Throwing the bouquet is one of the traditions that has recently started being questioned. Is it necessary? Is it a waste of money? Is it just something that people do for the sake of it? This is one wedding tradition that I really quite like.  I like to watch how the toss unfolds. A lot of the time they don’t really go to plan. People hit lights, people throw it and it is lands on the ground no where near the group of ladies, people fall over, get hit with the flowers… all sorts of things happen. If you are going to take part in this tradition there are a few things to consider.

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Firstly, how many single ladies will be at your wedding?

The more I think about it, the idea of getting all of the ‘single’ ladies to stand up in front of everyone can seem a little bit odd.  Some of them are probably already feeling awkward, if they have been seated at a table with a lot of people they don’t know and have already had 20 questions about their personal life. But if you don’t think too deeply about it, this one can be a bit of a laugh.  Are all of your friends married and just 3 of your guests going to get up? Perhaps re-think the idea if you are only going to have a couple of people involved. However, if you have loads of unmarried friends, make it fun and have some great single lady music on!

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Do you throw your actual bouquet, or have a throw away one made?

I’ve previously blogged about bouquets and alternatives to a floral bouquets, but there is a lot of talk about weather you throw your actual bouquet or to have a special ‘throw away’ bouquet made up. I had a big big bunch of red roses for my bouquet, I wasn’t going to throw it away!  I love red roses and knew that my husband wasn’t going to buy me that many roses at once, ever. I knew that I wanted to dry my bouquet and keep it. I still have it on my bookcase. I could do that having roses. So I had a small throw away bouquet made, lighter and easier to handle. I can understand that some people are happy to throw their original bouquet if they are having flowers that are hard to preserve or they are not the kind of people that are interested in hanging on to the flowers from their day. There are a lot of people that would be thrilled to catch the actual bouquet of the bride. Some of the forums that I have read suggest that the bride could throw one of the bridesmaids flowers. Personally I think this is a little mean. The times that I have been honoured to be in someones wedding, the flowers were really special to me. I also think they are part of the gift that you give to your bridesmaid. What if you have more than one? Who misses out on their bouquet?

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Other ideas for your bouquet.

There are some other lovely ideas that you could use if you are not too interested in throwing the bouquet. You could give your bouquet or even the throw away to the couple on your wedding day that have been married the longest, Grandparents, an Aunt and Uncle, or your Parents. I think this is a lovely idea and a special way to include some of the older guests at your wedding. You could give your bouquet to someone who has particularly helped you throughout all of the wedding planning process (My sister in law had a small wedding and gave me her bouquet on her wedding day, it meant a lot to me and I still have it to this day.) You could use it as a token of love for your new mother in law, or a relative.  Or this could be a perfect moment to acknowledge the relative of someone who has passed away and you would have dearly loved to share your day.   One thing that I have read about, and which is a lovely idea, is a bride who gave special women (or depending on the size of your wedding all of the women there) part of her bouquet. The bride can spend a little time during the reception to give some of the really special women in her life part of her bouquet.


Do you have any other lovely ideas or suggestions of what can be done with the bouquet?

Thank you to Love Journal for the lovely photos on this blog, you can see more of their work on their website, or follow them on facebook by clicking here.

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