Category Archives: Ceremony ideas

Wedding day selfie

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Will you be taking a wedding day selfie and uploading it to your instagram or facebook before your day is over? It is one of those things, people are either getting it done and up on social media between the ceremony and the reception, or they are waiting until the next day to share their pictures. Although I have conducted a few weddings that where not mentioned at all on social media, one in particular I remember seeing some photos a few weeks after the wedding. These photos were only there for a day or so and it looked like they were asked to remove them. It seemed as though the couple didn’t want any photos from their day shared on social media at all.

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What do you think when you are seeing a wedding being uploaded on social media? Especially when the couple share a selfie as soon as they are married, before they have finished their day? Do you wonder why they are on their phones as soon as they get a chance? Do you think great! I wanted to see something from their big day as soon as possible? Do you think it is a smart move getting in before someone else announces their own news?

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There are a lot of couples that impose a ban on uploading until they have done so, which as a celebrant I have been asked to mention at the beginning of the wedding ceremony. It seems like common sense to me, but then, all to often, common sense isn’t all that common. It makes me really cross when I see people announcing other people’s wedding news and baby news. I have previously blogged about Announcements on Social Media.

Social Media at your wedding is yet another thing that is totally up to the individual and having as little or as much of it incorporated into your day should be decided by you as a couple. What are your thoughts on social media during your day?

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A big thank you to Untamed Images for the beautiful images on the blog this week. Check out their website and facebook pages here.

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Not having a funeral

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My Nan passed away recently and decided that she didn’t want to have a funeral. I can understand this to a point. I assume she didn’t want people spending money and she didn’t want a fuss.

We still had a family gathering, we still shared our memories and we still looked at photos of her throughout the years. We spoke about things we remembered and my Pa asked my cousin to sing ‘I Will Always Love You’ (Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton). I had prepared a little something to say. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be anything said and the celebrant part of me would have been really upset if others spoke and I hadn’t written something for the occasion.

It got me thinking and, I think more than I did before, that the funeral isn’t so much for the person that has died. Yes it is ABOUT them, but it isn’t FOR them. It is for the people left behind, heart broken, lost and grieving. It is about having a time and place to come together and to talk about this wonderful person that was a big or little part of our lives.

For me it is a time to reflect on the life that they had and the wonderful things that they did. The last few family members that passed away I have conducted the ceremony, so for me it’s very different than attending a funeral. I think that it is a really valuable time to even learn something about the person that you didn’t already know, even people that you have known all of your life. Other people can share stories and their memories and that way you can always learn something about people.

I’ve also blogged about planning your own funeral in the past and raised some questions about the details of your funeral and is that something that you would think about. Would you choose songs? Poems to be read?

Do you think it is part of the grieving process and seeing what they meant to other people helps with realising that they will not be forgotten? Every time I go to a funeral people always say how lovely it is to see people that they haven’t seen for years and that they wish it was under happier circumstances. I got to see cousins that I haven’t seen for around 20 years and cousins that I see every couple of years. I loved that part of it. It’s not the happiest of occasions but these are the people that see you at your worst. There was a lady who was there and I recognised her the instant that she walked in the door although I hadn’t seen her since I was a small child. It was one of my aunties oldest friends.  I think a funeral teaches us a lot about family, and friendships and love.

What do you think? Do you think it is important to have a funeral? Or don’t think that it matters if you have one or not?

 

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Acknowledgment of Country

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An Acknowledgement of Country is a way of showing awareness of and respect for the traditional Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander owners of the land on which a meeting or event is being held, and of recognising the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to their Country. There are a number of occasions where at the start of a meeting, a conference or a function of any sort that you can have an Acknowledgement of Country.

An Acknowledgement of Country is different from a Welcome to Country, only a Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, usually an Elder, would carry out a Welcome to country. This is to welcome visitors to their traditional land. It can be carried out in a number of ways, depending on the particular culture of the traditional owners. It can include singing, dancing, smoking ceremonies or a speech. This is dependent upon the location of the event and the practice of the community. There should be an amount of care undertaken to make sure that the appropriate Aboriginal representative is invited to undertake the Ceremony. It is extremely important that the Aboriginal person has been involved in and is comfortable with all of the arrangements.
Both a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country recognise the unique position of Aboriginal people in Australian culture and history and show respect for Aboriginal people.
There are a lot of people who wish to have an Acknowledgement of Country included in the introduction to their wedding. What can be included when you don’t know the language group is :

I would like to show my respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, of elders past and present, on which this event takes place.

or if you know the specific nation you can say:

I would like to acknowledge the _______________ people who are the Traditional Custodians of this Land. I would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present of the_______________ Nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginals present.

If you want to know more about Welcome to Country or an Acknowledgement of Country ceremonies there is great information on the Creative Spirits Website

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A big thank you to Michael Thomas for the use of his stunning photos on the blog this week, you can look at more of his work here.

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Making your guest list

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Most of us would have seen on Facebook or instagram by now this fun guest list manager. Its quite funny and a good idea to have a laugh. It is a good way to remind yourself too that it is your day and you’re (most likely) paying the bill.

Will they make your wedding more fun is an interesting  part of this chart for me, really your wedding is about you and your partner, and you should have the people around you that mean a lot to you, it’s your wedding not a hens or bucks day. Maybe it should say something like, will it be special to have them with you on the day? Or do you want them there to see you and your partner exchange promises? I know that this chart is mainly for a laugh but some of the points have merit, or at least give you something to think about. The part about would normally buy dinner for them, maybe a strange question, but it is something to think about would you have dinner out with them, or your work friends maybe not necessarily do you see them out of work, because there are a few people at my work that I would be happy to spend time with out of work, but I generally just don’t have time, compared with hell no, please don’t let them be going  to the same function as me type people that you work with.

I agree to an extent that if you parents are paying for some of the wedding they do get to have at least a small number of guests that they want added to the list. I think though that they should get to have some say, but really again it is your day. If there is someone that you really don’t want there maybe you can compromise. My mother in law wanted one of her longest friends at my husband and our wedding, but the friend had previously not been the nicest to my husband. We made sure that she wasn’t invited but my mother in law still had her two other best friends and partners invited on the day, we only had 42 guests, and we paid for the vast majority of the day ourselves so we really weren’t keen on having anyone we didn’t like there.

I’ve blogged before about wedding numbers and some of the other issues that you have with deciding on who to invite to your wedding. I don’t think it is really as cut and dry as this chart suggests.  There are always some people on the list that you have to invite, and there are people that you invite knowing that they will not be able to make it on the day.

What do you think? Do you think that it can be as cut and dry and the chart suggests? What were some of the deciding factors that helped you decide if someone made your guest list or not?

 

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Website for your big day

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A wonderful idea that I saw done brilliantly recently is having a website for your big day. I have seen some couples do this and it provides great information on all kinds of things that your guests may need and want to know.  Recently I conducted the wedding of Nell and Glenn, and they had the best website. I only got to see it close to the day, but was absolutely blown away by what they, (or mainly Glenn, who is a website developer) had done.

It had everything that any guest could ever need to know, it had so much information and photos and quotes. I have seen other websites that compared to this, just seemed just thrown together. Rather than putting 12 different pages of information in with the invites, why not just direct your guests to a site that has everything they could need there?

Information about the venue.
What a great way to have some background on the venue itself, maps and anything else guests could want to know.

Information for the day.
This would be a great way to tell guests that confetti is not permitted at the venue or that you want an unplugged wedding. Its also a great time to share if you are using a wedding app, have some #hashtags, or if you want your wedding kept off social media.

Accommodation in the area.
This is such a great idea. Having all the information on accommodation that is close to the wedding is so that all guests, no matter if they were travelling from overseas or from an hour down the road, have links to the appropriate ones.

Getting to the venue.
Nell and Glenn had buses pick up some of their guests. Their site even had the timetable of when the buses would pick people up at specific locations. Maps, Melways references and all other helpful information.

Who to contact on the day should they need any assistance.
The last thing a bride or groom really want on the wedding day is people phoning them or texting them with all kinds of questions. Even if you don’t have a wedding planner, pick someone who can be that go to person.

RSVP options.
Have an option for them to RSVP online, people have good intentions but they don’t always get to the post office in time.

Added information about other events.
Are you having a brunch the next day or having people meet up for a coffee? This is a great way to supply all the guests with the information and with plenty of time for them to plan their weekend accordingly. Maybe you could put any hens day or bucks day information on their too. Really you could have anything on there!

Glenn said the things that worked well for them with their wedding website were:

  • the simple single page design made it all easy to see and find information
  • we added ‘getting there’ info to the top of the website a few weeks before the wedding
  • we ran an RSVP through the site and after experimenting with a fancy google forms solution I found the best way to record RSVPs was simply through providing an email address.
  • we got to re-use the wedding invite artwork in the site and included some of our engagement shoot photos

There are so many things that you could add to this, and so many ways to make this your own and match it all to the theme of your wedding. It is private too. If you are just giving the information to your guests, it isn’t like you are making a facebook event. It would be really hard to stumble onto the website by accident.

Check out the site that Nell and Glenn had here. And feel free to get in touch with Glenn by contacting him at glennnicoll@gmail.com if you have any questions or you are interested in having your own website made for your day.

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Drinking before your wedding ceremony

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Lots of couples mention drinking before the ceremony and are all very quick to point out that they won’t have too many. I’ve seen quite a few articles on the net talking about celebrants telling their couples that they are not to have any alcohol at all before the ceremony.  Well that is news to me. Firstly, I’m not a booze bus or the fun police, really why can’t people have a champagne when getting ready, or a drink in the car with the groomsmen? There is nothing in the marriage act that says that you have to have a zero blood alcohol content.

A lot of couples that I have conducted weddings for have had a drink before the ceremony. There is nothing wrong with one or two drinks, but that should be about as far as you go. Drunk couples are not a classy affair and there is plenty of time to drink as much as you like at the reception.  Unfortunately, if you are in an altered mental state to an extent that this could impair your ability to consent to the marriage, then the marriage cannot take place.

If you appear that your aren’t quite aware what is going on, then you have 2 options. The wedding can be called off. This can be embarrassing but I think turning up to your wedding drunk is embarrassing enough in itself. This is a really tough situation to be in. Thank goodness this hasn’t happened to me as yet and I hope it never does.  Not an ideal situation to be in and I can only imagine the expense. The other option that you would have is to have the ceremony without all of the legal bits. You can always do the legal component a few days later or even weeks later if necessary. Have all of the festivities as you would a normal wedding just have the legals done at a time when you were not under the influence.

Really though, for everything that  you go through to make your wedding a special and wonderful day, you and your partner deserve better than having either of you turning up that drunk. Enjoy your day, just save the serious drinking for after the ceremony.

Thank you to Untamed Images for the use of their image on the blog this week. Check out their website here or their facebook page by clicking here.

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5 Tips to ensure you are the ideal wedding guest

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There are a few things that you can do to be considered an ideal guest when attending a wedding. And there are things that you can do that can take the stress away from the couple and from a lot of other people.

1. RSVP on time.
Make sure that you RSVP by the date requested on the invitation and in the manner that they request you to. If they have an RSVP card, send that. If they request email, respond in that way. They are asking for it a certain way for a reason and speak up now about any dietary requirements.

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2. Read the invitation.

Please  read the invitation and take notice of the things that it says. Take it with you if you won’t remember or think that it might be helpful. Take notice of all the important things, the time, the dress code, the venue of the ceremony and reception. Don’t message the Bride or one of the bridesmaids on the day asking any of these things!

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3. Arrive close to the time that the ceremony will start.

I turn up at weddings early, that’s my job. There have been times when I arrive at the ceremony site, sometimes more than an hour before the ceremony is due to start, and there are guests there already. Don’t get there that early. Don’t stress out any vendors that are doing what they need to do before everything happens. Get there with enough time to get settled and allow a little time for traffic, but don’t get there way before. Don’t be late either. Don’t follow the Bride down the aisle, if you are late. Wait until you wont be noticed and sneak in. Or just don’t be late.

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4. Don’t sit up the back.

If there are enough seats that it appears that everyone will be seated, make sure you sit. Also make sure that you don’t sit as far back as possible. Its a wedding, not a school bus. Obviously don’t sit in the front rows unless you are family. But don’t sit right at the back. There is nothing worse than a big gap of empty seats in the middle of the ceremony. The couple have paid money for you to sit in most of these circumstances. Also if there are only a limited number of chairs, don’t just sit down. Leave them for the elderly, disabled, and pregnant guests.

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5. Respect the wishes of the couple.
If they ask for an unplugged wedding, put the camera/ phone down. I’ve blogged on a few occasions about unplugged weddings. Firstly, your phone should be on silent anyway, (this should be a no brainer) but if they have asked for no photos, don’t be that jerk who just takes them anyway. It’s their day, they should have the people that are attending respect their wishes. This also goes for social media. (and is just plain manners in my book) Don’t post photos to facebook or Instagram until the couple have, or they have provided you with a hashtag that they want you to use. How do you know if they want to share them with the world otherwise?

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A big thank you again, to Love Journal Photography for the use of their images on the blog this week.  Visit their website by clicking here. Or follow them on facebook to see what they are up to.

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