How to add Surprises to
your Wedding Ceremony
Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Wedding Ceremony |
A great way to make sure your wedding
ceremony both engages and entertains your guests is
to do the unexpected, to surprise them by putting a
twist on traditional ceremony elements, particularly
if you just keep the surprises coming. How you
surprise your guests can be carefully planned, or
you can just open the door and let it happen.
If you include children or animals in your wedding
ceremony and you are absolutely guaranteed
surprises. You cannot predict what they will do. And
that's wonderful because is makes for magic moments
for you, as well as for your guests.
This little cutie flower girl quietly helped herself
to the handheld microphone I use for the couple's
vows and proceeded to entertain everyone. She
refused to give it up. Thankfully, it was switched
off so we could proceed with the ceremony. She did
agree to hand it over for the vows! At another
wedding, the four-year old flower girl put her hands
on her hips and loudly asked "Did you see
that?" when the couple kissed. It
brought the house down.
Planned surprises can be equally wonderful, and they
don't take a great deal of effort. All you need to
do is to think about what the guests will expect of
various parts of the ceremony, based on what usually
happens in weddings, and then change it in some way.
Do something unexpected
with your bridal party
We all know how the traditional wedding party works.
Best Man and Groomsmen stand with the Groom, Chief
Bridesmaid (Matron/Maid of Honour), Bridesmaids, and
Flower Girls stand with the Bride. Flower girls are
children. Everyone else is an adult. Two Bride and
Two Groom weddings started to mix it up, a bit. Take
it a bit further. For example,
- When the music starts and the "Flower girls"
make their entrance you can feel the ripple of
joyous surprise when the guests see Flower
Grannies, Flower Dudes, Flower Dogs, even Flower
Chooks (yes, doable in a backyard and hens will
tolerate a light, loose fitting flower collar -
just don't try it with a rooster).
- Instead of lining your attendants up on either
side of you, group them. Talk to your
photographer about the ways they might arrange
the wedding party for photographs
Have fun with your
There are no rules about how you make your entrance.
- Each of you can have their own processional.
You can walk in together. You can bop down the
aisle. You can walk in with your parents, your
grandparents, other family members.
- You can be preceded by a musician. Depending
on your heritage, your guests may expect a
piper, or a drummer. No-one expects a fiddler, a
trumpeter, a trombone player, or a whole brass
band. Another way to surprise
guests is to use a medley of music. Start with Here
Comes the Bride and then morph in
something they don't expect - show tunes, heavy
metal, traditional folk tunes ...
- You can high-five your guests as your walk
down the aisle
- You can ride down the aisle on a bicycle, a
segway, or a scooter - just make sure that
you've got a hard surface. Trying that on a
carpeted aisle over grass, or on sand, is not
going to end well
- For even more ideas about how to add a
twist to your processional and walking down
the aisle with style
Do something different
with the welcome
Traditionally, the person solemnising the marriage
(celebrant or clergy person) opens the ceremony by
welcoming the guests and stating the purpose of
the ceremony. It doesn't have to be that way. It's
your wedding. Welcome the guests yourselves. Or
ask your fathers or other family members to do so.
Add a ritual - and give
it a twist
Even the most common rituals - Sand Ceremony,
Unity Candle, Loving Cup, Handfasting - can be
given a surprise twist.
Who you involve,
what you use, and how the ritual is narrated can
all make it your own.
Start with a toast
Greeting guests with drinks and nibbles as they
arrive, making sure that everyone has a charged
glass when they take their seats or gather around,
and starting the ceremony with a toast to the
couple and their future is something same-sex
couples added to their commitment ceremonies. A
new tradition well worth borrowing.
End with a cheer
Whatever happened to the good old Hip Hip Hooray
at events? Time to bring it back. Ask your
celebrant to incorporate it into the declaration
that you are married.