The Psychology of Weddings: How and Where You Stand

by Jennifer Cram Brisbane Marriage Celebrant © (30/07/2016)
Categories: | Wedding Ceremony |
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How and where the maJennifer
                  Cram Brisbane Marriage Celebrant ceremony positioningrrying couple stand during the ceremony impacts on photographs of the ceremony. But it can also have a far-reaching impact on the marriage and on how much support the couple (as opposed to each individually) receives during the marriage thanks to the magic of imprinting.

Imprinting is a special type of learning that is very different from regular learning. It is irreversible. And it takes place generally in very restricted and brief stages in development.

I first came across the notion of imprinting the image of the bride and groom as a couple on the minds of their community of family and friends at a traditional African wedding I attended at a child.

At one point the couple just sat side by side for a long period of time and nothing was happening, or so it seemed to my eight-year-old mind. So I started to fidget. Only to be told to sit quietly because we must all look at the couple and recognise that they are married.

Then, as an undergraduate student I was introduced to the work of Konrad Lorenz in first year psychology. By observing newly hatched ducklings and goslings, Lorenz realised the importance of social bonding, and that to recognise adult members of its own species the young bird requires this special type of learning.

And what does this have to do with how and where the bride and groom (or two brides or two grooms) stand?

Think about it.  At the majority of civil celebrant weddings the celebrant stands slap bang in the middle throughout the ceremony (photographers hate that too!) with the bride and groom standing in front of the celebrant either holding hands or facing one another but some distance apart (I call that facing off and it always makes me think of a boxing ring just before the fight commences).

So what is the picture the guests are imprinting? A threesome!

While, in a religious wedding, the positioning of the clergyperson between, and usual slightly above, the couple, is symbolic of the expectation that religious belief and the deity will be ever present in their marriage, unfortunately (for your secular marriage) most celebrants also love that set up. Some even describe the couple standing side by side, facing their guests, as "awkward".

Really? A couple, clearly in love, dressed in the finery that emphasises the importance of the step they are taking, standing side by side holding hands and facing family and friends as their relationship is celebrated is anything but awkward. It is a powerful image of intimate unity.

And it is that image that guests should take away with them, imprinted firmly and irreversibly on each and every mind.

Thanks for reading!

Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you can
                  have the best ceremony ever
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