When (soppily) romantic
isn't your thing
Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Wedding Ceremony
of my couples tell me that they are down-to-earth
people who don't do soppy. And that they initially
decided to have a Registry Office Ceremony because
they were under the impression that celebrant-led
marriage ceremony, by definition, had to be "romantic"
and the Registry Office ceremony it was the
least "romantic" ceremony they could think of.
I don't know where the idea that a personal ceremony
officiated by a marriage celebrant by definition has
to be "romantic" came from. Perhaps because there is
an assumption that the ceremony will always include
mushy readings that wouldn't be out of place on a
Valentine's Day Card. Whatever. Be that as it may, it
is just not true.
So if, like many couples, you don't do soppy, don't
feel comfortable with lovey-dovey poetry or
extravagant vows, I get you. And most of all, I get
that a ceremony doesn't have to be dripping with
sentimentality to be meaningful, and special, and a
real reflection of the commitment the two of you have
to one another and to your marriage.
Can you be romantic
without being "romantic"?
Yes. Yes. Yes. If Gary Chapman's best-selling
book The Five Love Languages demonstrated anything,
it demonstrated that not everyone expresses their
love in words - which is what "romantic" in a
wedding ceremony is usually taken to mean.
Chapman categorised five ways of expressing love,
all of which can be reflected in your wedding
- receiving gifts (wedding rings in the
ceremony for example, but we can mention things
that you have gifted one another with, and what
those gifts mean to you)
- quality time (time spent preparing for
your wedding together, for example, and
definitely, the half hour or so of the ceremony
can, and should be, quality time spent together)
- words of affirmation (these do not have
to be "romantic", they can be statements of what
you value about one another)
- acts of service (things you do to care
for and help one another - we certainly can
- physical touch (holding hands, hugging,
even kissing if you wish, are all part of a
In the process of designing and developing your
ceremony, we will work through what you want for
it, and focus on making sure the ceremony feels
right for you. And what that means is that you
don't have to have a "romantic" ceremony.
Down-to-earth is good!
Does your celebrant have
to use sentimental and "romantic" words?
Absolutely not! Actually, many of the
so-called romantic things said in wedding
ceremonies are tired and overused clichés . There
is, in fact, something very powerful in
Do our vows have to be
Absolutely not! In fact, I swear, if I see
one more YouTube video or read one more ceremony
on the net where the couple makes vows that
include "My heart will be your shelter and my arms
will be your home", I'll throw up.
To legally marry in Australia, each of you has to
make a very simple statement.
I ask everyone here (or I
call upon the persons here present) to witness
that I, [Name], take you, [Name],
to be my lawful wedded husband (or) wife
(or) spouse (or) partner-in-marriage.
One of my couples couched
their personal promises as Key Performance
Indicators, which they recited in unison,
starting "We commit to the following KPI's".
It was so them. Everyone got it. And it was
magic, without being in the least bit soppy.
Another of my couples - a really quirky pair
with a shared and wicked sense of humour -
wrote vows as their 8 year old selves. Again
they were powerful, honest, real, and a lot of
What about "romantic"
There is no rule about having readings, or about
what type of readings you choose if you decide to
include them. The idea of three readings comes
directly from the Church of England marriage
ceremony. Once you take the wedding out of the
church, you can take the church out of the wedding
and have no readings, or one or two. And,if you do
decide to include a reading, it does not have to
be "romantic" or a poem. I explore this in 7 Things to
Read at your Wedding instead of a Poem
And lastly, what about
Choose what makes your toes tap, your lips curve
upwards, or your hips move to the beat. It's your
wedding. So the sound track should reflect your
personalities and the feel of your ceremony.
Thanks for reading!