Everyone you have invited to be at your wedding ceremony are present because they support and celebrate your union. Involving your guests in your wedding ceremony can be a beautiful and meaningful part of the ceremony, it’s also a lovely way to keep your guests engaged!
Incorporating your guests in your ceremony can involve the whole congregation or you may wish to assign key roles. Here are some beautiful ideas of how to make your guests feel a part of your big day.
The Communal Vow
The Communal Vow is a modern, gentler and more inclusive alternative to the traditional wording of asking if anyone present knows why the union should not proceed.
This lovely alternative is a really powerful part of the ceremony; just before the couple make their vows to each other, I ask the guests to make a communal vow to support you in your marriage. It is a wonderful moment when all your guests respond with an enthusiastic “Yes”.
It is a good idea for the Celebrant to explain to the guests in the pre-ceremony announcements that at a certain point in the ceremony they will be asked a question and advise them what their reply should be, this avoids some guests replying “Yes” some shouting “We will” and some saying “I do”!
A Candle Ceremony
A Candle ceremony is a lovely way to enhance your wedding ceremony and include your chosen family and friends, it is similar to a Unity Candle Ceremony but instead of just uniting two families, this ceremony unites your whole congregation. It is a good idea to do this right at the end of the ceremony before the processional so that your guests don’t have to worry about the fire or wax dripping for too long. It is also absolutely beautiful during an evening ceremony when guests make their way out holding their candles, it really is a stunning sight.
As they enter the ceremony, each guest is handed an unlit candle, at the agreed time, the Bride and Groom light the candle of a guest seated in the front row of each side of the room. They, in turn light the candle of the guest next to them and this is continued until everyone’s candle has been lit. The final two guests to have their candles lit, then come to the front of the ceremony area and light the Bride and Groom’s candles and they then light the central pillar candle together.
This ceremony is more appropriate for smaller weddings and it is also important to obtain permission from the venue.
There are a number of variations to this beautiful, meaningful ritual which represents the gift of love. To perform a Rose Ceremony, three vases are placed on the ceremony table, one large central vase and two smaller vases on either side. The rose has always been the flower that represents love and this ceremony symbolises the couple’s love for each other and also the joining of two families.
A Rose Ceremony may involve just the Bride and Groom, where they present a red rose to each other as their first gift after being pronounced as husband and wife.
However, it is equally wonderful when this ceremony involves guests, typically female family members, although any guests can take part. The chosen guests are invited to join the bride and groom in the ceremony area and they are each presented with a single rose, these can be the same colour as the couple’s roses, or the couple may choose different colours for each side of the family, or for different family members.
The Bride and Groom then place their red roses in the side vases and the family members then approach one by one and place their roses in the central vase which symbolises the joining together of two families. The Bride and Groom then take their individual roses from the side vases and exchange them as their first gift to each other as husband and wife and then place them in the large central vase to symbolise family unity.
Ring Warming Ceremony
Also known as Blessing of the Rings; this is a beautiful ritual and involves the rings being “warmed with positive energy, good wishes and loving thoughts” as they are passed between your chosen guests. It makes your wedding rings so much more meaningful as when they finally reach you, they will contain not only the love you have for each other, but also the love and blessings from the special people in your lives.