5 SECRETS FOR THE BEST CEREMONY EVER – by Grant Windle
1. SET THE MOOD - Most wedding ceremonies begin with the bride walking to the front to meet her groom. If this is what you are going to do – pick a killer song to do it to. A great song can set the atmosphere for your entire ceremony. A great love song or ballad, whether sung live or recorded. Think…what’s that one song that you love that puts you there….that’s the one.
2. DON’T LOSE THE AWESOMENESS OF THE MOMENT – most ceremonies only last around 30 minutes. Trust me, it goes faster than a blink and it’s so easy to miss the moment with the whole buildup of organizing your wedding day that your mind is not in the right zone. Here are a couple of thoughts that might help. First, just on a practical note - work to get everything done a couple of days before your wedding so that you have time to breathe and reflect before you get married, letting the body and mind find a place of relaxation. Once you get to the ‘altar’, all you really want to do is to look into the eyes of your partner and just breathe and feel the joy of the moment, rather than worrying about whether or not the caterer got your message about the olives. The next thought on capturing the significance of that 30 minute ceremony, is to separate the ceremony from the reception. I have been to weddings where the reception and ceremony have lost their distinction because it hasn’t been treated as two separate parts. To put it simply, the ceremony is not the party – the party is the reception. Your wedding ceremony is the gathering of the most important people in your lives to witness and celebrate your union and to help launch you into your life together as husband and wife. That brief 30 minutes called your wedding ceremony is what the day is all about — those promises you make to each other, the giving of your life to another person. Don’t lose its significance. Capture the moment! Then…… you party!
3. WATCH OUT FOR STRESS OVERLOAD - “Planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever go through,” says psychologist Jennifer Alison. Be careful of the trap of trying to make it the most perfect and spectacular wedding that has ever existed on planet earth. The answer to this can also become the problem, nevertheless ‘organisation and detail’ are your best friends here. This may seem obvious but to the degree that you do it, will make a huge difference. Some people hire someone else to do the organizing but if that’s not in your budget then get help from a good friend who has this gift. But remember it’s your day so make sure there’s an understanding with those who help, and again, plan so that the last few days leading up to your wedding are clear of any organizing. So, organize, delegate and plan to have the last two days to create space and chill.
4. PERSONALISE YOUR VOWS – some of the greatest moments I’ve seen at weddings is when the bride and groom express their love to each other straight from the heart. Here’s a real simple way to do it. Just write out one page on what your spouse-to-be means to you and why. Be emotional. If you can’t be emotional here, somebody needs to take your pulse. Make it personal. Let the world know why you have chosen this person out of all others. I know how scary the thought of reading this out loud can be, but do it scared! Scared is good! Raw is good! Nobodies looking for a professional speech. Let the hand shake and the voice quiver, but do it anyway. But if you just cannot bring yourself to read it yourself, then ask the celebrant to read it on your behalf while you feel the words as they are spoken. That will work just fine.
5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CELEBRANT – I cannot speak for other celebrants but I will speak for myself. Regardless of how much planning and organizing has gone into your day, I love a feeling of ‘organic’ about the ceremony. Who wants a wedding to feel clinical, like a scheduled surgery! Let’s just be humans. Little glitches don’t really matter. We are not perfect and we have chosen a partner who is imperfect. Let’s laugh. Let’s cry. Let’s be nervous. That’s what makes it human. Let me say this, I am far from a traditionalist stuffed shirt. I’m an artist, a musician and writer. I live outside of the lines. Yet I believe in the tradition of marriage as the highest relationship on the planet that two people can experience, and I will make that tradition come alive for you. I’m into the absolute joy of a wedding, not just corny jokes for a laughs sake, but laugh and have fun we will. The ceremony shouldn’t be consumed by some kind of ‘performance’ from a polished or comedian/celebrant, because after all, it’s about you. I will find ‘you’; I will locate ‘you’. Professional – absolutely. Have fun – absolutely. Not lose the awesomeness of the moment – absolutely. I would be most honoured to be hired by you as your wedding celebrant.