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How to Include People in Your Wedding Ceremony- Advice from a Brisbane Wedding Celebrant
By Mrs Megan Wilson CMC, Brisbane
21 March 2012


Your wedding ceremony is one of the most important events of your life so it is only natural that you may want to include the people closest to you in your wedding ceremony.  It is also not unusual to feel obligated to include someone in your ceremony, especially if you played a part in their ceremony or they are family members. 

Most people will think of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen when comes to including others in their wedding ceremony, however there are other ways, some small some large, that you can include people. As a wedding celebrant I speak from experience and can suggest the following ideas on how to do this.

1. Bridal Party:

The most common way to include others in your wedding ceremony is as member of your bridal party.  The bridal party typically includes some or all of the following: Maid/Matron of Honour, Best Man, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Flower girls and Page boys.  Your bridal party can be a large or small as you like, however you should remember that increasing the size of your bridal party also increases your expenses.  Another point to keep in mind is where you are having your ceremony and how much space is available.  Your civil celebrant will be able to advise you on the most effective placement of your bridal party at your chosen venue.


2. Readings:

Asking people to read a poem, the lyrics to a song or any other text you choose is also very popular.  You can have more than one reading in your ceremony, in fact having two is most common, which allows you to include more people. Your readings do not have to be religious, as they would be in a church ceremony, but can be anything that has meaning to you both.  As a Civil Wedding Celebrant I have performed ceremonies with readings that range from sentimental and romantic to serious to light-hearted and funny.


3. Witnesses:

In Australia, for your wedding ceremony to be legal, you are required to have two witnesses over the age of 18 who are present for the ceremony and sign the marriage certificates and register.  It is quite common for two members of the bridal party to act as the witnesses, however if you want to include more people in your ceremony then you can choose other people as your witnesses.  Asking your Mother to act as witness can be a really nice way to include her in the ceremony.


4. Presentation of the Bride:

Traditionally the Bride's father will escort her down the aisle and then present her to the Groom to be married.  These days it is quite acceptable for both parents to escort the bride and present her to be married. This is another nice way to include both parents in your ceremony.


5. Unity Ceremony: 

Unity Ceremonies and rituals are an excellent way to include a few special people, such as close family members, or even all of your guests in your ceremony.  The most popular Unity ceremonies include Candle lighting rituals and sand ceremonies.  Candle lighting rituals are a particularly effective way of including others in your ceremony. You may wish to ask special people to come forward and participate in lighting the Unity candle or you may want all of your guests to light a candle during the ceremony. It's entirely your choice and will depend upon the type of wedding ceremony you have chosen. Your civil celebrant will be able to suggest many different Unity Ceremonies and Rituals for you to include in your wedding ceremony.


Whether you choose to have an intimate ceremony with only a few people involved or a grand ceremony with many participants, remember that ultimately it is your wedding and your choice on who you would like to include in your ceremony. 


Megan Wilson is an authorised and accredited Brisbane wedding celebrant who can design a modern ceremony tailored specifically to meet your needs.   For more tips and information about civil ceremonies find me at Megan Wilson - Brisbane Wedding Celebrant