Today, i would like to discuss something a little bit different in my blog.
Many people spend years planing a wedding, but this doesn't mean that some individuals are not nervous about standing in front of family and friends, being the centre of attention.
As Celebrants, we often talk about your wedding being an amazing occasion, unique and individual. And they are! But, it is the last word you need to concentrate on!
Individuality has to come in at the top of the list for couples who are looking for a celebrant to work with. As Celebrants we too come in all shapes and sizes, we all bring different skills to the table. For some a 'showman' would be the only choice, but for others, the gentle approach of a calm and gentle celebrant is needed to lead the couple through what for some can be a terrifying occasion.
For some, the thought of standing up and reciting intimate vows to their partner is just terrifying! And for me as a celebrant, this is the last emotion I would ever want to feel on their special day.
If this is you, if you are simply terrified of fluffing your lines, or of being able to read clearly such important words, this doesn't mean that you have to settle for a simple ceremony of the sort you would get in a registry office.
Instead, think about the parts of a ceremony that will delight you. Ask your family or close friends, see if they would like to read a poem or reading. Of course as a celebrant this is usually a role we take on too.
What would you like to say in your vows? You can have amazing and personal vows, but we can turn these into statements and affirmations..
For instance instead of a groom saying to their partner something a long the lines of:
" I vow to love you forever, to protect you and to be at your side through thick and thin. I promise to help you with the washing up, and not leave my shoes at the bottom of the stairs.
I promise to take my turn walking the dog, especially when it is cold and raining.
I promise to cherish you, to comfort you, to adore you and hold you in times of passion and in times that are hard.
I vow not to complain when you want me to watch TV re runs, or at least keep the running dialogue to a minimum.
I promise to remember this day, and love you more each day."
These vows say, what this groom wants to say, they are personal to him and their lives as a couple, but for some, all those words are just waiting to be tripped over. Therefore we can change them, but keep all the words right there.
Celebrant : "XXX Do you promise to Love XXX forever, to protect them and be at their sides through thick and thin?"
Recipient : "I Do."
Celebrant: "Do you promise to take your share of the washing up, and promise to remember not to leave your shoes at the bottom of the stairs?"
Groom: "I Do"
Celebrant : "Will you always take turns in walking your gorgeous dog, even when the rain is pouring and the temperatures make you want to head for the duvet?"
Groom : "I Will"
Celebrant : "Do You promise to cherish XXX to comfort, and hold them in times of passion and in times that are hard?"
Groom: "I Do"
Celebrant : "XXX will you vow not to complain during the TV re-runs, or at least keep the running dialogue to a minimum." "And do you promise to remember this day, and love XXX more each day."
Groom: "I will"
Celebrant : "And lastly do you promise to remember this day, and love XXX more each day."
Groom : " I do"
This way the groom gets to say his own vows, words that mean a lot to him, without having to worry about blustering or getting mixed up. The simple "I do or I will" responses simplify things tremendously.
This is the beauty of a celebrant led ceremony, the "repeat after me " tend to be the words where couples trip up, either getting the words wrong, or forgetting the words. Even Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana fluffed their lines, and whilst it often raises nothing more than a giggle amongst the guests, some individuals feel embarrassed or upset with themselves. Feelings that do not belong in a ceremony!
Therefore, let the celebrant guide you, ask for ideas, share your concerns. There are absolutely ways to rework ceremonies to alleviate tension, keeping everything calm, whilst still having a beautiful ceremony.