Showing posts with label Getting Married. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Getting Married. Show all posts

Saturday 3 June 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Wishing Stones

The Wishing Stone Ceremony


The ‘Wishing Stone' Ceremony is a wonderfully inclusive ritual to incorporate into your big day and is great for not just weddings, but any ceremony you may be considering.


I have performed it as part of a baby naming as well as for weddings. It basically involves using small polished stones, just large enough to write a small wish on if necessary.


Photo from: Intimateweddings.com

Usually the stones are given out by someone selected to perform the task (can be a great way of including children, by getting them to walk around and make sure everyone has a stone).

As the ceremony commences the guests are asked to hold the stones tightly and make a loving wish for the couple’s life together.

The stones can later be collected in a vase for the couple to keep as a memento of all of the wishes their loved ones and friends made for them or each person can be invited to come forward as part of the ceremony and place their stone – making their wish for the couple, in the vase.

Each stone represents a special wish that the couple can take with them to reflect on throughout their married life together.

Some couples may wish to go a little further and ask guests to write their wish on the stone, offering felt tipped pens for the guests and family to write their names and add their wish.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Monday 13 March 2023

Writing your own wedding vows - a guide for planning

 Should we write our own vows?


If I had a dollar for every time couples asked me this question, let’s just say I would be lying on a beach in the Bahamas sipping a cocktail.

There is really no right or wrong answer to this question and it is honestly nothing more than a consideration of what kind of person you are and if you feel confident with words and your ability to deliver them in front of a live audience. One thing that I have definitely noticed is that the ladies are always far more eager to take on this task than the gentlemen. Why? I really have no idea but for some reason it almost always seems to be the case all but for a few exceptions.

When I sit down to put together a ceremony with a couple, the vows is always the section that takes us the longest to work through. There are lots of options and different methods of delivery and it’s often hard to decide in advance what your level of confidence will be like on the day.

The easiest way to do this is to break it down into 2 sections and they are Delivery and Content.

Firstly, delivery –    Do you want to repeat them after the celebrant or priest?

                                Read them from a card or

                                Recite them from memory

Making a decision about which method of delivery you will use greatly affects your content but we will look at that in a moment.

Secondly, content –  Do you want to write something personal from the heart

                                  Choose a standard vow(modern or traditional)

                                  Adapt/reword a standard vow or one personally written by someone else

Choosing a particular mode of delivery directly affects your choice of content due to the fact that if you really want to repeat the words after the Celebrant/Priest then 2-3 lines is about the maximum length you can use. Something personally written is usually not a good choice in this instance because it tends to be longer than 2-3 lines and does not come across well to guests. Vows longer than 2-3 lines are not pleasant when repeated because as you can imagine the guests feel like they are watching a tennis match, celebrant says a couple words, bride repeats the words, celebrant says a couple more words, Bride repeats and so on and on and on and then it’s the grooms turn to do it all over again!

Repeat: If you choose the option repeating after the Celebrant/Priest, by far the best idea is to choose either a short standard Vow or a personal vow that is no longer than about 3 lines in length (including the legal wording).

Read: If you are happy to read your Vows from a card then you are free to write anything you want as long as you ensure that the approx 2 lines that the Commonwealth stipulate must be said in order for your marriage to be valid (your celebrant or priest will discuss this with you).

HANDYHINT: If you decide to write your own vows then a great thing to bring it all to life is to write your vows to each other secretly and submitted them to the Celebrant/Priest separately so that the other does not know what will be said on the day. This is wonderful and adds an element of excitement for you as the couple on the day. I have seen this leave couples sobbing when the words are spoken.

Recite: The final option is to recite your vows from memory. When I got married many years  ago, I remember the Deacon who married us saying that we MUST learn our vows because it is the one thing that we have to do for ourselves on the day. I understand his point about he fact that each person should make the effort to at least remember what they want to say to the other, but in all honesty it ruined my experience of my ceremony because I was so petrified of forgetting the vows that it was all I could think about or concentrate on rather than really enjoying my wedding day and having all of my family and friends together.

Since then I have only ever had two couples who were absolutely sure that they wanted to recite their vows from memory and they were practising right up until the last moment and ………. in both cases I ended up having to prompt them through it. It is not because they just suddenly forgot, it is because it is very difficult to anticipate how powerful it is standing up there and the rollercoaster of emotions that is consuming you as you look at each other with all of your loved ones looking on.

My final bit of info on this topic is just a small caution. If you are going to write your own vows and especially if you are going to keep them secret, MAKE SURE that you are on the same page in terms of the tone. For example I had a couple who submitted their vows separately and while his was a full page of gushing about how divine his beautiful bride to be was and how he had fallen in love with her from the instant he saw her, when I read her vows my heart almost skipped a beat. Her vows were a hilarious account of their life together and all of his bad habits that disgusted her and drove her crazy and how she loved him for it. Both were great stories, but it would have been a disaster for him to give his loving speech only for her to follow with her comedy routine.

When deciding on what to choose for your vows, talk to each other about it and try to find an option that you are both comfortable with. A good Celebrant or Priest will always have a stack of options and ideas so rely on their expertise to guide you in the right direction.

If you have any problems or questions at all, feel free to comment. We're more than happy to help you out.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Saturday 11 March 2023

10 Ideas to Plan the Perfect Hen's Night

Here are our top 10 tips for planning a Hen's night the bride will love!



1. Ask the Bride First

If you’re looking for pointers on how to plan the perfect hens night, who better to talk to than the bride herself? She’ll either leave it all up to you or she’ll have a few ideas of her own. Either way it’s always best to hash it out first. If she wants to help you plan, add a few extra surprises along the way.


2. Start Early

If you’re planning a hen’s night, day or weekend it’s best to plan well in advance. This will ensure that all the guests are available and you’ll also be less stressed come the big day.


3. Guest List

Again, you should ask the bride before sending out the invites. You might have a few ideas and want to surprise her but it’s best if she knows who’s invited first so that no one is left out.


4. Pick a Date

Once you’ve got the guest list sorted you can start hashing out dates. Have a few options handy and ask around. One of the dates will ultimately be better suited to most people. Unfortunately when planning parties it’s almost inevitable that one or two people won’t be able to make it but always choose a date that fits the bride, VIP’s and majority of guests.


5. Budget

Once you’ve planned the events you should be able to stick to a budget. You can have a great time without spending a whole lot of money. Keep in mind any accommodation, meals, activities etc. It’s a good idea to let everyone know well ahead of time if you need them to chip in.


6. Accommodation

Whether you’re all staying the night in a fancy hotel or you just need somewhere to play party games, you need to plan your accommodation and book well in advance.


7. Activities

Sure there’s the good old pub crawl but that’s not going to fit with every hen. Instead of coming up with traditional hen night ideas think about the hen’s personality and favourite things and come up with some ideas based around that. It’s hard to go wrong with spa treatments and anything that will pamper your hen and guests.


8. Gifts

The hen’s night is the perfect time to give the hen those cheeky gifts for the wedding night and honeymoon period. Why not buy some beautiful lingerie or some bedroom games for the hen and her rooster.


9. Dinner

Pick a restaurant you and the girls haven’t been to before. Ask for recommendations and always check the place out before you book. See if there’s a secluded area where the party can reside and always check the wine list.


10. Girls Night

A lot of hens would rather a girl’s night in than a pub crawl. Host a girlie sleepover, complete with pyjamas, sleeping bags, beauty kits, romantic comedies and magazines.




Special thanks to Guest Blogger, Sandra Worsley


Author Bio: Sandra Worsley is an experienced Australian writer. She often provides great tips on wedding preparations and organising special events.

Sunday 5 March 2023

Wording for a Wedding Ceremony - Pagan Elements & Handfasting

If you're the kind of couple who haven't attended many weddings, it can be difficult to come up with ideas when it comes to thinking about your own wedding ceremony. It's easy to get caught up in planning the party, the food and the cake, but many forget that it is at the ceremony they actually become husband and wife. It is the words they say to each other and the declarations made in front of their guests that will be looked back upon as the years pass.

Usually your celebrant or officiant will provide you with plenty of options to consider for your ceremony, but a ceremony that has been personalised with some of the things that are truly special to the couple and reflect who they are always leave those in attendance with a sense of connection and sincerity. 

Today we thought we would bring you an actual ceremony that was put together by a couple who wanted to incorporate some Pagan elements to their day. We hope you enjoy it and we look forward to bringing you some more ceremony options.





The Ceremony


Welcome:

(Warming of the rings) On behalf of Andrew and Kathryn I would like to welcome you here today to celebrate with them as they pledge their commitment to one another in marriage. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for being here and showing them your support.

 

Introduction:

We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of Kathryn and Andrew. There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls, has come our way through all paths of belief, and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom gathered. Though we are unable to give all this knowledge to these two, who stand before us, we can hope to leave with them the knowledge of love and its strengths and the anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time.

 

The law of life is, love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to Life, posterior to Death, initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.

 

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, Andrew and Kathryn have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.

 

Giving of the bride:

Celebrant: Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family's blessing.

 

Celebrant: Kathryn, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

 

Kathryn: Yes, it is true.

 

Celebrant:  And with whose blessings accompany you. 

Bride's attendant: She’s accompanied with her father’s blessings.

 

Envoking the elements:

In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart's passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all encompassing passion of the sea.

 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.

 

Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.

 

Any Legally Required Words

 

Reading: Why Marriage? - Mari Nichols-Haining

Why Marriage? Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body .

 

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, who won't hold them against me, who loves me when I'm unlikable, who sees the small child in me, and looks for the divine potential of me.

 

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who is thankful, with someone I feel blessed to hold.

 

Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love in friendship.

 

Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness, I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage together we create our marriage.

 

Because with this understanding the possibilities are limitless.

 

  

The Handfasting:

Celebrant:  

Please join hands. As your hands are joined, so now are your lives.

Above you are the stars

below you are the stones

as time does pass

Remember

Like a star should our love be constant

Like a stone should your love be firm

Be close, but not too close

Posses one another, but be understanding

Have patience with one another

For storms will come, but they will go quickly

Be free in the giving of affection and warmth

Make love often, and be sensuous with one another

Have no fear and let not the ways or words

of the unenlightened give you unease for the Gods are with you.

 

Vows: 

I ask you now to exchange your vows. We’ll start with you Andrew.

 

Andrew:  I ask all present to witness that I, Andrew James Lane, take you, Kathryn Cameron, to be my lawful wife. I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love. I promise to honour and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfilment as an individual for the rest of my life. I am honoured to call you my wife, my soul mate and I will love you unconditionally forever and some more.

 

And now it’s Kathryn’s turn.

 

Kathryn:  I ask all present to witness that I, Kathryn Cameron, take you, Andrew James Lane to be my lawful husband. I pledge to share my life openly with you, to speak the truth to you in love. I promise to honour and tenderly care for you, to cherish and encourage your own fulfilment as an individual for the rest of my life. I am honoured to call you my husband, my soul mate and I will love you unconditionally forever and some more.”

 

Celebrant:  Andrew and Kathryn have made their vows to each other in the presence of those dear to them; I then take this cord and bind them to those vows.

 

(Celebrant ties the ribbon around hands).

 

The Asking/Exchange of Rings

Celebrant Kathryn and Andrew, as these circles are designed without an ending, they speak of eternity. May the incorruptible substance of these rings represent a love glowing with increasing lustre through the years. Bless these rings which you give to each other as the sign of your love, trust, and faithfulness.

 

Celebrant: Andrew will you take Kathryn to be your wife and soul mate, to travel through all your lives together, to love, laugh, cherish, communicate and understand each other as long as love may last?

 

Andrew; I Will.

 

Celebrant to bride;

Kathryn will you take Andrew to be your husband and soul mate, to travel through all your lives together, to love, laugh, cherish, communicate and understand each other as long as love may last?

 

Kathryn; I Will.

 

Bride and groom say together

“Heart to thee, soul to thee, always and forever, so mote it be.

 

Celebrant: So mote it be

 

Guests: So mote it be.

 

Announcement:  Now that you have joined yourselves in marriage, may you strive always to meet this commitment with the same spirit you now exhibit. We all bear witness to this ceremony you have just performed, may the gods bless this union, and may the majesty of this earth protect you in your joined lives together. You may now kiss your bride.

 

Signing:

We will now be taking a few minutes to sign the legal paperwork. Please Feel free to take photos.

 

Presentation:

Having said that It now gives me great pleasure to introduce to you for the first time as a married couple……Andrew and Kathryn Lane.

 


Tuesday 24 January 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Gorgeous Wedding Earth Ritual

 This is one of our all time favourites!



Requirements: Guest participation, medium sized plant pot and seedling

In most wedding traditions, the main focus is naturally on the bride and groom, and where appropriate, their children. They seek to convey the significance and beauty of bringing two individuals together or in uniting a family. The ‘Earth Ritual’ does this, but it goes a little further by involving all of the family and friends in attendance. They not only take part, but are asked to contribute and it is this contribution that sets the foundation for the ritual.

When sending out wedding invitations a small note is included, asking each guest to bring a small container filled with some soil from around their home. (it only needs to be a small amount, especially if it is a large celebration.)

A medium sized plant pot and a seedling are placed on a nearby table. At a certain point in the ceremony, the celebrant may introduce the ritual that is to be performed.

Example:

‘Amanda and Alex have chosen to include a special ritual in their ceremony that involves all of you as their loved ones – those people that they hold most dear.

Each of you has been asked to bring a small amount of soil which was lovingly taken from your own home, filled with love and hope, and today it is hoped that as each of you place your earth into this vessel, it will retain that love.

Once the pot is full, Amanda and Alex will plant the seedling that rests beside it, ready to grow and be nourished by the love of all of you.

I would now like to invite the parents and grandparents to come forward.’

(Once they’ve finished)

‘If everyone else could now please come forward.’

(When everyone has added their earth)

‘Amanda and Alex – your pot has now been filled with the love, hope and best wishes of all of your family and friends. It has been taken from their own lives, their own homes and now passed on to you as symbolic foundation of your future life together. As you now plant the seedling, let its growth and beauty be a constant reminder of the blending of your two lives and families and the love and support that they have for you as they watch you grow together.’

(Couple finish planting the seedling and the celebrant returns to the concluding of the ceremony)

This ritual is easy to do and very effective. As long as everyone participates, its significance is beautiful and memorable. The wording can be changed and easily adapted to suit all situations.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Hens Night planning - The Basics you need

 

Planning a Hens night can be stressful, but we're  here to help.


There are loads of ideas that can be found online, but here's a little overview to get you started.



3 Months prior

-    The hens night planning should begin at least 3 months  prior to the wedding, the last thing you want is for the night to be a flop and the bride to feel disappointed because you left it to the last minute. 

      Ask the bride what type of hens night she is hoping for: a night on the town, a weekend getaway, a day of pampering or a fun night at home. Aim to understand her comfort level remember what you may consider as a fun night out she may consider as a nightmare and there is nothing worse than a humiliated bride. Determine the demographics of your guest list and plan accordingly, your aim as the organiser is to ensure all your lovely guests have a safe, fun and memorable night.

-    Next you should establish a date, we suggest for this to be between 2-3 weeks before the wedding, NEVER EVER EVER do it the night before! The only exception to this golden rule is if the bride or bridal party are flying in for the wedding – and if so keep it low key. If there is any inclining that the bride is still under the influence of alcohol on the wedding day, the priest/celebrant won’t allow the ceremony to go ahead not to mention a sick, hung over bride and an angry groom, are the last things you want on your conscience.

-    Write your guest list, again correspond with the bride, she may want only her close friends or her entire family,  in some cases she may even be inviting people from interstate or overseas– either way you must respect her decision and invite accordingly.

 

2 Months prior

-    Send out a ‘save the date’ email 2 months prior to determine the number of available attendees whilst ensuring you have given the best opportunity for everyone to attend.

-    Brainstorm ideas including the location of the event, possible activities / games / tours etc. If it is necessary to make reservations then make sure you make your enquiries and book nice and early to avoid disappointment of missing out.

-    Remember at this point that you don’t want to overschedule the night by cramming in too many activities, the last thing you want is to make your guests feel rushed or scattered by jumping from one location to another.

-    Think responsible, the inevitable part of a hens night is alcohol so organise appropriate transport and accommodation to ensure your guests have a fun and safe night.

 

1 Month prior

-    Send out your invitations approximately 1 month prior to ensure all of the brides busy friends have time to clear their schedules. This should not only include the basic information such as time/date/location/theme but also a polite request for payment if necessary and an itinerary if your planning a pub crawl or something similar.

-    If you are planning a night on the town consider starting at a restaurant - a meal before the big night is a good way to soak up that alcohol later on. Set out your itinerary organising appropriate transport between each location if they are not within walking distance of one another. Inform the pub/clubs of your attendance and in doing so hinting for hens night discount or freebie.

-    If you are planning your party at home organise for nibbles, refreshments, alcohol, games, music and decorations, (stayed tuned for our top fun games and decoration ideas posted up each month).

 

1 Week to go

-    So, its 1 week before and now the fun begins, the best part about the hens night is the shopping hunt for the male genital paraphernalia and other naughty props. Of course if this is not what the bride is ‘in to’ as such other accessories such as tiaras, veils and sashes are also a fun and a valuable part of the night.

-    Make sure you have all of the equipment you require for the games, and most importantly a great knowledge and understanding of how they are run, nothing ruins a good party like a clueless host.

-    Lastly confirm your guest list as they are your most important asset, there is nothing that reads ‘bad host’ or ‘failed hens-night’ like no guests and a disappointed bride.

 

It’s Party time!

-    Given you have carefully followed this checklist, have done your research and are fully prepared there is nothing you should be worried about On the day so most importantly let loose and HAVE FUN!

Good Luck & Happy Planning

 


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