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Rules for planning your marriage ceremony

By Published On: May 1, 2021Categories: All About Weddings

Way too many couples get caught up in the “rules” when they’re thinking about their marriage ceremony:

  • what are we supposed to do?
  • how is it meant to go?
  • what should we do?

This is closely related to their concerns about getting all the wedding traditions right. But remember? Traditions are peer pressure from dead people.

So let me tell you a secret. When it comes to planning your wedding ceremony, there are (almost) no rules!

Remember the legal requirements

Of course there are the legal requirements to remember:

  • I have to introduce myself and say the Monitum
  • you have to say the legal vows, including your full legal names
  • we have to sign three marriage certificates.

Otherwise, no rules!

As long as the legals are included, there are literally no rules. Throw out anything that isn’t meaningful to you as a couple. Don’t include things just because Aunty Jan says you should or because they’ve been in every other wedding you’ve been to. If you can’t find a good reason for a ceremony inclusion other than “it’s tradition” or “because that’s what everyone does”, I strongly suggest you not doing it.

Make sure everything you choose to include in your wedding ceremony is there because you, as a couple, can find meaning and purpose behind it.

The importance of tradition

Having said all of that, it’s absolutely okay to stick with tradition if that’s what you want. Ceremony, ritual, and tradition are all important parts of humanity. They provide shared memories and experiences. We are creatures of habit and we find comfort in the familiar. It’s okay if you want to repeat the same ceremony structure that has been used in marriages worldwide since the beginning of time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

It can be difficult and scary to try to come up with something completely new. When marriage equality was legislated, some of us celebrants got excited about creating an entirely new “thing” for those couples who couldn’t marry before. But honestly? We found that many of them wanted something pretty traditional. They wanted to have the ritual and the ceremony they’d previously been forbidden from taking part in. The thing they wanted already existed so they didn’t want to create something new. They wanted to grab it with both hands and say this is ours now!

What I’m trying to say is still that there are no rules. You can stick with tradition or throw it out the window. You can do all the things your parents did at their wedding or you can try something new. As a marrying couple, you get to decide what your wedding looks like, nobody else. Enjoy the process!

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