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Recently I wrote about the things you DON’T have to include in your wedding ceremony, and suggested alternatives to some of those components. Here’s some more amazing alternative suggestions for you!


You don’t have to include any readings

When I turn to the readings page in my ceremony builder booklet, couples’ faces often fall or their eyes glaze over, because all they’ve ever heard before were boring, long, complicated readings. You don’t have to have anybody do any type of reading at all, but if there are people you’d like to include in your ceremony and a “reading” would be the easiest way to do this, feel free to have them read whatever you like: a passage from a film, song lyrics, and kids’ books work really well. Or you could ask all the junior members of your community what love means to them, and read out their descriptions – adorable AND inclusive! Check out my Awesome Wedding Readings series for more great ideas.


You don’t have to include any symbolic rituals (such as sand or candle ceremonies)

Absolutely not required in any way, shape or form! Symbolic rituals can be sweet and fun, but please make sure you’ve got a really great reason for including one, not just because you saw it at another wedding and thought you had to include it. For instance, one of my brides really wanted to include a hand fasting ritual including their kids, because to her the marriage ceremony was about “tying together” their little family – great reason!


You don’t have to say “I do” at any point in the ceremony – absolutely not required under Australian law!!

This is the one that causes the most interest when I bring it up in meetings: there is absolutely nothing in Australian law that requires you to say I Do at any point in the ceremony. Nothing! We can definitely include a traditional “asking” to which you answer I Do if this is important to you, but it’s completely optional. Why not come up with a fun question for each to answer I Do to?


You don’t have to say personalised vows (although I totally encourage you to)

There is only one sentence that the bride and groom must say in order to be legally married. After that you can totally include some personalised vows if you’d like to, but there is absolutely no need to do so if you don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of people. I’ve had couples write beautiful letters to each other with all the things they would say in their vows; I’ve had other couples write incredible words that they’ve asked me to read on their behalf; and I’ve had yet other couples who’ve wanted absolutely nothing personal included in their ceremony at all, and that’s totally fine!


I know I’ve said it again, but I’ll say it before: if it’s not meaningful to you as a couple, don’t do it, or choose an awesome alternative!