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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 exchange rings

This is another one that gets a lot of surprised murmuring when I mention it: rings are purely symbolic, we wear them on our left ring finger for who knows what reason, and they are not required at all! Just one of you may like to wear a ring, or neither, and that’s fine. Consider exchanging some other kind of gift instead of a ring – I’ve heard of custom-made surfboards and comfortable chairs being given as symbols of the marriage vows. Whatever is meaningful to you as a couple!

 

I don’t have to pronounce you husband and wife

There are even a lot of celebrants who get this one wrong, but there is no legal requirement for me to pronounce you husband and wife (or to say “by the power vested in me, for that matter”). You can leave it out altogether (although it is kind of cool to include) or you can have other people say it! What if all the kids in the audience got to pronounce you husband and wife, or all the guests combined, or a special person in your lives together?

 

You don’t have to kiss the bride (or the groom)

Some couples don’t like PDAs, and that’s totally fine. If you guys want to shake hands, or high five, or pop a bottle of champagne, or do a cartwheel, that’s totally fine by me. You need to feel comfortable with what’s going to happen during your ceremony, and if the idea of kissing in public makes you shudder, give it a miss!

 

Your witnesses don’t have to be your maid of honour and your best man

The only legal rules around witnesses is that there must be two of them, they must appear to be over 18, and they must be able to hear and understand the ceremony. So feel free to mix it up. You could have your mums, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, or anyone else as witnesses. You could even make it a prize on the day – pop a sticker underneath two chairs, and whoever sits on those seats gets to be the witnesses!

 

You don’t have to be presented as “Mr and Mrs X”

A lot of women are choosing not to change their names these days, but even if you are changing your name, you may not want your first presentation as a newly married couple to be as Mr and Mrs. Feel free to ask your celebrant to present you as the newly married Bill and Jane if that’s meaningful to you!

 

I hope this series of suggested alternatives has helped you see that when it comes to your wedding, there are so many options, and you don’t just have to follow the same template as everyone else. Feel free to shake it up a bit, and make sure you have a wedding ceremony that is personal and meaningful!