BTAG" class="" style="">

There’s so much focus on tradition, on what you should and shouldn’t do during your wedding ceremony, and on what other people are doing during their ceremonies. I’m a member of a number of Facebook bridal groups, and if I had a dollar for every time I saw a post saying “how is this supposed to go?”, or “what should you do about that?”, or “what’s everyone else doing about this?” I’d probably have eleventy thousand dollars by now.

It’s the same when I meet with new clients. They’re constantly saying “oh, I thought you had to do that”, or “but everyone else does this”, or “you mean that’s not a requirement?” The answers are no, so what, and no!

I’ve talked before about what you DO need to include in your wedding ceremony, but here’s a list of a bunch of things you DON’T have to include in your ceremony. There are lots of reasons why we do these things (that’s a whole other post) but most of those reasons are terribly old and out of date. Check back in the weeks to come for some suggestions of things you might want to do INSTEAD of these, or feel free to just leave them out altogether! Remember: if it’s not meaningful to you as a couple, don’t do it!

  • you don’t have to have a bridal party
  • you don’t have to make a grand entrance
  • you don’t have to stand in a line with your guests sitting in front of you
  • the groom doesn’t have to wait for the bride at the end of the aisle
  • the bride doesn’t have to be escorted down the aisle by anyone, let alone by her father
  • you don’t have to have an aisle at all
  • the bride doesn’t have to be “given away”
  • the bride doesn’t have to carry a bouquet
  • you don’t have to include any readings
  • you don’t have to include any symbolic rituals (such as sand or candle ceremonies)
  • you don’t have to say “I do” at any point in the ceremony – absolutely not required under Australian law!!
  • you don’t have to say personalised vows (although I totally encourage you to)
  • you don’t have to exchange rings
  • I don’t have to pronounce you husband and wife
  • you don’t have to kiss the bride (or the groom)
  • your witnesses don’t have to be your maid of honour and your best man
  • you don’t have to be presented as “Mr and Mrs X”

Amazing, right? None of the stuff on that list is legally required – it’s all tradition and symbolism. Of course you’re absolutely welcome to include any or all of those components, but the important message here is that you don’t HAVE to!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how you’re making your ceremony personalised, meaningful, and non-traditional.