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Celebrating Family

Posted on 28 April, 2019 at 5:35

A marriage is, and is so much more than, a formally/legally recognized union of two people as partners in a super special personal relationship.

Marriage is also the celebration of family.

Often in my ceremonies, a family unity ceremony is personalized and included to recognize and honour family. Some couples also choose to recognize their parents, grandparents, surrogates, special people and, yes, even include their pets. They're family too.

Recognizing Family or a Family Unity Ceremony usually happens after exchanging of rings, before your First Kiss or after your First Kiss and before signing the legal paperwork. It can be included in your ceremony where appropriate at any time as it's YOUR ceremony.

Here are some ideas you can include in your ceremony to recognize family members.

There are so many ways to do this. Be creative and come up with your own.

My intent is to maybe get you thinking on customizing your ceremony.

After all, it’s YOUR Special Day! Celebrate ot in Your own Special Way!

Giving a gift or small memento of your ceremony, during your ceremony, is quite popular.

Request your officiant/celebrant do a Special Mention in the ceremony with a poem or family blessing.

One person or group activity - Have them participate in the ceremony by reading a poem, singing a song, playing (live) a musical selection, walking you and your partner down the aisle . . .

Parents, Grandparents and Surrogates – giving a rose or a small ceremony gift. If you are doing a blanket unity ceremony your parents (grandparents) can be the ones who drape the blanket around you.

Blended Families – during the ceremony invite the children to come up and form a circle. There are many appropriate poems or “promises” that can be recited at this time. Another family unity ceremony that is popular is having a special vase and each family member puts in a flower to create a bouquet. The special vase ceremony can be beautifully recreated in your home afterwards on anniversaries, special family occasions or those times when the waters get a little "rough".

If you’re doing a wine or champagne box unity ceremony, it can be expanded to include family. The idea is that you and your partner write letters to each other and lock the box with the bottle and glasses to be opened on your romantic anniversary. You can have family members also write you notes and can be included in the special box for opening and ready at a later special time. Hint here … you may want to collect the letters prior to your ceremony. I’ve held ceremonies where family members have forgotten to bring their letters to the ceremony. If you have the letters in advance then those writing you special notes can come up and place them during the ceremony.

When a loved one is failing in health … my goodness this is a sad one, but all too real for those going through it. I’ve married couples months before their actually “wedding date” and then performed a commitment wedding ceremony at their wedding. Some family and guests don’t even notice that the wording has been slightly altered and have no idea that they are already married as they walk down the aisle. Some couples have me addresses it in their day of ceremony and some don’t. The choices are all so very personal.

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and What About Including Your Pets?

Pets are family too. I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention how important pets are in a family. Including your pets in your ceremony can be both fun and, yes, at times, challenging.

Couple of final pointers on recognizing family.

Your wedding day and wedding ceremony is a celebration of your love. It is about you and your partner. If you wish, absolutely include a family component. My suggestion is to keep the focus on YOUR marriage and that by including a family unity ceremony, it compliments your ceremony and doesn’t overshadow your very special moment of commitment.

Have fun with it. Be creative.

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Categories: Ceremony Tips