Samantha Burke Events - Sydney Wedding Planner
Sydney Wedding Planner

Creating The Perfect Wedding Ceremony - Advice From A Wedding Celebrant

How to plan a wedding - our top tips to staying organised when planning your big day

5 things you might not know about planning a wedding ceremony - a celebrants view

Photo by Autumn Mooney

Photo by Autumn Mooney

The lovely Melissa Soncini tells us all about ceremony planning…

I call myself a very lucky celebrant who has met hundreds of fabulously loved-up couples over the last 10 years.

While the process of planning a wedding can feel a little overwhelming with many moving parts, I work with clients to make sure their wedding ceremony really is the heart of their day.  

Here are 5 things that couples should know to have a fabulous ceremony, and some advice on how to make it really personal.

You must provide a month’s notice before you can be legally married in Australia. Each couple must fill in and sign a form called a ‘Notice of Intended Marriage” form at least a month before your wedding date. This form must be signed in front of an authorised witness, of which, your celebrant is one. This form was created so that couples have the time to assess the importance of marriage, a little like a ‘cooling off period’. You will also need to provide formal identification, and if married previously, evidence that you are single.

Vows. Your vows really can be your own. Marriage vows are, hands-down my favourite part of every wedding ceremony and I encourage couples to show-off their love through their vows. I offer many unique vow examples and Google has a plethora to go to for inspiration, but the best vows I have heard are the ones that are written from the heart.  The greatest vows are a mix of serious and light-hearted promises, combined with words of affection that make your partner and the guests cry a few happy tears.

Wedding rings are an optional extra. It’s true. They are beautiful, outward symbols that signify that you belong with someone special, however they are not legally required to be married. I have conducted ceremonies, where in place of a wedding ring, watches have been exchanged, ring tattoos have been artfully added, a necklace given to the Groom instead of a ring and in one wedding ceremony, a bicycle wheel was given to the Groom who was an avid bike rider.

While the task of presenting the wedding rings was traditionally the role of the Best Man, today I see other family members or friends get involved in the ceremony and take on this role  - and also give the couple a quick hug while they are up the front.

No one has to pick a side.  There are no ‘sides’ or seating plan at a wedding ceremony. Families often ask me which side they need to sit during the ceremony. This is an old tradition, typically a church tradition where the Groom’s family would sit on the right and the Bride’s family on the left.  I love seeing this tradition being broken and everyone in attendance celebrating becoming one big family.

Titles, Titles, Titles! Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Bro’smaids and Bridesmen. Best  Man and Lady of Honour. Bridal Posse and Groom Squad.

Modern Bridal parties are no longer classified or separated by gender or label. These are some of the beautiful titles I have heard given to the wonderful, supportive people in the bridal party who proudly stand with the couple on their wedding day, sharing such a momentous occasion.  

In Summary…

The wedding ceremony sets the tone for the day and the reason you celebrate! Your wedding day is a beautiful milestone in life where feelings of happiness and love from your partner and all of your nearest and dearest will never fade from memory.

Having a fabulous wedding planner, or even on the day wedding coordinator eases the stress of organising this big event and also removes any worries and problems that may transpire on the day. Your wedding planner can also help you choose a celebrant who shares your values and will work with you to create a personal ceremony, deliver it in a professional manner and have fun with you along the way.

Happy Planning!