Your wedding. The most special day of your life... The day when you are pledging and vowing away to your partner and becoming a 'legal' little family together. What a fantastic opportunity to bring all the families involved together to declare that you are all now one united brood!!
Your family, (as big or small as they are) are some of the most important people in your life!
From Great Aunt Freda who carries an enormous crocodile skin handbag where she hides her sweeties, to Uncle Barry who delights in repeatedly telling everyone he meets about his embellished adventures in far away lands in his youth, to cousin Stella who is furiously in quiet competition with you in everything you do - Unbeknownst to you!!
Including family you will be marrying into such as your new sister-to-be Katie, who you find yourself getting closer to every day, and your little nephew Oliver who has a never ending supply of marbles that you find anywhere and EVERYWHERE!!!
The good news is that you can find parts and roles in your wedding for as many of your family members as you would like! see below for a list of ways you can include family or scroll down to my video for a look at how the interview with the lovely Julia from Julia's Celebrant Agency went down! :)
1. Have your family marry you!! - Lucky for me I had a family member get married and it was a delight to be able to officially legalise it myself!
2. Mums and dads walking you down the aisle - They can walk their son to the alter or their daughter to meet him.... or both!
3. Include family in your bridal party - Your brother could be a best man, or even a bridesmaid (I've seen it done beautifully!) Brothers/sisters/nieces/nephews/cousins/children etc can be included as bridesmaids or groomsmen, flower girls or ring bearers. Don't forget about Nanna! She'd make the sweetest flower girl ever!!
4. Don't forget the furry kind! - (Not talking about Uncle Albert) The furry pets of the family can make an excellent ring bearer with the rings attached to their jacket or can accompany you down the aisle!
5. Witnesses - There has to be 2 witnesses over the age of 18 that sign away on the marriage certificates with you. Why not give family members the important honour?!
6. Poems/readings/entertainment - If you have got a talented family member who can sing or play an instrument, what a great idea to let them serenade you both during your wedding! Poems or readings can be read or if their talents are more specific let loose with cousin Simon's juggling or Auntie Elaine's acrobatic displays....
7. Special ceremonies - A great many more people can be involved if you'd like special ring warming ceremonies, where the rings are passed down from the back of the audience and are warmed by the many hands and blessings they touch on the way up to you. Rose ceremonies are a lovely way to honour your mothers' (or anyone else!) by giving the gifts as a sincere thank you for their support.
8. Write them in! - The celebrant can say a few special words on the coming together of families or the inclusion of previous children into a marriage. A special 'adoption' into the family can be said or pledges to go forward from this day as a united front!
9. Cheers! - Why not get your entire crowd involved? As part of the ceremony you can ask who will encourage and support the marriage... The big "WE DO!" from the crowd is sure to be a hit!
10. Don't forget the little jobs - Ushering guests to their seats, car parking monitors, designated babysitters... there are so many ways that your family can pitch in to help you make your day run smoothly and beautifully. Don't forget to give them a big thank you for all of their support!!