How to Help a Couple Plan the Perfect Wedding CeremonyAug 24, 2021
Planning a wedding ceremony can be one of the biggest logistical operations a couple will take on in their lifetime. While some will relish the chance to plan the wedding of their dreams, others will find the process overwhelming.
Here are some interesting facts drawn from a large scale 2019 wedding survey that help illustrate the pressures and rewards of planning a wedding ceremony.
- 42% of couples feel pressured to have an instagram-worthy wedding.
- 1 in 3 couples bear the full financial burden of the wedding without help.
- Almost half of the time, the bride plans the whole wedding.
- 40% of couples are now writing their own wedding vows.
As a wedding celebrant, you can use your vast experience of weddings to help a couple plan a wedding ceremony that will perfectly suit their style and budget.
Some couples will find it helpful if you have mood boards or walls of ideas ready-made for them to see. It can be much easier to create your mood boards as your career goes along. Make note of ideas from each wedding you are hired for, and use wedding magazines to begin to create different boards. Your boards might include colourful, fairy tale, outdoors or rock and roll weddings.
You may want to set up a Pinterest account to display mood boards digitally before you meet with a couple - this way they can take a look at your ideas before discussing them with you.
Being able to showcase ideas that you have collected over months or years can help couples select the ideas they would like to incorporate into their own wedding. Having a visual representation will also help you get a feel for the preferences your couple have for their wedding.
Not constrained to the usual wedding venues, as a celebrant you can keep a list of alternative venues for ceremonies and receptions. Beautiful fields, stately homes or beaches can all be used as locations for wedding ceremonies.
Help your couple by suggesting locations that they might not ordinarily have thought of, from their own back garden to a clifftop with an ocean view!
The Legal Bit
It is important to make sure that the couple know that they will need to sign the legal documents in a registry office to make their marriage official. Being given practical advice by a celebrant on how to legally marry is something that many couples will appreciate.
The Wedding Party
Some couples will want to include bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls or page boys in their service. They may also want to ensure that their parents or siblings play a starring role. Here you can draw on your experience to show couples how to make sure members of the wedding party are given a special reading, task or role on the big day.
This can be particularly helpful if there are strained family relationships, or a large extended family to consider.
Some couples have always dreamed of a big wedding day. It is important to suggest ways that the couple can ensure that all guests feel included in the big day. This may involve carefully selecting a venue with good acoustics, or thinking carefully about the seating plan for the wedding breakfast.
Not all couples will want a ‘big do’. Some will choose to invite close friends and family only. As a celebrant, you are in a good position to help the couple navigate any negative reactions from more distant relatives who assumed they would be invited. Sharing positive anecdotes from past clients who chose a similarly small wedding may also help.
Music, readings, speeches, dance and even theatre can all form part of a wedding ceremony. Helping a couple decide on the structure of their ceremony can make them feel that their wedding is truly their own. Your expert guidance will assist the couple in putting together a ceremony programme that will flow perfectly from one item to the next, making it an event that the couple and their guests will enjoy and remember fondly. You may want to mention:
- The vows / words spoken by the couple
- The theme / colours / tone
- Timings and order
- What the celebrant should wear
- Music and time for reflection
- Celebratory accessories like confetti, flowers etc
- Personal rituals
As you become more experienced as a celebrant, you will see a wide range of wedding ceremonies. This puts you in the perfect position to help your clients plan a wedding ceremony that is perfect for them. Remain open to the couple’s suggestions, and offer them new ideas of your own to create a beautifully unique ceremony.
If you complete your celebrant training with the International College of Professional Celebrants, or apply for membership with the ICPC, you can discuss successful ways of working with other celebrants via our online communities.