Involving family and friends in your wedding ceremony

There are plenty of ways you can involve your family and friends in your wedding ceremony so they feel part of your special celebration. Here’s a snap shot of some new ideas and those which are steeped in history but with a modern twist…

  • Having your Dad ‘give you away’ may seem like a thing of the past but many Dads still like the idea of walking their daughter up the aisle – and you might like Dad’s supporting arm too! Dad can give a commitment, rather than giving you away, like bestowing his love and warmth on to you as a couple and wishing you every happiness in your journey through life together
  • Couples often have divided opinions on including songs during wedding ceremonies for all your guests to join in, but this can be a real winner. Arrange it karaoke style so you have the song playing for everyone to sing a long to, with song sheets provided, pick an easy song that everyone will know and prime those guests beforehand who you know will enjoy getting involved
  • Ceremonial fires are fab for woodland/festival vibe weddings and can provide a special closing feature to your ceremony. You and your partner are passed flaming torches and you walk around your prepared unlit fire, words from your celebrant are optional here. Then you light the fire and invite your guests to add a wooden disc with your initials stamped on to the flames, making a wish for the two of you as they do so. Thanks to Tash and Laurence for the inspiration for this one!
  • A ring warming ceremony is a great way of involving all your guests, assuming you are exchanging wedding rings. At the start of your ceremony your celebrant will introduce the concept of the ring warming ceremony and ask for the rings to be passed amongst all guests. Each guest takes the rings in their hand and privately bestows a wish or their love onto the rings. Once they have been around all guests the rings are warmed ready for your ring exchange
  • Readings and poems can create real poignant moments in your ceremony, or add a bit of fun, depending on the reading selected. Asking the person giving the reading to select something of their choice works well as they will read something they are comfortable with and they have chosen for you. Two or three readings incorporated into your ceremony is just right
  • I like to ask guests to make a declaration as part of the ceremonies I deliver. This will come towards the end of the ceremony and guests can either respond ‘We do’ to a question asked, or read together a short declaration from a printed sheet. They are giving their commitment to support you both as active friends and families in your future lives
Hand fasting ceremony, humanist wedding, symbolic wedding gestures, sand blending
Hand fasting ceremony
  • If you would like to involve a small number of close family members in your wedding ceremony, maybe children or your siblings, you might want to consider hand fasting or sand blending. These symbolic gestures, which can involve you making promises to each other and your family, have great visual impact and provide keepsakes of your day. Find out more about these in my symbolic gestures blog
  • A candle ceremony can be a gorgeous way to involve everyone towards the end of your wedding ceremony. Everyone is given a small candle when they take their seats for the ceremony and when the time comes, the celebrant lights the candle of the first guest, they in turn light the candle of the next guest and so on. Once all of the guest candles have been lit the last person comes up to light a single unity candle for the happy couple. Guests then form a lighted walk way for the couple to pass through. Fab for evening weddings

10 Reasons to Choose a Humanist Wedding

A Humanist wedding is great for so many reasons, here are my top 10 of the moment:

  1. You can get married anywhere you like, assuming you have the landowner’s permission. So think beach, woodland, your favourite restaurant or even at home
  2. The words for your ceremony can be created to say just what you want to, there are no rules here!
  3. Select a memorable symbolic ceremony. There’s plenty to choose from – hand fasting, sand blending and broom jumping. Or keep it traditional with an exchange of rings and hand blessing
  4. If you’d like to involve those close to you such as children or friends in your ceremony we can provide ideas on the best way to do this
  5. We love same sex marriages!
  6. You can have a humanist wedding in a licensed venue. Do the legal bit then get personal with a humanist marriage ceremony afterwards
  7. If your partner’s family has a different belief or religion to your own, a humanist wedding ceremony offers a religious-neutral solution
  8. Your ceremony can be as unique as you are from your vows and readings through to your closing music
  9. All celebrants are fully accredited by Humanists UK and have been through rigorous training. Quality comes as standard – no question
  10. Us humanists believe in being kind to others, and the planet, and treating everyone well. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone marry you with those values?

Let me know your reasons for choosing a humanist wedding celebration at Find out more about my ceremonies on my wedding page and check out the latest stories and blogs about humanist weddings from Humanists UK.