On walking down the aisle


Who is going to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle?

Speculators have been speculating on this since she announced her father is unable to attend the wedding.

The speculation has gone from the traditional (if her father can’t be there another man might) through the less traditional but no longer unusual (her mother could escort her) to the trashy (I was listening to the radio yesterday and some of the suggestions are best not repeated).

A father escorting his daughter down the aisle and giving her away is the traditional start to a marriage service but there are plenty of alternatives.

As a marriage celebrant it is my role to create a service that suits the couple and meets the requirements of the Marriage Act.

I give the bride and groom several options and even though it’s the 21st century, many choose to stick with tradition.

If the bride’s father is dead or estranged some choose to come in with their mother, brother or grand parent.

I’d been away from home for several years before I married and wasn’t comfortable with the idea of being given away.

Instead I followed both my parents down the aisle with my best lady at my side and rather than the traditional giving away, the minister asked all our parents if they gave their blessing to our marriage.

A couple whose marriage service I officiated at last year were married on a beach. The groom arrived first with his mother, his father followed with the bride’s mother, the attendants came next and then the bride walked in with her father.

Alternatives include:

* The groom walking in with both parents and/or other family and/or friends and the bride walking in with her parents and/or other family and/or friends.

* The groom enters with his family and the bride with hers side by side (this needs a wide aisle so works best in a garden).

* The bride and groom enter together with or without parents/family.

Weddings can be much more informal than they used to be and sometimes the couple choose to mingle with guests as they arrive and then come forward together to start the service.

However they choose to start the service and whatever else they say and do during it, I remind the couples that what matters is that they are relaxed and happy and what matters more than the wedding is the marriage.






Quote of the day


. . . At the end of the day, as long as you marry the person you set out to marry, then your wedding was a success. . .  from a post on a Victorian Steampunk wedding – with wonderful photos – at Ruffled.

Better than alright on the day


The signs for the wedding rehearsal on December 30th weren’t good.

It was taking place at Elephant Rocks and the wind was so strong the marquee had been tide to a ute.

But the weather gods were only kidding. New Year’s Eve dawned clear and nearly calm and the wedding ceremony was able to take place as planned.

In contrast to December’s rehearsal, we couldn’t have had better weather for the one at the Mill House at Waianakarua on Friday. It was 26 degrees with no wind as we stood on lawn under the trees. 

We didn’t even bother rehearsing plan B which was to move inside which I regretted when we woke up to rain yesterday. However, the wedding wasn’t until 2pm, by then the southerly had blown over and it was warm and calm on the lawn.

Perhaps it’s just been luck, but whatever has happened, or not, at rehearsals, it’s been better than alright on the day for all the weddings I’ve officiated at.

I’m not meaning just the weather, but everything else and that comes down to the attitude of the couples. They are there to commit themselves to each other and celebrate that with their family and friends. When they’re relaxed and happy about that everyone else is too.

When that happens, all’s right on the day, regardless of whether or not everything goes to plan. That provides happy memories for the couple and their guests and a wonderful start to the marriage.

Wedding season


They were engaged 42 years ago, something went wrong, they parted.

Each met another, married, divorced and met again.

The flame that burned too low more than four decades earlier was rekindled, he’d kept the ring all those years so gave it back to her, and on Wednesday morning they married.

Just a simple ceremony, in the public gardens, celebrated with a small group of family and friends.

I was the celebrant on Wednesday and today I’m the guest at another wedding, the first of five we’ll be attending in three different countries in the next couple of months.

All will be unique, all will be special.

%d bloggers like this: