Planning 101 11th August 2014

5 Ways To Involve Your Guests In The Ceremony


Image by Helen Abraham
Image by Helen Abraham

It's quite likely that many of your adoring fans (*ahem, guests) may have travelled far and wide, parted with some considerable cash and invested quite a lot of time in attending this wedding. Whilst they're probably more than happy to do so to share in this special day, it's nice to show some them appreciation. A little appreciation goes a long way!
Gone are the days of hotel production line weddings, with more and more brides taking inspiration from Pinterest to find exciting and unique ways to entertain their guests. But whilst we have photo booths, magicians and activity stations coming out of our ears during the reception, how do you make guests feel a part of your ceremony?
Here are our top 5 ways to involve guests in the actual wedding part of your wedding, and show your gratitude of them being there with you.

1. Acknowledge their presence from the off
There are several ways to do this; it could be as simple of having your officiant or minister kick things off with a small message from you both to say thank you for being there, or having words to that effect written on the order of ceremony. A really sweet idea would be to print all your guests names in the order of ceremony, perhaps on the back page, surrounding your names; they'll love to see that they've been included.

2. Let them in on a secret
Perhaps one of you is arranging a surprise for the other, or perhaps you are a member of the wedding party arranging a surprise for the couple. Let your guests in on the secret before the big day and have them contribute in some way. We all dream of that Love Actually moment!

3. Make sweet music together
Have little baskets of instruments at the ends of the aisles for guests to pick up and get involved with your recessional song. Choose an upbeat exit aisle dance kind of song and have your guests parade out of the wedding with you in a joyful procession.

4. Guest wishes
You could include a selection of guests' well wishes for the couple to be read out during the ceremony. If you have a large number of guests, just select a few random ones. This would be quite a nice thing to do during the signing of the register accompanied by some music, or during something like a candle union (see below!).

5. A candle union
Though usually associated with churches, there's no reason why this can't be done in a non-religious ceremony (as long as your venue is OK with naked flames). Sometimes a candle union ceremony will start from the back of the room with each guest lighting their candle from the previous one, until the flame reaches the front. The couple then light their candle together, forming a union. This is such a lovely, symbolic act bringing the whole congregation or assembled party into the ceremony. In a church service, do this during a hymn; in a non religious ceremony, do it during a song you may ask a friend to play or sing.