Modern Weddings

Capture the beauty of the Australian bush, photographer Natalie Ord from Manifesto Photography

Modern Weddings

I just don’t understand it when I see Celebrants advertising themselves as ‘ Modern Celebrants’, ‘presenting modern ceremonies’. Is this a reflection of their approach to organise something with a loose, easy going, relaxed attitude, distancing themselves from the straight jacket formal weddings of past generations?

Or is it that they use technology to deliver their ceremony? A friend of my daughter’s was telling me about a wedding she went to recently. Everything was gorgeous and obviously, to her keen eye, a great detail of attention had been given to all aspects of the wedding. She said, “I know beautiful words were being spoken but I just couldn’t take my eyes from the celebrant who was reading the ceremony from her phone”. To her this was too distracting and negatively impacted on her absorbing the magnificence of the occasion. I know many celebrants use iPads, which seems a little more reasonable but still in my book risky (perhaps that is more a reflection of my inadequacies) Most celebrants use great big official looking folders but I soon learnt that it is much easier to hold an A5 size booklet which I cut tuck away when needed.

But still I am grabbling with ‘A Modern Wedding’ surely there needs to be a little pageantry to create the wonder and magnificence of the occasion. So often brides say to me that they don’t want to bore their guests……guess what, the ceremony is not designed for the guests entertainment. They should feel privileged to be witness to this amazing experience. Any Celebrant worth their salt will make the ceremony engaging, filled with variety and texture, interesting and reflective of the couple, so much so that the guests will feel lucky to be a part of something loving and tender.

What is a modern ceremony? Is it a quickie, do what you have to do, sign the paperwork and then it’s all about the party? Anyone who wants a ceremony less than 15 minutes long should look at going to the registry office. 20- 30 minutes is the perfect length for a wedding ceremony as this gives time to cover the legal requirements but also provides space to honour the couple and their love connection.

Modern ceremonies have contemporary readings and poetry??? In my world, unless the reading or poem has great significance to the couple and can be delivered by a competent speaker, they are just party fillers and only unimaginative celebrants will encourage use of these as their first go to. Don’t get me wrong a great reading can be powerful but it has to fit naturally into the flow of the ceremony and actually mean something. At my next wedding one of the mother’s is doing a reading which reflects both sets of parents attitudes. It talks of parental love and pride at seeing their children marry… fits perfectly because the bride and groom come from close knit families.

I am still confused, what is a modern celebrant? Please tell me, I am sure that they don’t mean that they are under 40, or do they? Yes that must be it! Hooray!

Now this boils down to personal preference about who you would like to marry you. Male versus female. Old (wise perhaps) versus youthful bravado. Happy or solemn, Joyous or restrained.

All I know is what I do and that is; I am respectful of the occasion, yet joyous and excited. I am solemn when required but also a light hearted exponent. I guess I am a modern celebrant by virtue of the fact that I am doing it now but I am so much more. I respect the ritual, I honour the couple, I tell their story, I create magic with blessings and love. As one of my brides recently wrote in a message, “Ah Beautiful Vibrant One … who knots and weaves and knits her life into ours, a woman never to be forgotten … sharing the most precious hour of a couple’s life. We will always love you. xx”

Eureka, I know what I am, I am me, making love ubiquitous, rejoicing in the pageantry, recognising the magnificence of the moment and making couples feel blessed, anointed and knotted together into an unbreakable bond.

If you like the sound of my version of ‘ a modern wedding’ please give me a call or use my contact form.

Mary Me Mary,a Sydney based Celebrant making memorable ceremonies.