Wedding Planning: Don’t forget the ceremony!

Wherever you are at in your wedding planning process, you probably have a heap of ideas and inspiration for the day. Pinterest is full of beautiful, unique images of table settings, outfits, hair and makeup… But one thing you may not have thought too much about is the ceremony itself.

According to celebrant Dilhari from Kiss Me You Fool, your ceremony is an absolutely crucial part of the day so it is important to put the thought into it early on. After all, without your ceremony there is no wedding!

Photo by Monica Defendi
Photo by Monica Defendi

Your ceremony is your moment to celebrate what makes you unique as both individuals and as a couple. And, while they are often steeped with tradition, there’s no reason you can’t think outside the box. From a ceremony on a train to one in her own front yard at 11:50pm on Halloween night, Dilhari has seen and been a part of all kinds of celebrations.  She says among the most memorable ceremonies – one that she felt really changed her – was one at Lamont’s Bishops House where they had everything from a Bob Marley tune to walk into, boogieing down the aisle, surprise quotes from guests, outstanding vows and a whole lot of laughs.

Dilhari says her approach to ceremonies is to find the balance between sentimental and entertaining.

“I am a lover of #feels but without the cheese so to speak,” she said, “I’m about bringing the laughs and in the process getting those tears flowing and ensuring that everyone – couple, family, friends, guests, venue staff – all enjoy that moment and celebrate having two people love the heck out of each other enough to get married!”

We caught up with Dilhari to get her insider knowledge and top tips for you to help you plan your ceremony.

1. Don’t forget to plan ahead…
While ceremonies are not generally associated with the glitz, glamour and excitement of wedding planning, they do set the tone and atmosphere for your entire day. Dilhari said to make sure you get a head start and map out the details of what you want and how you envision your ceremony should look and sound.

“In my books, as such an important moment of the day, it is a pretty solid idea to do the planning earlier rather than later,” she said.

2. Be original, be you!
“What I am seeing at the moment is a trend towards taking the less traditional road and creating a ceremony that truly reflects each individual couple and the elements of their relationship that they really want to celebrate,” Dilhari said.

“Are you a Star Wars fan? Well how about having storm troopers greeting your guests? Do you love Beyonce? What about a groomsman doing a reading of a classic Beyonce tune?

“Some people may cast their doubts and say it’s making a spectacle or a mockery of marriage. For me, I don’t pay much attention to that as I don’t see it that way at all. It is all about being authentic and making your day unique and memorable rather than blending into the sea of ‘typical’ or ‘ordinary’.'”

3. Remember what is important to you
“It is easy to get caught up in a lot of elements you think you need to include in your day, but apart from the two mandatory requirements under the Marriage Act 1961, your ceremony is a beautiful clean slate where the sky truly is the limit,” Dilhari said. Her advice? Keep it real, keep it authentic!

Photo by Fields & Skies Photography for the Wedding Upmarket styled shoot

4. Invest some time in your ceremony. 
“It breaks my heart when I hear couples say that they don’t care about the ceremony and just want it to be over and done with,” Dilhari said.

Don’t rush your nuptials, make them special, put time and thought into your content, vows and inclusions and think about how you want your ceremony to run.

5. Break the mould. 
Are there unique ways you can honour and celebrate your relationship within your ceremony?  Dilhari advises not to just do what everyone else does simply because you don’t know what to do. Make some time to talk through and brainstorm ideas with your celebrant and see what you can come up with!

6. Make your vows really count
“When it comes to vows, DO NOT CUT AND PASTE FROM GOOGLE,” Dilhari said emphatically.

“Those are someone else’s words and are unlikely to bear any resemblance to you or your relationship – which means it could actually come across just plain strange and we don’t want that for you!”

She suggests writing your vows as if you were actually speaking to your partner and explaining to them what it is that makes you love them and go wild about them. Keep it simple and honest and resist the temptation to embellish.

7. Ceremonies should be fun!
Dilhari said that having fun should be a priority.

“Weddings can be stressful and sometimes the planning can even fill you with dread or anxiety,” she said. “Just remember that, in the end, this is just one day out of so many really important days to follow and the key is to enjoy the lead up, enjoy the time together, enjoy bringing this day together that celebrates you two. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Photo by Keeper Creative
Photo by Keeper Creative

Dilhari’s final bit of advice is to avoid copying or googling your ceremony to death, killing your individuality in the process.  Of course you will find inspiration and ideas and borrow elements, but don’t be afraid to put your spin on it.  Always keep in mind what this special moment in your life together is all about and make sure it really reflects you.

Need help planning your ceremony? Come and talk to Dilhari at Wedding Upmarket Saturday 5 May at UWA’s Winthrop Hall. Dilhari will be there form 10-3 along with 50 of the best in the business when it comes to weddings in Perth!

Photo by Fields & Skies Photography
Photo by Fields & Skies Photography – see more from the Wedding Upmarket styled shoot and full list of credits here