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Old Wedding Ceremony Traditions – How they have transitioned into the 21st century

Old Wedding Ceremony Traditions
How they have transitioned into the 21st century

As these are very old traditions - please forgive the lack of equality in them.  Hopefully the way in which these traditions have transitioned will help to encompass all couples who wish to marry.

You may kiss the bride...

In ancient times, the kiss was as important as the signing of the marriage certificate, as it was the moment when the bride and groom legally became husband and wife.

Today, some people still want to hear those 5 little words, but we are slowly morphing into using inclusive language in our marriage ceremonies and we need to ask ourselves - Why is it the groom that gets to kiss the bride?  Why can't they kiss each other?  What happens when there is no bride? 

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Celebrating family members

Celebrating family

How do we let our family know we love, respect and appreciate them?

We all know intuitively how important being valued is for our mental health and overall well-being in all aspects of our lives.

Of course there are lots of ways we do this on a daily basis. Importantly so, or just doing something special would be hypocritical.

One author, Gary Chapman, has summarised these ways, as what he calls "love languages", into five basic types:  Quality Time  Words of affirmation • Acts of service • Gift giving • Touch.

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Let's have a winter wedding

winter bride

There are lots of reasons to consider avoiding the "wedding season" in the middle of summer.

Venues and suppliers may be easier to find (and possibly cheaper). Your wedding date won't clash with all your friends who are getting married this year.  

Initially you may find that you get some negative feedback as people think about standing in the cold wind for your ceremony or driving to your reception on a dark rainy night. So here are a few tips to make a winter wedding a great success.

Choose a great venue:

Think about having the ceremony and reception at the same venue to minimise travel for your guests - even better if the venue has accomodation and guests can stay overnight.  They will be able to relax between the ceremony and reception and not have to think about going out in the cold.  Choose somewhere with a warm, cosy atmosphere, perhaps with fireplaces.

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Time your ceremony well:

If you are going to have an outside ceremony or your venue has a fabulous view - and many places in Australia have perfect weather for winter weddings - think about having a lunch time wedding.  Your ceremony and reception will be at the warmest and brightest part of the day.  Older friends and relatives or those with young children will be more comfortable - and you can always continue into the night with an informal party with your friends.

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Keep your guests comfort in mind:

Yes, of course everyone wants to be at your wedding but getting cold is no fun.  If you are outside for the ceremony why not have some rugs available for guests to wrap up in.  Think about warm mulled wine for after ceremony drinks - and have a good wet weather plan in place just in case.

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Plan your clothes carefully:

Winter weddings open up lots of opportunities for gorgeous wedding dresses - think, long sleeves, heavier fabrics, fur or feathers, lots of sparkle.  You and your bridal party want to be comfortable especially if you are outside for ceremony or photos, so consider boots instead of strappy shoes, wraps or jackets to keep you warm, thicker tights and thermals for little bridesmaids.  The guys will probably be a lot happier in their suits that on a hot summer day.

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Enjoy bright colours:

Mid winter is not the time for dull colour schemes for weddings.  Choose bright colours for your flowers and decorations or have lots of gold or choose masses of candles and mirrors to make the whole day bright whatever the weather.

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Yes, winter weddings have lots of benefits.  A wonderful, colourful,  happy day in the middle of the coldest months will give lots of happy memories for all who attend while you head off to the sun for your honeymoon.

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The Kiss - What's appropriate?

Keep on kissing
You know, the first kiss after the celebrant declares you married. 
The one with everyone watching as you lip lock in public with the cameras and videos working overtime.
Yes, that kiss.
So, what is appropriate.
Let’s first look at the legalities. Do you need to kiss to make your wedding legal?
The quick (and right) answer is NO…………so, if you don’t want to share your first kiss as a married couple with your invited guests, then you can ask the celebrant to leave this out of your wedding.


Is it possible to change the wording to be more inclusive, rather than the traditional “You may now kiss your bride”?
Absolutely. … does “Let’s celebrate your marriage with a kiss” resonate with you?


And the kiss itself. Are there any rules?
Well, it is your wedding, so you can really do what you want, but if you are getting your first kiss photographed, perhaps you may want to practice the moment. I think any amount of practice kissing is fine, as you can never ever kiss too much in my book.


But, you might want to reconsider the following styles :
Open mouthed swallowing kissing
(you don’t want to look like you are eating each others faces)

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Bend her back swashbuckle kissing (hard to get back up in heels)

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The cheek peck kissing (cuteness overload)

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The trout mouth or “just pucker up”  kissing  (speaks for itself)

Pucker beach wedding 1934718 1920

The “I can’t breathe” kissing.  (anyone know CPR?)

I cant breathe

Or the just plain awkward kiss.  (what was he thinking!)

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So, what works for your photos………but more importantly for you as a couple?
A natural, kiss……… that you will have shared many times before. One that says I love you, one that says I enjoy kissing you and one that says we are wonderful together.

wedding 2963666 1920

And as I have stated earlier………practice is always a good thing, there can never be too much kissing in the world.

If you would like to discuss the Kiss during your ceremony please check out the list of CCN Celebrants to find one near you.

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Loss of loved ones

"People do not die for us immediately but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad."
Marcel Proust

The death of those closest to us presents challenges not imagined, even though death is a natural part of life the sadness, grief, shock and confusion that may present itself at the time may feel like it will never go away. 

The sadness typically diminishes in intensity as time passes, but grieving is an important process to overcome these feelings and continue to embrace the time you had with your loved one. Memories keep loved ones close.

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Talking about the death of your loved one makes it real, celebration of their life and reflecting on your relationship are ways of keeping their memory alive rather than denial. Looking over old photographs are a part of the process 

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If your relationship with the deceased was difficult, this will also add another dimension to the grieving process. It may take time before you are able to look back on the relationship and adjust to the loss.

Remember to take care of yourself and your family, someone else may need your support to cope with their grieving. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up for you. There is no timeframe for grieving, however, if you are experiencing intense grief, anxiety, or depression over long periods of time then you may consider talking to a professional.

Learn more about ceremonies for loss and grief in our CCN's for Everyone  section.


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