The Magic Art of Writing a Wedding Ceremony
by Lorraine Wright, Marriage Celebrant
© 2019 Lorraine Wright, The Wright Celebrant
When I’m writing a wedding ceremony, inspiration is everything. And I take that inspiration from my clients; the two ‘lovebirds’ I’m working for in that moment. My couples put their trust in me, and I want to live up to that trust, every time.
So my process is very much about focusing on them – the conversations and laughs we’ve had together, the anecdotes they’ve shared with me, and the heartfelt, hilarious and sometimes surprising things they’ve written in their Couple’s Questionnaire. All of these avenues combine to give me great insight into who they are as individuals, and as a couple.
Then, with those two wonderful people ‘front and centre’ in my mind, I start to craft their script. And it’s all about creating the right atmosphere or feeling… or to quote the classic Aussie film, ‘The Castle’… “It’s the vibe.”
A great ceremony has a rhythm all its own; an ebb and flow, with moments of sincere, sometimes intense emotion giving way to laughter, and even occasional tears… like the best kind of roller coaster. And don’t be surprised if the ones shedding a tear are those who least expected to! It happens… and it’s all good. The laughter and tears show that people are feeling something, and that’s what we want!
An important part of my role as a marriage celebrant is to help create an amazing experience for everyone who has come together to share in the event, and to set the tone for the rest of the wedding day, so that ultimately, my clients feel that theirs was the best wedding they have ever been to. That’s the goal, every time.
One of my favourite tricks for creating an authentic, conversational ceremony script is to say it out loud; try it again a few different ways; then write it down. By testing it out, my choice of words and phrases, the tone and inflection, the smallestnuances all work toward making that script tell a great story.
I absolutely love the Voice Memos app on my phone – it’s a great way to get ideas down while they’re fresh in my mind. If I’ve just met a couple for the first time, or am coming away from our ceremony planning meeting, I’ll often record notes to myself as a prompt for later on when I’m writing. It’s a great way to keep track of some of the special tidbits couples tell me, without having to write down every word while I’m sitting in front of them. Sometimes those memos slide perfectly into their script. What better way to inject their ceremony with their own words!
So there you have it… a few little insights into the “method in my madness” for writing completely customised, personal wedding ceremonies.