Your wedding guests are an important part of your wedding day, so why not try to find a way to include them in your ceremony and reception? Many couples today are choosing to include their guests in a more intimate way, rather than simply being spectators to the day’s events. Here are some fun and meaningful ways to make guests an integral part of your wedding day.
Typically, the wedding ceremony is a time when your guests function as witnesses to your wedding vows. However, it is actually a great opportunity to include some guests and invite them to partake as key players in your ceremony.
Many wedding ceremonies include readings. Sometimes they are readings from your religion’s scripture, or they may be a favorite poem. This is a great opportunity to include important people from your life to speak words of wisdom or love over your marriage.
Ring Warming Ceremony
This is a special ceremony where guests pass your wedding rings from person to person and either say a prayer or make a good luck wish over your marriage. You can choose to include your parents and bridal party, or if you’re having a smaller number of guests you can include every guest in this moment.
If you do decide to have a ring warming ceremony, it’s important to assign someone to keep track of the rings as they are passed from guest to guest. The concept behind a ring warming ceremony is that by the time the rings are placed on your fingers, they’ll be blessed—or warmed—by the love, prayers, and well wishes of those closest to you.
Communal vows provide your guests an opportunity to allow those closest to you to incorporate their own vows into your wedding ceremony. To do this, you should ask your officiant to incorporate these vows into their ceremony outline. For example, they can ask your guests to vow to love, support, and encourage your marriage union for all of the years of your marriage, and your guests would respond “I do”. This is a wonderful opportunity to show how important community support is to a successful marriage.
A ceremony toast logistically works best for smaller weddings. Right before your officiant pronounces your marriage, have flutes of champagne handed to guests towards the end of the ceremony. Once everyone has a champagne flute, your officiant can lead the toast, asking the guests to raise their glasses and give a cheers to the newlyweds.
Now let’s explore some great ways to include your guests in your wedding reception:
Ask for Song Requests
Dancing is one of the biggest components of a wedding reception and is a perfect opportunity to include your guests in the planning of it. Include a line of your RSVP cards or on your wedding website, that allows guests to request songs to be played at your wedding.
Utilize Their Talents
There’s a ton of ways to incorporate your guests’ various talents. For example, if you have musical friends, ask if they wouldn’t mind playing a song or two during the reception. Or, if they are dancers, see if they wouldn’t mind performing a special number – or if you’re especially creative, plan a mini flash mob performance that you and your new spouse can partake in as well.
Create an Interactive Guest Book
The guest book is a popular wedding tradition—but here’s a wave to make it unique and special. Some ideas for an interactive guest book might include taking a photo and including a special note, filling out a recipe card to create a new cookbook for you, writing marriage advice for you to read later, or signing a platter that can become a treasure piece for your home.
Turn Them Into Candid Photographers
Download a photo-sharing app, create a hashtag, or have people email photos to a specified email address. While there’s a number of ways to receive photos, the idea behind this is to encourage your friends to take lots of photos and videos and share them with you. While you’ll have tons of great photos from your professional wedding photographer, they can’t be everywhere at once and this creates an opportunity to see your wedding from your guests’ perspective.