Indian Wedding traditions

Indian Wedding is an exotic event of a memorable moments. It’s a completely traditional event with all the Indians traditions and rituals, a gathering of friends and family, fun, excitement and pleasure. Because the Indian marriage is once in a life time event, it’s celebrated with great gusto and ardour. It’s a colourful occasion with elaborate decorations, music, dances, superb dresses and solemn ceremony. The Indian wedding invitations are designed to fit this super event plus they can be found in a wide range of traditional and modern patterns, styles, colours and materials. The Indian wedding decorations of an integral Part of the Indian Wedding and these are made according to the selection of a theme or according to the conventional style. The traditional Indian wedding decoration includes banana plants, flowers, Rangoli, Diya’s etc. These days, the Indian Wedding Decorations became an extravagant affair with generous projects of electronic lighting, exotic flower decorations, crystal decorations, and a mix and match of various materials such as fabrics, artificial plants and so forth. The Indian wedding dresses are also very bright and colorful and chosen and prepared with the utmost care for this special event of Indian Wedding. The Indian brides traditionally wear red coloured bridal wear with superb embroidery. It can be a jump, ghara choli or salwar kameez in silk, chiffon, cotton, organza, georgette or any other material with bridal adornments and accessories. The Indian Wedding Ceremony differs for various regions and religions. India Wedding Planner helps in planning an exotic Indian wedding and provides all the assistance for planning and preparing the best Indian wedding dresses. The wedding functions of India are an elaborate affairs of great pomp and joy, accompanied by traditions, Traditions, holidays and extravagant celebrations. The Indian Wedding is true representation of a distinctive Indian culture, traditions, traditions and celebrations.

A momentous moment in Australian history!!

On 7 December 2017, the Australian Parliament passed the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 to change the definition of marriage and provide for marriage equality in Australia.

The right to marry in Australia will no longer be determined by sex or gender.

Marriage equality will commence on 9 December 2017.

But what does that mean for you?

On 9 December 2017, amendments to the Marriage Act 1961 commence to provide for marriage equality. The vows and monitum will change to reflect the new definition of marriage as: ‘the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’.

The ‘monitum’

As your celebrant, I am required to include a statement (the ‘monitum’) explaining the nature of the marriage relationship in all marriage ceremonies that I perform (section 46 of the Marriage Act).

From 9 December 2017, the monitum will change to reflect the new definition of marriage. This is so wonderful! Here is what I will say:

I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

Your Vows

Of course you can still say whatever vows you want to say, but there are a few words in there that you are legally required to say.

Subsection 45(2) of the Marriage Act sets out the vows  that you have to say if I am your celebrant. From 9 December 2017, the vows will change to reflect the new definition of marriage – here is what you will say (don’t worry, I will guide you on the day):

I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband, or spouse).

This change allows marrying couples to make a personal choice about the terms to be used in their marriage vows that best reflect their relationship. The term ‘husband’ can refer to a male marriage partner, and ‘wife’ to a female marriage partner, regardless of the sex or gender of the person saying the vows. The term ‘spouse’ can refer to a male, female, intersex, non-binary gender or transgender person.

This is so exciting!!

Congratulations Australia!!

A beautiful ceremony reading

Have you read this?? Oh, how utterly beautiful!

Neil Gaiman is an all-time favourite of mine and he has just added this beautiful wedding reading to his blog…

 

This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.

This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing.

Only that the world out there is complicated,

and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,

and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,

is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,

and not to be alone.

It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean.

Somebody’s got your back.

Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you

or send for the army to rescue them.

It’s not two broken halves becoming one.

It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home

because home is wherever you are both together.

So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing,

like a book without pages or a forest without trees.

Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.

Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.

Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours,

and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,

a dance you cannot be taught,

a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.

And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,

not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.

And your hands will meet, 
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.

And that’s all I know about love.

 

You can read his full post here

Writing your own vows – inspiring words

I promised to give you some words that could help inspire you . Try some of these:

How do you describe your partner? Are they your….

  • guide,
  • compass
  • friend,
  • ally,
  • companion,
  • partner
  • treasure,
  • jewel,
  • precious thing
  • safe place,
  • your home,
  • your comfort
  • inspiration,
  • motivation,
  • fire
  • destiny,
  • hope,
  • magic

How do you feel about marrying your beloved?

  • Happy
  • Certain
  • Grateful
  • Steadfast
  • Joyful
  • Proud
  • Humbled
  • Fulfilled
  • Inspired
  • Excited

How can you say you will be there in the good times and the bad?

  • In sickness and in health
  • Our imperfections
  • Joys and sorrows
  • Victories and disappointments
  • Our changes as we grow old together
  • Life’s challenges

What is it that you are promising? I promise to:

  • Love
  • Cherish
  • Be there for you
  • Listen
  • Learn
  • Be patient
  • Go on adventures
  • Inspire/be inspired
  • Appreciate
  • Devote myself
  • Be faithful
  • Be true
  • Be kind
  • Remember
  • Uplift

How long are we talkin’ here…?

  • Forever
  • Forever more
  • All the days of my life
  • For as long as I live
  • For eternity
  • Always
  • Until heaven takes me
  • For all of my days
  • For as long as I breathe
  • Until my last breath
  • For the rest of our lives

What about the ring, what is it?

  • a symbol of continuity
  • a symbol of my love, affection and faithfulness to you.
  • You are more precious than gold
  • You’ll know I’m wearing it too, wherever we are, whenever we’re apart. Look at it, and know.

What it might look like when you put it all together

“____, I am so happy to share my life with you. You are my home, my safe place. I promise to be that safe place for you, for the rest of our lives together. To be patient, to cherish you, to be kind; In good times, and in bad. I ask you to wear this ring, as a symbol of my love, affection and faithfulness to you. And whenever you look at it, you’ll know I’m wearing the same, and for the same reason.

I hope this helped you out a bit with finding the right words.

Have  a read of the rest of the posts in this series:

Writing your own vows Part 3

Need more inspiration? Try this…

Turn to Hollywood!

Do you have a favourite movie? Do you have a movie that is “your” as a couple? Maybe there is a declaration of love in one of your favourite movies that you could get inspiration from. Or this might be a good excuse for a movie binge. I have pulled together some inspiration for you. Some of theses are traditional some unconventional, either way these promises of eternal love can get reworked and written in to your vows.  Read on and get inspired.
“I guarantee that we’ll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me.” —Maggie, Runaway Bride

“You said you couldn’t be with someone who didn’t believe in you. Well, I believed in you. I just didn’t believe in me. I love you.” —Blane McDonough, Pretty In Pink

“I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It’s a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.” —Amy, Her

“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without…” —William Parrish, Meet Joe Black

“The only way you can beat my crazy was by doing something crazy yourself. Thank you. I love you. I knew it the minute I met you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to catch up. I just got stuck.” —Pat, Silver Linings Playbook

“I love you…beyond poetry.” —Viola de Lesseps, Shakespeare in Love

“People call these things imperfections, but they’re not. That’s the good stuff. Then we get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds. . . but the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other. That’s the whole deal. That’s what intimacy is about.” —Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

 “It’s a party, and you’re both talking to other people, and you’re laughing and shining, and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes… because that is your person in this life… it’s this secret world that exists right there in public, unnoticed, that no one else knows about.” —Frances, Frances Ha

 “You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.” —Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

“I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.” —Celine, Before Sunrise

“You are just so full of grace, and I promise before God and these beautiful people that I will love you fiercely and sweetly. And I look forward to sharing this great life with you. Thank you for marrying me.” – Rachel, Rachel Getting Married

 

“All that I ever wanted was to just hear music, and when I met you, I heard you. And, Rachel, you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Thank you for marrying me”. – Sidney, Rachel Getting Married

And the all time favourite from Friends…

Monica: Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I’d ever been looking for my whole life. And now — here we are — with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soul mate, my friend. Unless you don’t want to. You go!

Chandler: Monica, I thought this was going to be the most difficult thing I ever had to do. But when I saw you walking down that aisle, I realized how simple it was. I love you . . . You are the person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. You wanna know if I’m sure? (He leans in and kisses her.)

Joey: You may not kiss the bride. So, I guess by the powers vested in me by the state of New York and the Internet guys, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

I hope these have inspired you

Writing your own vows Part 2

Want to get some inspiration and have a go at writing your own vows?

Try this…..Compile answers to these questions. This might be enough to inspire you, but, if you need a little more guidance, take the 3-5 most emotionally stirring answers and use them to structure your vows. Take one idea that really resonates with you, like Dreams for example – and use it at the beginning and at the end. Here is an example:
Before we met, I had the usual dreams for the future. But since I have met you, my dreams are much bigger. All the things in life that felt unreachable before now seem possible when I am with you. I knew you were special the first time I met you. You make me want to be a better person in every way.  I promise that I will always remember and honor the way I feel about you now, all the days of my life.  [Name], I promise you my unending love, unwavering loyalty and to always dream with you.

Here are the questions

  • How did you meet? What do you remember about the first time you met?  Little did you know then, that ___?
  • When did you realize you were romantically interested in them if it wasn’t at your first meeting?
  • When did you know you loved them?
  • What are three qualities you like best about your fiancé?
  • What do you see in them that no one else sees as clearly as you do?
  • Why do you love them?
  • What are three hopes you have for the future, big or small?
  • What good things do they bring out in you?
  • How are you better as a couple than as individuals?
  • How does their love make you feel in general?
  • How do they make you feel about yourself?
  • What hopes do they bring out in you?
  • Before meeting, what did you expect of marriage?
  • What do you promise to them?
  • What kind of vow would you love to hear from your fiancé? Write out what you would love to hear promised, specifically to you. Is that vow, what you would like to say to them?

Writing your own vows Part 1

Vows are essentially a promise – when you make a vow you are evermore bound to act in the way you have vowed to do so. History tells us that prior to the 13th century, vows were likely not to have been part of the marriage ceremony. But nowadays, your vows are one of the most important parts of your big day. With all the excitement and planning, party preparation and all that goes in to creating the perfect celebration, the vow is often left to the last minute. This guide will help you to create the perfect vow, to write and declare a promise on your wedding day that you will remember and will be happy to be bound to for ever.

Traditional and classic vows

Im sure you have heard this before:
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, in the presence of God and in front of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in Holy matrimony” 
The priest then asks –
“Do you, _____, take _____, to be your lawfully wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, till death do you part?”
Then you say “I do“.
There are a few more parts to this depending on religion and how conservative or liberal you are, but generally you know what I am talking about.
After this you often get the part that  has you and your betrothed saying something along the lines of:
“With this ring, I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  Amen.”
The thing is though  that we are no longer living in the 15th century and you can pretty much do what you want when it comes to writing your vows. You may have a few expectations or traditions in your family or your belief system but if you are working with a celebrant like me, the whole ceremony is pretty flexible.

So, how do you start?

First step is to be clear on what you are doing and the style you want to use. Think about your loved one and the kind of relationship you have, and also consider the guests at your wedding and what it is you want to declare in front of all of your friends and family. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Is this a first marriage, a second, a vow renewal?
  • Do you want your vows to be a promise or commitment?
  • Do you want your vows to be a declaration of your love?
  • Do you want your vows to be an acknowledgment of your betrothed or to thank them?
  • Do you want your vows to be a combination of the above?
  • Do you want your vows to be funny and entertaining?
  • Do you want to speak form the deepest part of your heart, or do you prefer to keep that private and be a little less deep in public?
  • Do you want your vows to offer a sense of joining together to become one?

Writing your vows

The vows them self are fairly easy to write, what is hard is finding the right words to convey how you feel.  So, over the next few posts I will outline a few methods to help get you started. I have also included a post with a list of words that might hep you with inspiration and some examples of vows that you can cheat from .

So get out your pen and paper and start writing.

Wedding Invitation Do’s and Dont’s

It’s a sign that we are getting older when we start receiving wedding invitations. We have had the formal ones, the casual ones, the dramatic ones, the perfectly styled hipster ones, and sometimes even funny ones. The wedding invitation is the official announcement of your big day and it’s the first time you get to unveil your wedding day style and maybe even colours. It’s the visual representation of the type of event your guests will be attending. This makes them one of the most important parts of wedding planning, but also one of the most stressful. With so many details to include and decisions to be made, you might find yourself procrastinating the whole process. However, with simple steps and careful organization, you can make the process more enjoyable! To make things easier for you I have compiled some of the most important Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Invitations.

DO  –  Allow Plenty of Time for Invitations

Give yourself a lot of time to organize, assemble and gather correct guest addresses. The best time to send out your wedding invitations is generally around 2-3 months before the day, and the best time to actually announce your wedding with Save the Date cards is 4-6 months in advance. If you’re planning a destination wedding you might want to give more notice as your guests may have to save, plan their holiday time from work etc. The more notice, the more likely your guests will be able to attend.

DO –  Decide on a Budget for Invitations

Talk with your fiancé and decide how much you want to spend on wedding stationery. There is a wide range of options available, whether is hiring yourself a professional stationer to create a custom design, ordering from a reputable shop, hiring a graphic designer or even creating your own DIY wedding stationery.

DO – Proofread your invitations

Proofread like a professional and be consistent with the style. If your wedding is more formal, write out all of the numbers, (ex. Friday, the sixteenth of August, two thousand and fifteen at two o’clock in the afternoon). This style will add a sense of elegance and will set the mood for a formal affair. If you want to set a more casual tone, you can be a little more carefree with the writing style so it matches your personality as a couple.

DO –  Consider the Mood

Consider the colour palette, theme and mood of your wedding and try to reflect that in your invitations. This will also give your guests an idea of the formality or casual nature of your wedding and help them choose appropriate attire. For example, if it’s Gatsby-themed, they’ll probably assume that it will be more formal. And if it’s rustic and country-inspired, they’ll know that they can dress down a bit more.

DON’T – Ask for Gifts on invitations

Never include registry information or ask for cash-only gifts on your invitation. If you really want to let your guests know, include a discrete note (in the style of your invitations stet) about your registry, or you can use a service like Tendr for cash gifts.  If your guests really want to get you something special, they will reach out to your parents or wedding party.

DON’T – Send More Invites Than Necessary

For larger families or groups of people with children under eighteen, don’t send invitations to each individual family member. And if the invitation is going to a couple, one piece will do.

DON’T – Clutter it with Information

Try to keep the amount of text on your wedding invitations to a minimum and avoid printing information on the back. Text should only be on the front of the card so most professionals suggest that couple include enclosure cards with additional vital information like directions and accommodations to keep the invitations neat and tidy.

DON’T – Buy Postage Until Weighed

To avoid losing money, wait to purchase postage until you weigh the final packages of the invitations. The way Australia post is, you may just find yourself wasting money on postage you can’t use, or you end up with a mess of stamps on the front of your envelope. Its best to wait and then take the lot to the post office and talk to the staff.

DO – Say Thank You

Send personalized thank-you cards about three months after the wedding. If guests bought you a gift, you should specify what it was in the note and sincerely thank them for the gesture. And to make them extra special, match the design with your wedding invitations.

DON’T – Forget to Follow Your Heart

Last but not least, don’t feel pressured to invite everyone you know to your wedding. If you haven’t had a significant conversation with a certain person within the year, professionals agree that it’s OK to give that invitation to someone else. While there are some exceptions to this rule, the overall goal is to use your heart when deciding who should share your special day with you instead of people who you feel obligated to invite.

invitations

 

Redefining the Wedding Party

Most same sex ceremonies dont necessarily fit with what we have become used to in weddings. I find this super exciting because we are in such a wonderful time when same sex couples entering into formalised civil partnerships will be redefining many of the age old traditions we are used to.

Nowhere else is this more evident than in the ‘wedding party’. In writing this, I’m going to stick to the gender neutral term “attendant”, but really – you can use what ever terms suit you and your wedding party. For example, you could have a best man, best woman, maid of honour, attendant, groomsman, bridesmaid, person of honour, best person, best people, man of honour, bestie, BFF or any other term. Additionally, these will not always apply to the genders we are used to, for example a groom may have a man of honour, or a bride may have a best person. Alternatively, you might choose not to have a wedding party at all.

When your planning your ceremony here are some things that you might want to keep in mind;

  • You don’t have to have the same number of attendants on either side.  It doesn’t have to be symmetrical.
  • You and your wedding party might not be comfortable with the hetero normative gender roles associated with wedding tasks.
  • You might choose not to have children at your ceremony or reception, this can include not having any flower children or ring bearer.
  • Many civil partnerships don’t have bachelor parties or bridal showers but then again – you might have a gigantic party like no other.
  • Most couples don’t ask their attendants to dance with one another – but your attendants might want to.
  • You might not expect or want your attendants to all wear the exact same attire. Female attendants aren’t expected to wear the same dress, if they are even asked to wear a dress at all.
  • There are often no formal introductions at the ceremony or if there are, it’s typically just the newlyweds.

The key to planning the ceremony of your dreams? Do whatever you like.

I can help you plan a wonderful ceremony taht suits you and your partner – and you can use old traditions and make new ones – Its entirly up to you.

7

Hand-fasting – A Guide

 

The hand-fasting ritual is a beautiful, magical rite of passage. Many non-Pagan and non-Wiccan couples are adopting this old custom, much like when couples borrow from other traditions to craft their own ceremony to match their distinctive personalities.

“Hand-fasting” is a self-explanatory term – the joining of a couple’s hands is an ancient symbol of union between two people. It is from this very old custom we get the expression “tying the knot”.

For modern Pagans and other followers of earth-based religions, a hand-fasting is a ceremony for those who wish to commit themselves to a loving relationship.

Two kinds of hand-fastings are widely recognised by the Pagan community, the first is known as the ‘year-and-a-day’ hand-fasting, and the other is a lifelong commitment.

The ‘year and a day’ hand-fasting is where a couple enters the ceremony with the intent of joining together for the period of, you guessed it, a year and a day. They may, if they wish, elect to renew that vow the following year on the day the term expires. While it can be a very practical arrangement, it is not recognised by Australian law as a legal marriage. It is, however, a great way for a young couple (and the young at heart) to stand before friends and family and announce their love for one another.

The second kind of hand-fasting, entered into as a lifelong commitment, is the equivalent of an ordinary marriage ceremony. Anyone who wants to be legally married in a Pagan rite of hand-fasting needs simply to have a Pagan who is a registered  Marriage Celebrant come and officiate at their ceremony.

Hand-fastings of same-sex couples have the same recognition within Pagan faiths as heterosexual couples – although sadly these unions are not recognised under Australian law. The Pagan Awareness Network is on record as stating that this is a violation of human rights by the Commonwealth of Australia.

What a Hand-fasting Looks Like

Hand-fastings are usually done outdoors, as Pagans feel that nature is the most appropriate place to celebrate a ritual of life, love and fertility. For this reason, hand-fastings are most commonly performed in the warmer months, and especially at Beltane, the Pagan holy day dedicated to growth, sexual union and the start of summer.

Unlike Christian weddings, Pagan hand-fastings are most often conducted with guests and witnesses standing in a circle around the couple. The circle symbolises the womb of the Goddess, and this ritual area can be marked out ritually either by the couple or by the officiating priestess or priest prior to the actual hand-fasting. It is also common for the spirits of the four directions (east, north, west and south) and the elements to be called upon to witness the rite. It is also usual at this point for Divinity to be invoked, often in the form of the Goddess and the God.

The couple’s hands are then bound together with cord, symbolising their union. At this point, they speak their vows, and rings or other tokens may be exchanged. In some versions the couple’s hands are untied once they have kissed, but in others one hand remains bound until the union has been physically consummated in private.

It is common for the newly hand-fasted couple to bless a chalice of wine as their first act as a married couple and pass it around to guests. For some, the hand-fasting is not considered complete until the couple have ‘jumped the besom’, which means literally jumping over a broom together while holding hands. The broom, or besom, is an ancient symbol of fertility, and jumping over it is an invitation for wealth and abundance (including many children) to enter the couple’s life.

As a point of interest, a hand-fasting is considered particularly auspicious if the woman is already pregnant, or a pregnant woman is present as a witness.

A Brief History of Hand-fasting

In the British Isles, hand-fasting was the old pre-Christian ritual of marriage. By the 18th century, the Kirk of Scotland no longer recognized marriages formed by mutual consent (i.e. without the blessing of the Church), even though the Scottish civil authorities did. To minimize any resulting legal actions, the ceremony was always performed in public. This situation persisted until 1939, when Scottish marriage laws were reformed by the 1939 Marriage Act.

In England, Lord Harwicke’s Act of 1753 declared that marriages in England were legal only if performed by a clergyman. Subsequently, the Scottish border town Gretna Green became a Mecca for eloping couples from England who fled there to perform their own hand-fastings or marriages by consent. In those times, the couple themselves performed the hand-fasting.

In Europe, the Council of Trent in the 16th Century changed Roman Catholic marriage laws to require the presence of a priest, and so hand-fastings were commonly practiced until that point.