There are some great ways to include loved ones in your Wedding Ceremony and Reception. Here are some of Celebrant Julie Byrne’s top suggestions!

Wedding Ceremony planning can be quite an experience, there are so many elements to consider. As a Melbourne Celebrant, I’ve had many couples talk to me about how to include family and friends into their wedding ceremony. The beautiful celebration that you get in the end, by including people, makes it all worth it in the end.

One of the ways that you can make your wedding planning process easier is by including others in your wedding ceremony or preparation. This does not only apply to the members of your bridal/wedding party, by the way. All of your loved ones will be excited to pitch in and make your celebration a success. Here are some of the ways that you can include others in your wedding preparations, ceremony, or wedding day.

Start with Your Pre-Wedding Activities

There are many ways that your friends and family can help out during pre-wedding activities. Take, for example, your hen’s night. They could handle activities like hosting, catering, décor, favours, and lots more. Helping you choose a dress may be another way.

All you have to do is find out where their personal strengths lie and assign them a task. This takes the bulk of the work off your maid of honour, and you can all have a great time celebrating together.

Wedding Ceremony - Including Family and Friends

Schedule Someone for a Wedding Ceremony Reading

This works a treat! As a Melbourne wedding celebrant, I’ve had couples ask loved ones to read poems, quotes from novels, lyrics from songs, suggestions from my package or to write something themselves. I’ve also seen guests become involved in a ritual such a lighting candles or a hand fasting. As long as it’s on the matter of love and marriage, they’ll be happy to do it, and it adds flavour and personality to your celebration.

They Can Be Part of Your Wedding Entertainment

If you know a performer friend and they are willing, you could include them as music entertainment. They’ll get recognition from your event while contributing to its success. Also, they could simply act as a DJ for the ceremony by downloading the songs and playing them for you through the celebrant’s sound system. So, if you know a great singer, instrumentalist or even a spoken word artist, feel free to include them. This is very thoughtful, and they’d be delighted for the opportunity.

Including Friends and Family in Your Wedding Ceremony


You may have a family member or friend who would like to deliver the non-legal parts of the ceremony and just leave the legal component to the celebrant. Be aware, though, it’s not as easy as it seems and there are many other logistical factors to consider when thinking about this.

Holding the Rings

Trust someone entirely? Then they could be the keeper of the rings throughout the ceremony, prior to the ring exchange. The rings are a symbol of the couples’ love and need to be safe and secure prior to them placing on each other’s fingers.

More Hands for DIY

If your loved ones are great at doing DIY with invites or décor, then this could come in handy. There are lots of fun ways that they can join in your planning. They could design your wedding invitations, or they can help to make your ceremony or reception venue beautiful. Knowing that they had a hand in it will also make your party more memorable for all involved.

Wedding Day Organisation

Seeing a couple run around for last-minute details on their wedding day can be frustrating for some. Wouldn’t you rather be the couple who looks relaxed and is ready to have fun? Have your loved ones greet guests, hand out service booklets and handle other small wedding day details. They could also collect gifts but limit this to the members of your bridal party that you trust. This will allow you to involve more of your loved ones in your ceremony.


If you’re having a semi-formal wedding, using ushers can help to make it a little classier. It adds a nice touch, and with it, you can include more loved ones in your celebration. This could be even more useful if there are no reserved seats at your wedding. They’ll escort guests to their table and make sure things move smoothly at your wedding.

Involving Children

Children can be a wonderful part of your wedding day and there are quite a few ways they can become involved (just remember appropriate snacks, drinks and toys to keep them happy!) They can be part of the wedding party, carry a sign or the rings, throw petals or blow bubbles, have a special rug at the front where they can sit, be part of a ritual, or write their own poem or words to share. Lots of ideas for children to be included.

Bring Your Dogs!

I love my pooches and totally get why couples want to bring along their fur babies to the ceremony. Someone can be given the task of dog-handler, or you can outsource it to a professional to take the pet away once the formalities and photos are finished.

Including Loved Ones in Your Wedding Ceremony

Wedding Speeches

Wedding speeches don’t have to be reserved for only family and members of the bridal party. If you know guests that are great with speaking and will give guests a great time, draft them in!

The ideal candidate should, however, be friendly, professional, and strong public speakers. I’ve even seen couples let their wedding party off the hook when it came to speeches. They let another loved one do the speech and share a toast to the next phase of their lives. They could also be the MC, master of ceremonies, and organise the running of the speeches.

Wedding Ceremony Witnesses

Having a witness at your wedding is an important legal requirement. You’ll need two of your loved ones to sign your wedding certificate. This role can be carried out by members of your bridal party, family members or anyone who is 18 years of age or over at your ceremony. It’s an important task, so make sure you and your partner agree on who to ask.

Why Do We Include Others?

Including your loved ones in your wedding is a great way to personalise it and make it more memorable for you and them. It can also help to relieve you of the extra wedding planning stress. So, if you have a few loved ones who can make a difference and would love to pitch in, let them. You’ll have a richer wedding experience as a result.


If you would like to book a celebrant who can help you with an awesome ceremony and ideas to include others, checkout my packages HERE.


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