One of the most special things about your wedding day is getting to share it with your nearest and dearest. For many, involving friends and family in the ceremony can make things even more personalised and meaningful. Whether you are looking to shout out a special friend, include your children in the ceremony or honour a loved one who is no longer with us, we have some ideas to get you started.

Handfasting

Including handfasting in your ceremony? If so, the material you choose can be a great way to involve friends or family. This ritual involves the wrapping of material around your hands as a visual demonstration of your union in marriage. You could use something that belongs (or belonged to) loved ones – for example a scarf or a tie.

Many charities have their own specially created tartans which could be another option for the material you choose. You may wish to commemorate a dearly departed loved one by supporting a cause that was important to or impacted them. Visit the The Scottish Register of Tartans website for details.

Sing-along

If you want to include all your guests in the ceremony you could have a good old-fashioned sing-along! Choose a well-known song which you both love and have the lyrics printed out or displayed for guests to see. There’s nothing quite like a room full of your favourite people belting out a tune in the name of love!

An outdoor wedding ceremony. A woman in blue dress gives a reading in front of guests and bride and groom who stand either side of her.
Photo credit: Ryan White Photography

Readings

If you have a special song that you would like to include but don’t fancy a sing-along, why not include the lyrics as a reading and ask a friend or family member to read them. You could also choose a poem, passage from a book, quote from a film or even a piece of original writing. Performing a reading is an important role – they may be the only other person speaking apart from you and your celebrant. This can be a very thoughtful gesture to show that special person what they mean to you both. 

Wedding band warming

A wedding band warming is a simple but meaningful way to include all guests in your ceremony. This symbolic gesture involves having your rings pass round all guests. When the rings reach them, they hold for a few seconds to “warm” with positive thoughts before passing on. The rings return to the couple filled with loving energy.

Close up shot of two wedding guests passing a ring during wedding band warming. They are visible from the shoulders down and wearing a green wedding kilt and blue lace dress.
Photo credit: Ryan White Photography

Oathing stone

The oathing stone ritual is another symbolic gesture where warming can be included. This ritual involves the couple holding their chosen stone with hands clasped together whilst reading their vows to “set them in stone”.

If you would like to involve your children in the ceremony, why not ask them to choose the stone which will be used. This is a great way to include them in the planning. It also gives them a special role on the day as they can be invited up to hand the stone over during the ceremony.

The oathing stone can also be a thoughtful way to remember dearly departed loved ones. For example, like the couple who chose a stone from the beach where the groom’s dad’s ashes had been scattered so that he was physically part of the ceremony.

Completed colourful sand art in a heart shaped glass vessel, following a sand ceremony

Sand ceremony

Finally, a sand ceremony can be a great way to involve children in your ceremony. To carry out this ritual, two or more containers of sand are poured into a single vessel. The grains of sand blend together which represents the blending of lives and families. You can use different colours of sand to represent each individual and ask children to chose their colour as a way to involve them in the planning process as well as the ceremony itself. You could even go on an adventure together to collect sand from a beach which holds special memories for you as a family!

Flowers held in hanging decorations made from lightbulbs

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