My advice on Marriage; first, look under your seats

We had such fun at Ami & Struan’s wedding at Carlowrie Castle on Saturday; I hope to write more about it another time, but I felt I had to share this particular idea ASAP.

When you’re getting married, you usually choose a few people to do readings; it’s a traditional way to honour and involve a few people who didn’t make the cut for the wedding party, but I encourage all my couples to think about different ways to involve as many of the guests as possible and this one’s a belter!

The first time I saw this idea was when I conducted a wedding blessing ceremony for Rex and Paul at Lennoxlove ten years ago. Same sex marriage wasn’t legal then, but their wedding was every bit as moving and powerful as any legal ceremony I’ve ever conducted.

The idea is simple. Choose elements from the ceremony and print them onto cards. Put them into envelopes, seal and number them, and then hide them at random under the seats.

Wedding photography by Angus Forbes

When the time comes, ask your celebrant to tell the guests to feel underneath and if they have an envelope, hold them up. Then each guest in turn has to open the envelope and read what’s inside.

There are lots of parts of the ceremony where this can work. When I married Harriet and Stuart, about a dozen people found themselves helping me tell their story.

Wedding photography by Angus Forbes
Wedding photography by Angus Forbes

What I didn’t see then was what I got to see yesterday; all of Struan’s groomsmen Sellotaping envelopes under the seats at random!

There are a few things to bear in mind if you like the idea. If you’ve got a big venue and a lot of guests, make sure we have at least one radio mic, so that everyone can hear what’s being said, no matter where they are.

Wedding photography by Angus Forbes

And keep what’s inside short and sweet; your guests won’t have had time to prepare to speak, so make it easy for them.

What I love about ideas like this is that they instantly create more ‘special people’. When they all sit down to dinner, it gives them something to talk about and there’s no better way of breaking the ice than saying, “I loved how you did that reading this afternoon!”

When your big day comes, how are you going to make your guests feel special? I can’t wait to find out!

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