Memorial Candles... ideas for acknowledging loved-ones

For those planning a wedding and wanting to acknowledge the absence of a loved one no longer with us; there are a myriad of suggestions:

  • Some people play a piece of music (which results in a room full of tears)!

  • Some say a prayer... not my thing sorry, hence the fact that I'm a civil celebrant, but still... it's an option.

  • Some place a flower or a photo on an empty chair, symbolic, subtle yet powerful...

  • But my favourite, is the lighting of a memorial candle. Usually performed somewhere near the beginning of the ceremony, along with a few short words, either spoken by myself, or the bride and groom, or even the deceased's husband or wife.

Whomever you choose to speak the words, and however you choose to mark the moment, if you're looking for some wording, I've done some web-surfing and found a number of examples, to spare you the mission! 
Here are my favourites.... you're welcome!

  1. B and G are so thankful to be surrounded by family and friends who are here to witness their wedding. Life is full of the unexpected and there is one person close to B and G who is not able to share this day. We invite G's mother J to join the couple to light a candle in remembrance of G's father A. This candle reminds us that A's spirit is here with us, sharing in our joy and happiness.
  2. Before we begin our celebration today, B and G would like us all to take a moment to remember those family members who are with them today only in spirit, especially mother of the bride A.  B appreciates all of the love and support A has given her throughout the years and would like to take a moment to remember her now. 
  3. At this time, we remember K, a caring and exceptional soul, B's mother & closest friend, taken away from her family far too young. I now invite B & G to light a candle in her honour so that we can feel her presence as we celebrate this momentous occasion.
    We now light this candle in acknowledgment that K's spirit is here with us, sharing in our joy. She is missed. She will always remain in the hearts of those who love her.
  4. We would now like to take a moment to remember G's father A who is no longer with us. Though he cannot be with us physically, we acknowledge that he is here in spirit sharing in our joy. The light of his memory can never be extinguished in the hearts of those who loved him.
  5. B & G now wish to light a candle in honour of B's father A, whom they dearly miss, and who they know is present with them here today.
  6. Our community is shared, if in a different way, by those who have passed beyond this life. Their roles in the lives of B and G are no less remembered and honoured as we savour today’s joyous moments. Join with us, then, in remembering and honouring all these people, and in particular A, B's father.
    In his memory, we now light this candle.
  7. Because life is full of the unexpected, there are those close to B and G who are not able to share this day with us.  Please, join me in a quiet remembrance of these important loved ones and recognize the love and support they bestowed on B and G."

What ever wording you decide (if any) works for you, let these suggestions be a starting point. Write your own. Look into your hearts and think about what you'd really like to say. After all, it's you that loved them, that miss them, that wish beyond anything else, that they could be there with you celebrating.

Now, here's my final tip on the matter: make sure the candle is within a jar of some sort as there's nothing worse than a memorial flame going out during the ceremony. I've seen it. We had a laugh... which was good for distracting from the sadness.. but still, not ideal.

So if you'd like to honour someone special, by all means, talk to your celebrant, find a way to do it that's both tasteful and respectful yet hopefully, avoids sending the entire room into tears, it's your wedding day after all, this is meant to be fun!

It's a nice day for a White Wedding... or is it...?

We all know the song, well those of us who can proudly say we were children of the 80's do anyway.. and us ladies have been brought up to believe that if we want to be the full-blown bridal princesses that we've always wanted to be... we need to wear white or at the very least ivory on our wedding day.

But times have changed people and after 3.5 years marrying people (as their celebrant, not as a serial bride.. that would be weird..) I've been proud to officiate at quite a number of weddings where there's not a skerrick of white in the room!

So if you're thinking you might not be the white-wedding type, I thought I'd delight you with a selection of some of my favourite examples where white was definitely NOT on the menu.

1. When Sam and Michael exchanged their vows, Michael got tired after a sentence or two and finished off with bla bla you get the idea...' and although it was one of the funniest wedding moments in my experience doing this gig, I'm not sure the guests remember anything except for that dress!

 Shot by: Nelli Huie Photography 

Shot by: Nelli Huie Photography 

2. Alison and Lewis have both been married before and didn't want a massive fan-fair... just their nearest and dearest in an awesome room at The Westin. When I first clocked Alison's get-up, I have to admit, it took my breath away. I mean, how funky is this woman??!!! Also worth noting, I was glad I'd received the memo to wear red. Lewis missed it!

3. Juliet and Aidan were married on their awesome deck up in the Dandenong Ranges (or Nongers to those of us who grew up there!) He gave her a $2 ring from a lolly machine and she gave him whipper-snipper cable for his. No one put their champagne down for the ceremony and maaaaan... I don't think I've laughed that much, ever! Cheers!

Juliet & Aidan 10.jpg

4. Jene & Adam were married in a beautiful little ceremony in their backyard. The atmosphere was relaxed and the guests appreciative, but the best thing I remember, was Jene wore an amazing yellow dress and looked like pure sunshine!

5. Brooke and Reece had such a visually unusual wedding, they managed to get themselves listed on Rock n Roll Bride.
Inspired by The Great Gatsby, their wedding was hugely DIY, with no detail missed... including 200+ jars with tiny little candles in them; I was impressed!
But enough about the decor, check out Brooke’s gorgeous frock!!!

 Photo by: Me and my Camera

Photo by: Me and my Camera

6. Bec & Ben had a Cuban-themed wedding at The Flemington Bowls club. They spun a bingo wheel to work out who would act at witness and the highlight of the wedding was when Ben’s own mother won the much sought-after prize.

7. Jackie & Patrick were wed in a tiny bar right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD with only their parents as guests…. Oh and me.
The jokes were plentiful, the love in the room was gushing and the cocktails… oh the cocktails… well they were something else!

So as you can see ladies, a white dress is far from the only choice. Perhaps you’d like to dress vintage, gothic, smart-casual or in a dress so yellow the guests need shades…..

What ever your style, don’t feel compelled to stick with tradition, go your own way, wear what you like and most importantly of all, make sure you choose shoes that you’ll be able to dance the night away in, there’s nothing worse than a limping bride!

To arrange your won unique ceremony, drop me a line at