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Welcome to the sixth episode of our series – What Weddings Are Made Of – From Proposal to Honeymoon.

Today is the episode you’ve all been waiting for – the wedding ceremony. We’ll be going over processionals and recessionals, unity ceremonies, signing registries, and when the moment is that you’re actually married.

We’ll also discuss which of these things are necessary and what you can skip or customize to suit the needs of you and your wedding.

To learn more about our movement visit: https://www.unweddingmovement.com/

Transcript

Sydney Spidell 0:11

Welcome to the Un-Wedding Podcast. I'm Sydney

Corina Waldie 0:14

and I'm Corina,

Sydney Spidell 0:15

We're two neurodiverse wedding planners who are committed to empowering newlyweds to throw out the wedding rulebook, shrink their guestlist and create a meaningful, purposeful wedding experience. We're taking the wedding industry by storm and disrupting the status quo. We're the Un-Wedding Planners and we invite you to join our movement.

Corina Waldie 0:33

We record our podcast from Treaty Six Territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others, whose histories, languages and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

Sydney Spidell 0:57

This is it - the moment you've been waiting for. This week on the Un-Wedding Podcast, we're talking about wedding ceremonies. This is the second last episode in our series, What Weddings Are Made Of - From Proposal to Honeymoon. Just today, we're going to be going over processionals, recessionals, unity ceremonies, signing registries and when that moment is that you're actually married, when is it? What's, what's the number? So what of those things are necessary? What can you skip? Let's dig in find out.

Corina Waldie 1:29

Yeah, no, I definitely you know, when you think about the ceremony, like the ceremony is actually the reason we're all there, at least, you know, it really, in my opinion, should be the most important part of the entire day,

Sydney Spidell 1:42

There's not really a lot of point to planning the rest of it without that part, right? Like this is the cornerstone. And even even today, we're getting into these COVID weddings, where people are having their ceremonies on their own, and then having the reception with everybody else. In which case, you're still you're still doing that, you know, you're still having that thing, and that's what you're celebrating. But this is the meat and potatoes as it were of this whole thing

Corina Waldie 2:13

You know, very much so. You know, I know for me, like as a wedding planner, they're hands down like my, one of my favorite parts of the entire day, like, almost guaranteed, and I know Sydney you can attest to these, I was standing at the back, usually shedding few tears during like, every single ceremony, whether it's an elopement with like two people, or whether it's a bigger wedding, I'm just kind of like, it's so beautiful,

Sydney Spidell 2:37

I've got my like stone "I'm at a wedding" face, where I'm just like, discerning approval, this is lovely. You can tell. You feel that I approve it. That's me at weddings.

Corina Waldie 2:50

Absolutely. One of the things we definitely want to be breaking down and all of this is, you know, where do what, like all of these things come like where does this ceremony come from? Like, where is the significance? You know, behind it? Like what do all of these things mean? Now, like, obviously here, you know, in order to be married, there's certain things that need to be said, there's usually a certain sort of flow that most people follow. But you know, like, where did that come about? Like, who even came up with this whole, you know, format and flow in the first place?

Sydney Spidell 3:23

Yeah, I think it's important to recognize that I mean, if if you aren't watching the videos, maybe you don't know this, but we're super white. We're pretty white, man, you know.

Corina Waldie 3:39

Oh, yeah.

Sydney Spidell 3:39

And even in Canada, in North America, these western wedding traditions, even if they were, even if they're secular, even if like, you have no religious affiliation with a wedding that you're putting on. Still, what we consider to be like a typical wedding comes from these Christian wedding traditions. So it's important to note that our experience and our expertise within this wedding industry is very much geared toward that traditional Western wedding. But there are so many other things that do depart pretty greatly from these general tropes of passage that we will be getting into in more detail on a case by case basis in a future series. But for right now, what we're talking about, this is the traditional Western, Canadian wedding, or North American Wedding. And, frankly, you're gonna see that in most, quote unquote, Western countries, excluding specific religious traditions. But this covers a pretty wide gamut of ceremonies that are out there.

Corina Waldie 4:58

Yeah, because you definitely have You know, when we look at the typical ceremony, you're usually looking at a couple of different options. So you're either looking for a government officiant or depending on, like here in Alberta, you do have to go to a certified officiant or Alberta marriage commissioners, is what they're also called in order to have them do it. And that's where we really get into typically the more secular straightforward weddings because we don't do courthouse weddings or city hall weddings here in Alberta. It's just through the the marriage commissioners for like kind of straightforward, secular weddings, or you are going through the church. So you know, maybe you have a Catholic background and you're going and having a full mass. Or maybe you are, you know, doing something through your church and having your ceremony at the church. You're also not tied to a building either though, so many pastors outside the Catholic Church I need to state that, would be willing to also do you know, outdoor ceremonies, as well so or wherever you happen to have it. But depending on that officiant is really what's going to ultimately kind of like set the tone for your ceremony.

Sydney Spidell 6:04

Now then, in terms of like the breakdowns of the things that you see, the first thing is going to be entering the space literally it's coming into your processional, and we see so many things from that traditional, you know, where you take a step and then your feet meet and then you pause and then you walk with the other foot and then you pause, and it takes 15 minutes to walk down the aisle

Corina Waldie 6:27

Or there's also the lovely... I also give my whole little spiel about making sure you hold your bouquet low enough because a lot of people have this like, you know, instinct that they want to like kind of hold it up and it ends up being above their their face. You know, because you know, bouquets are, especially when you're grasping the bottom are quite fluffy on top. So this idea of almost like pointing it like holding it down at your belly button and being super intentional about that and kind of like pointing it forward. I give that shepiel to every bridesmaid and every bride I have ever dealt with before they walked up the aisle so you don't get crazy weird photos

Sydney Spidell 7:00

Or if everyone's gonna look weird holding stuff, don't give them something to hold. Tie their hands behind their back, maybe that's a stylistic choice, that works too. But either way

Corina Waldie 7:00

Or lanterns or puppies,

Sydney Spidell 7:14

wedding back in September of:

Corina Waldie 8:20

Oh, Flower Boys. I've heard Flower Boys flower Men,

Sydney Spidell 8:23

Flower grandma. We love that

Corina Waldie 8:25

Flower Grandma, it's all get up.

Sydney Spidell 8:27

But all these people don't need to come down. You can have people already waiting up at front or you can choose not to have people up front with you, whatever. It doesn't have to be front - you could be in the middle of things. And I think too, then it's like the family side you know, you always get that this person's side is on this one and this person side is on the other but then if you're in a same sex couple, you don't have an obvious side to choose and also what if your family guestlists are super imbalanced? And you know, there are so many reasons for

Corina Waldie 8:59

Yes it definitely brings you know some challenges for some people depending on you know, their family situations or whatever. Now if we're talking strictly traditionally speaking, the Bride side if you're facing the altar, we're talking a straight aisle we're talking nothing weird or different. Your bride side of the family is on the on your left side and then the groom's side is on the right. Now the reason for that and the reason why that came about is because most people or most men back in the day, that would be so they could get their sword out. So if you've swapped, like so if something happens, they could defend the ceremony or whatever. So that's why the groom was always on the right and the bride was always on the left so that their sword would be facing out so they could reach their sword and grab

Sydney Spidell 9:46

Swashbuckle ---

Corina Waldie 9:46

to defend their honor and protect their family or whatever. So that was actually really why it came about. If you look at Jewish ceremonies, it's actually flipped for whatever reason, you know, groom is on the Left side, Bride is on the right. I'll be honest, it's been a long time since I studied Jewish ceremony so I cannot remember the reason

Sydney Spidell:

I'm thinking it has to do with like hand of God, right? If you're standing on the right side of God, or then this person is to the left of you or whatever, whatever that is, right?

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, it sounds something, you might be right.

Sydney Spidell:

God's at your right as a man, then your wife should also be at your right kind of a thing? I don't know.

Corina Waldie:

I can't I honestly, like I said, I can't remember because I haven't had opportunity to do a Jewish wedding and so I haven't studied it since I did my like wedding planning courses seven years ago. So that's unfortunately, why I don't have that knowledge coming, you know, immediately to my head. But that being said, you know, that that's really what we're looking at with that sort of traditional side. You know, and obviously, a lot of this, this whole idea is being relaxed, you know, more and more in the sense of like,

Sydney Spidell:

You see the signs all the time

Corina Waldie:

Pick a seat, not a side.

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, exactly.

Corina Waldie:

Exactly. Like, so, you know, because my wedding will I think, you know, be mentioned every single flippin episode at this rate. But you know, my wedding, I had a traditional church wedding, traditional straight aisle. We did bride side, groom's side. However, you know, there was a really big imbalance and massive family, about 120 of the 150 people there were for me. So what we ended up doing was we kind of filled up my side. And then Jon's family got priority on his side. And then we started filling from the back to the front, with my family, with our late comers, just to make sure that you know, there is at least a little bit of balance between the sides, right, so at least from a photo perspective, and making sure that the seats were filled. But yeah, this is definitely something like if you're dealing with that sort of situation where one of you has a super small family, the other one doesn't like how do you do that? And that's really where these like, pick a seat, not a side -

Sydney Spidell:

Sit where are you feeling good

Corina Waldie:

- to play.

Sydney Spidell:

I think too, the other thing to keep in mind is accessibility. So if you are the couple standing up up front, if anybody has any hearing difficulties or impairments, then you probably want to figure that into where you're standing. Because it's going to be more important for you to hear your partner and the officiant than it is to be hearing Great Aunt Bess coughing in aisle six. So that can be a consideration. And then beyond that, when it comes to your guest seating, same thing, accessibility might play a huge factor into where people are seating and why.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, well, and that's definitely if you're doing that, like pick a seat, not a side thing, you still need to reserve certain spaces. So typically, like you'll, you'll reserve the first couple of rows for close friends and close family. Or if you're doing the situation, especially if you're having a long ceremony where you're not requiring your wedding party to stand for the duration of your ceremony. So you would reserve the front row for them so that they can sort of like sit down for that. Very important, especially if you're doing a lot of some of the more longer religious ceremony like Catholic mass,

Sydney Spidell:

Like Catholic Ceremony

Corina Waldie:

A Catholic mass or orthodox mass, or Orthodox service. Some of those can be like, two plus hours depending what elements you want

Sydney Spidell:

And that's because typically, because there's a full on mass done and it's not just a wedding, it's a mass as well. I know ya for my cousin's we sat on the stage. So we're at the front of the church, the dais, we didn't go back down and sit at seats, but there were seats provided for us up front. So yeah, considering comfort,

Corina Waldie:

There's so many different options, considering the comfort, because yeah, it's a long time if you're part of the wedding party, and you're standing up there with your smile on your face, watching the ceremony it can be it can be a little tiring, especially if it's a longer ceremony for sure.

Corina Waldie:

But the last part of that then, too, I think is something that we we've touched on before. And I have a feeling that our listeners are going to know exactly sort of where we fall on that. But it's the whole idea of being given away. So that's the last sort of portion of that will processional that the final part or the most poignant part of it typically, is that process where the bride comes down the aisle and there is a transfer, a physical transfer of her hand, from her family - her old family to her new family. And sure, go ahead do it if you want if if that means something to you if you really liked the symbology, I mean right on, but if it just means something to you because the tradition and what it is and what it has been and you always pictured it since you were a child, that's an amazing reason to do something. If it means nothing to you or you don't have that specific person there or you kind of just want to swap it up. Then do that too. I messaged my brother recently and I was like if I get married and have a church wedding with an aisle and shit then I think you should be the one to walk me down the aisle. His response was like, "Oh, you're kicking Dad out?" And I'm like, "No, I just feel like that's, feel like that's more you than it is him." And it's just because the, you know, for me, if there is that person, it's less about the transfer of property. More about the fact that this is the last person who I'm physically leaning on as I'm walking up to make sure you don't faceplant in front of people. Like that's why I have someone there.

Corina Waldie:

Hey I almost did that walking up the aisle, I literally almost faceplanted

Sydney Spidell:

This is what the person is important, I know myself, like I know that I'm going to end up on my ass at some point. So like, why wouldn't I want that? But,

Corina Waldie:

yeah, yeah, no, I was gonna say that that happens. Yeah, my wedding, there's two little steps up to get to the top of the aisle, I stepped on the front of my dress I almost face planted, but my dad and my wedding planner kind of caught my shoulders and pushed me back up.

Sydney Spidell:

This is what I'm saying. This is, that's a perfect reason to have somebody there is like, I might wipe out, that's a great reason to have someone on your arm there. And in that case, you know, I'm thinking like, who who fills that responsibility for me, it's not my dad. Um like, we're close, we have a great relationship and everything, but I don't know, for some reason, he just, he doesn't factor into my relationships, where as my brother would more because my brother's, you know, that typical, their brother was like, a little bit a little bit protective and shit. So I don't know, he's the one who would give his opinion.

Corina Waldie:

Well, here's, here's sort of the thing I think like, cuz, you know, for many, especially if you've grown up with this idea, or you're, you know, you're like me, Daddy's little girl, like, for me, I always envisioned that moment. And considering he passed away, has been recently mentioned, you know, within a couple of years of me getting married, you know, those moments do have a fair bit of significance to me. But that's not always the case, I think, you know, so many people, they may not have a male figure in their lives, whether a dad or a grandfather or an uncle, or some kind of male father figure who's going to do this, you know, proverbial passing of your hand to that of your new partner. You know, we do see, you know, a little bit more of the modern take on giving away is that both parents will escort the bride down the aisle, so that there's that like equality of both parents giving, giving bride away. But you know, you like I said, Honestly, you really don't have to. I've had, we've had couples where bride walks herself down the aisle, like, she's like, I don't need - my parents are here, I don't care, I love them, but I want to be able to walk myself

Sydney Spidell:

Or the couple can go in together Right? You can, right? Like, you can do it as a team too.

Corina Waldie:

Exactly. So this is honestly, I think in terms of like, who you choose to walk you down the aisle, or anybody at all, like, that's really up to you, and, you know, your comfort level, or the different relationships also fully acknowledging that many people even have chosen family over their biological families, like. You know, like, so let's take for example, you know, if you do have a chosen family, or like a best guy friend, that is like a brother to you, or, you know, maybe, whatever, whoever that like person or figure is

Sydney Spidell:

I like to think about it in terms of like, giving blessing, you know, I think that was a really, that was a popular transition. Because blessings have been around since the dawn of time, but getting away kind of from this, I need to have my parents permission to marry. Then people start to be like, Well, I would like somebody's blessing. So if you think about it that way that can be a good way to think of who you want to be your escort in a way down the aisle is like whose blessing do you want for this and you can incorporate that as being like a ceremonial moment of like in some of those religious ceremonies would be like, who presents this this woman to for marriage, you can incorporate them in a secular situation too of like, having something to say of like here with my blessing. However, you want to make it.

Corina Waldie:

Another version of it that we do see sometimes is like, so whoever will walk bride down the aisle, you know, obviously referring to a heteronormative couple in this particular circumstance. And this the way I'm going to explain this, this also makes it a great application if you are a member if you're part of the LGBTQ community, but is so like, whoever they choose will walk them down the aisle. All parents so for both members of the couple will get up and rather than it being about this blessing or looking for blessing, it's usually almost like typically like a call and you know, like a call out from the officiant and then you know, repeat back yes, we will by the families. And that's, you know, basically around this idea of do we support this couple getting married? Well, let's do we promised to do we Yeah, so doing it with all parents rather, and taking away this idea of transfer of property, that very much is what was heavily associated with this idea of giving away, you know, because we also look to, like so for example, you know, there's this idea of do you keep your veil? If you're, if you're a bride choosing to wear a veil? Do you keep it down? You know, or what point does it come up like, so that's another kind of element to all of this too, because veils go back, you know, millennia, you know, back to, there's the Bible story, you know, pulling out my old church, dusty, my church, dusty Bible days. But you know, there's the original story of Jacob and Leah, and how the, and Leah, like Jacob was in love with her younger sister, that's who he wanted to marry. That's who he had worked for so many years to be able to marry. And because the older sister wasn't married, yet, the father tricked Jacob to marrying Leah first by wearing like a really heavy, heavy veil. So that's where this like, super traditional idea of wearing a veil down the aisle comes from. And so kind of one idea is that you lift like the father with lift your veil, so that you can present to your groom, this is who, you know,

Sydney Spidell:

Look I chose a good one for yah

Corina Waldie:

Chose a good on a good one,

Sydney Spidell:

and it's too late to back away now, that's the reason.

Corina Waldie:

The other ways to do it as well, is for the first kiss, right? You have your veil down for the entirety of the ceremony, and then you know, where when things get called out, then your lifts, your veil gets lifted. And, you know, you get your first kiss, and whatever. A lot of this, though, of course, is tied very heavily to those, you know, the ideas of Christian ceremony, as well as purity culture. So you know, so

Sydney Spidell:

if you just like the look of the veil, the best way to do it is just to not have it over your face and just have it a different, like, don't worry about the lifting of it so much just wear your veil and rock the hell out of it.

Corina Waldie:

Exactly, yeah,

Sydney Spidell:

you avoid that.

Corina Waldie:

And like I said, and that's avoid all of that sort of weird, wonky, weird tradition that kind of comes with it at this point in time

Sydney Spidell:

Men. So then that's precessional, that's literally just the entrance into the church. So now moving on to what comes next, then the other parts of this are like any of your, this is the talking. It's, it's the talking. So typically, what you'd see is some sort of welcome or greeting. To, to the guests, you know, Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate if we're going nice and typical. And saying, you know, you're all welcome here. And the purpose of being here is these people. Often then your officiant is going to then start talking about or directly addressing the couple, or just explaining their relationship history a little bit for the congregation, whatever it is, and that conversation is going to have a little bit about them. And then it's going to transition probably into just what is love a little bit. And like, oftentimes, you'll, if you're doing a religious ceremony, that's going to be a sermon. And if you're not, then it could be a reading or it could be poetry, it could be something that your officiant is coming up with themselves, or you could have multiple different readers coming up to break it down. You're officiant literally could say like the six words that they're required to, and have nothing else to do with the rest of the ceremony, if you want to get all your friends to jump in. And it's totally up to you. But typically, those conversations are sort of the start of it. And then any of those readings and stuff from the guests are sort of act like almost tradition, transitions. They have a purpose in and of themselves. They're usually to talk about love or to talk about the relationship, but they help guide you between one portion of the ceremony and to the next.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, you know, like I said, this sort of like idea of like the welcome, blessing, whatever it Yeah, it does have meaning, it can have a lot of purpose, especially if you've taken the time to sit down with your pastor or your officiant or your priest and sort of work out what that's going to look like. Now, if you're like most couples I find today they're like, Okay, we want something custom and meaningful, but we don't need all of the big long like, you know, First Corinthians 13 Love is patient love is kind of like the most quoted verse probably in the entire Bible. You know, they don't really want any of that necessarily, unless there's something of meaning. And I think it's really important that when you're in discussions with your officiant over what this format of the service is going to look like that that you know, you keep that sort of in mind about like how long your service is going to be by adding in all these elements and really only adding what is important. However, I will caveat that by saying especially but if you're having like a religious wedding, especially when in like the Catholic Church, that's going to be a different story.

Sydney Spidell:

It's going to be scripted for you

Corina Waldie:

Right, but if you are, it's going to be very heavily scripted in many religious settings. But within the scope of like, if you're working with just a regular, you know, marriage commissioner, then yeah, there's definitely a lot more room to be creative and to add sort of your own personality, and story really, too. And you know, which is actually what makes it meaningful

Sydney Spidell:

Even within some of the religious ones too, though, you could still can for those reading portions, choose which part of scripture you want to have read. If not scripture, you know, you can even go for a meaningful reading or something else, again, depends on the the flexibility of your, of your place, but for the most part, those are the sections the readings are the sections that are meant to be customizable for you in a religious setting. And anything else the majority of it is customizable. You can also do like a frickin song man. Like, you don't need to, you don't need to make it a reading, if you want to have somebody perform something I don't know, I can't think of a love song.

Corina Waldie:

We got well, we got married like I said, in the church. We had my husband comes from a Baptist background. So Jon comes with a Baptist background. And so it was his pastor marrying us. And we, you know, Jim was pretty flexible about, you know, whatever, because really, what it boils down to your ceremony can be, you know, in many ways there depending on who it is, there's a lot of flexibility. But there is certain legal things that actually need to happen or to be said at some point. It is that you're having. And so it's really basically you can strip it down to that, if you want. If you want a quickie like, Yeah, I do, I do exchange the rings, if you're even doing rings, and then you know, kiss, great, we're done. We're married, sign the register, we're out of here, you can totally do that. You know, or you can become increasingly elaborate. Like I said, when we were working with Jim to plan out our ceremony, we ended up having two readings and then a soloist. Our soloist sang while we were signing the register to, you know, sort of break that up, because that signing of the register of thing can be a little boring to watch as a guest. So, Ellen, my friend Ellen did a beautiful job singing for that. So like I said, I really think it's a thinking just like in all things, purpose and intention, like what is it that you want the ceremony to be about? And is it about your union? Is it like, well, it should be about your union. But it should be about the fact that you're getting married should be about the two of you. But it's also like, really thinking intentionally about what you want this all to look and feel like,

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, yeah. So then you brought us right into our next section there, which is about those legal requirements. So we talked about this a little bit just before, there's two kinds religious or civil, at least here in Alberta, but for the most part across Canada. So those religious ones you are held to to, as long as the person is legally able to offer that service within whatever clergy setting that is, then you are only held to whatever is the requirement of that faith. If you're doing a civil ceremony, though, you require there's a couple of parts. So you have to say I declare there I know of no lawful reason why I cannot marry Corina right now. I have no reason

Corina Waldie:

I'm already married Sydney.

Sydney Spidell:

You have a reason. Okay, well, I didn't know that I guess. So it requires that and then it requires you to also then these are declarations. So you declare that there's no lawful reason that you can't, and then you declare that you do take that person. So like I take Corina to be my lawfully wedded spouse. And then those are the parts that you need in it. That that need to be said, that's literally it. So it's two sentences. And so one person asks it and you respond. So if you're in a civil ceremony, it can be as little as that the other things that are needed though, you have to have people there see it. You can't be drunk.

Corina Waldie:

Yep, you have to have at least two witnesses. You cannot be under the influence of anything.

Sydney Spidell:

It has to be a language that you actually speak.

Corina Waldie:

Yep.

Sydney Spidell:

And the person has to be not just some random Joe off the road. And that's basically it. That's how you, you mean you're obviously in order to do that they have to sign your registry and everything but that's all you need in a wedding ceremony, that it. You don't need a kiss, you don't need rings.

Corina Waldie:

No, you really don't say today no, basically, you know, so yeah, like there's those legal requirements and then of course having your Marriage license of the jurisdiction, wherever it is that you're getting married. So in Canada, that is typically done on the provincial level, and you would just go to whatever local, you know, registry office, you know, and you can get the paperwork for the province of Alberta. And it's fairly similar process, you know, straight across Canada. You just go to whatever provincial registry is available, and you get your license a few days before your wedding. You know, sometimes you can get a little bit, you know, a month or so earlier. So it's just be aware, like checking with if there's any expiry, on those licenses, based on your own local jurisdictions. You know, you go to the US, it's, it's on the state level, but oftentimes licenses are issued by the county, or of the wherever it is, you're getting married. So it gets, you know, that other layer, so but really, that marriage license is in place to ensure that A- you meet all the legal requirements that you're not married to somebody else. So you, if you have been previously married, for whatever reason, you have to bring proof that that marriage has been dissolved. You know, that you are who you say you are, they're checking birth certificates, they're checking ID. And then yeah, they're issuing a piece of paper that says, okay, yeah, you're free to get married. But without that piece of paper, you are not legally wed. So if you are choosing, so let's take, for example, because in Canada, if you're polyamorous, if you're part of a triad, and you or a throuple sorry, I guess is the better than other term, you know, obviously, you can't legally technically get married, but you can still have a ceremony that isn't legal. But you know, it still shows to your friends and family that you're committed, like a more of a commitment ceremony. So in terms of the legal aspects of it, you don't necessarily need it. But if you do want all the legal protections that our society does afford to marital, marriage couples, then yes, married couples. And then yes, you do need to get that paperwork in order.

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah. But I mean, it's so simple. And it means like, it sort of reinforces the fact that if that's all you need to be legally married, then is there really, is that the big central thing, and it's not. Like it's never that's not what matters here. What matters is the next part, what matters is the vows.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, Very much so

Sydney Spidell:

And I think people honestly, which is really, what's really funny about it is people talk about marriage vows all the time, but I don't know that everybody understands what they are. And it's literally a vow is a promise. So your vows are literally the things that you're agreeing to. The whole I Sydney take Corina to have and to hold, in sickness and health, whatever that is your boilerplate. That's your standard lorem ipsum filler. Which I think it's so funny that people feel like they need to have that or that's so important are those words are like that it's what somebody's putting in it. It's the oh my gosh, it's the stock photo and the picture frame you get up at the store. Like if you love that stock photo, and you really want that black and white interracial familie smiling on your black and white photo of an interracial family not like saying when. Anyway, moving on. If you want that on your wall, because you love it and it goes with your decor then great to have to hold, Rock on, bro. If you want to make it about you in any sort of way. If you want to slide your own photo in there, you can go with like, pretty much the same stuff and change up a couple of words as it fits you or you can toss it all at the window go Derek and Meredith on a post it they wrote, I'm not going to work late or some shit. And that was their wedding vows. But hell they were together until he died. Guys, spoiler alert, Derek Shepherd dies.

Corina Waldie:

So hopefully you've watched that much of Grey's Anatomy. That was a number of seasons ago though.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah, like I said, that's the thing, though, right? Like this is really about the vows. It's about the commitment that you are making to each other beyond just the legal aspects. And taking that time. And if it's something you're comfortable with, to be able to write something, I think it's beautiful, I think, you know, when you know, vows that you have taken the time to really think about and think about what it is that you're promising your partner. They're super meaningful. You know, in our case, we did do do the traditional vows. A lot of that was because of Jon. Jon did not feel comfortable. He was really anxious already that day. He's like, I don't, I don't need anything extra that I need to come up with. Can we please just stick with the traditional vows? And so we did. But yeah, it's really up to you know, but like, yeah, you're right. Like that is the essence of what this ceremony is all about, is that the commitment that you're making to each other, beyond the legal, the legal part.

Sydney Spidell:

The thing that freaks me out is when people go into a wedding and they just repeat it and they actually don't know what they repeating or they haven't listened to it or haven't they've haven't thought about the fact of whether those are the things that they want to actually agree to at their wedding. That's what freaks me out, but about the boilerplate type of vows is you can agree to it, but you might just be agreeing to it because you think you're supposed to. One thing that we hear about a lot of people, this is going to be a controversial take. I know it. One thing that we hear -

Corina Waldie:

Oh boy, here we go

Sydney Spidell:

- from people about weddings is that they don't necessarily, if they could be in a committed relationship, have been in a committed relationship for many years. And they don't want to get married. Because this concept of forever is so strange in their minds. So allow me to present an alternative option to you. Don't say until death do us part in your frickin wedding vows. Say, I will love you. And I will try and I will work to love you every single day of our marriage. And I will as part of that love, be able to let this marriage go is that's the best way to love each other. You can vow that to each other. That is an amazing marriage commitment to make to someone it almost it could extend the longer than till death because you're actually agreeing to work to love that person every day rather than just saying I'm stuck with you until you go. You can make this whatever the fuck you want to make this. If your marriage means

Corina Waldie:

And I could tell you

Sydney Spidell:

We talked about friggin blood oath to stay sober if your friend make it that, why not?

Sydney Spidell:

Yeah, like, and I can tell you, because here's the truth. I've been married for 10 years, and we have walked through fucking fire. I am not the same person that Jon married. Jon is not the same person that I married. Marriage is really, it's choosing to live every single day with this other person, and do whatever it is that you need to do to, like, you know, support each other through life. You're basically choosing to do life together in a committed relationship, or whatever, or an open relationship, whatever that looks like for you. I'm not one to tell you that

Sydney Spidell:

Open can be committed, by the way,

Corina Waldie:

Open can be commited. But my point being is that you are literally choosing to do life with this other person, whatever may come, come hell or high water. And you know, Jon and I have talked multiple times about like, not that we have any intention of divorcing, but it's like, there could come a point in time in our lives, where us being married anymore doesn't make sense. Like, you know, whether we're going to counseling, I don't know, whatever the circumstances could be. But we're both more than open that if this marriage, if our relationship does not make sense anymore, for whatever reason, that it's okay. And we can walk away from that. Yes, we did the traditional vows, til death do us part, I definitely hope we're going to be till death do us part. But, you know, we're both very well mentally prepared to A fight for our relationship if necessary. But if it does ever reach a point that it doesn't make sense, to let it go.

Sydney Spidell:

I think also acknowledging that there could be an end to it gives you something to fight for, right? If you're if you've just blindly agreed that this goes on forever. What are you fighting for? You've already got the thing you're sticking in it?

Corina Waldie:

Yep. Well, and I think too, we look at some of the more antiquated old fashioned ideals because let's be honest, divorce was, you know, typically, it's typically quite shunned upon and we don't even want to think about divorce when we are getting married. But you know, as divorce, like rights for women have become more prevalent, divorce has become more prevalent, there's still this kind of antiquated attitude that exists, especially among the older generations of Yeah, I said to death do us part. I'm not going anywhere. Even long past the, you know, the rightness of that relation or love, like, I have several people in my life that are together that there is definitely love lost between them. I have no idea why they're together beyond the we promise to live through as partners so therefore we're staying together even though they make each other miserable.

Sydney Spidell:

I think, I love this saying that I heard a million years ago, the shadow proves the sunshine. Yeah, you don't want to think about that divorce. But what does your marriage mean without the concept of a marriage ending or not working? What is your marriage without an understanding of the opposite? Right? So I don't know. Yeah. Anyway, make your vows whatever the hell you want them to be as long as they actually mean something to you both.

Corina Waldie:

Well, yeah, it goes. It's an all things we talked about. It's a, it's being intentional about what those vows say, and making sure that they they match your values and they match the purpose that you have for your life and for your relationship with each other.

Sydney Spidell:

The other thing I had in this section was to say that like you can incorporate the legal requirements into your vows. It's kind of set up in a way that that those traditional vows are said, you're saying your vows and then you end with do you take yes I do. Do you take yes I do. You can find a way to phrase those legal requirements into your vows if you want and make it all one, you know, smooth thing, you're gonna have your vows be separate, do your unity ceremony, get the fuck out of Dodge, and then do the legal requirement when you're signing a registry alone in a room with people. You can do whatever you want, as long as it follows the things that need to be followed for legal requirements. And if it's not legal, then you can literally do whatever you want.

Corina Waldie:

And actually, you know, it's interesting, you brought up signing of the register, because typically we do see the ceremony, this period where the couple goes over signs the register, if it's a religious ceremony, they'll typically sign whatever registries that the church has, as well. It can be and then you have, you know, whoever's witnessing, whether that's members of your wedding party, whether that's parents, then they go over to sign that can be this like really kind of long drawn out painful process, you know, it, you can actually do that, outside of the ceremony. You can sign all that paperwork, as long as the officiant is okay with that, you know, either before the ceremony or after the ceremony and kind of cut that part out in order to reduce kind of running time for your ceremony. It can make things feel just a little bit more, a little bit smoother without that like time of the guest just like kind of watching their watch, will you sign all this paperwork. So that is another possibility, something you might want to consider.

Sydney Spidell:

I know people who've literally combined that with like the taking the moment to themselves. So they'll go with their witnesses, and they're officiant, they'll find a room, excuse me, they'll sign the registry. And then those other three people leave and the couple's already alone. And that's just their like time to themselves. I also saw that wedding that I said I was gonna talk about, again, they at the reception area where the dinner was, there was an additional table set up for the signing. So what happened in amongst all that we could see it, it could still be something that we were involved in, but we could all do other things like gather our drinks, and mingle and chat as it was happening. So it didn't detract from anybody's experience, either. Next section is unity ceremonies.

Sydney Spidell:

We're checking the list today, apparently.

Sydney Spidell:

Going right through

Corina Waldie:

But, but in terms of yeah, in terms of the unity ceremony, and this obviously, typically looks most commonly like the exchange of rings, as well as kind of your first kiss symbolizing that that has happened. You know, we've also seen lots of different sort of more additional things that come about. So you know, we have things like handfasting, unity sand, unity candles, we had a unity cross, it was a sculpture thing, if you haven't heard of it before, that we put together. There's so many different things we've seen. I've seen people do drink, you know, share a glass of wine, and I'm not talking about taking communion, I'm just talking about they've decided that they want to take a unity shot together or a glass of wine,

Corina Waldie:

You'll have people making like ta blend of wines and then you drink a little bit and then you like bottle it and you put it away, you have a little wine box to open on your first anniversary. People do those sort of time capsules with other things too. Letters for themselves or, you know, some sort of other kind of keepsake from the wedding that then they get to revisit at a later date or at a ceremony. Other things that are a little bit more cultural, that might be something. The unity ceremony is an excellent place when you're having a secular wedding to bring in your cultural history without having a culturally specific wedding. So things like Jumping the Broom, which is from down in from enslaved populations in the southern states, primarily. Not having rings, not having homes, really, there was always this concept of like carrying someone over the threshold and it was Jumping the Broom. So you jump over the broom together. And it's a legit corn broom in front of you. There's breaking the glass, which is a Jewish tradition, but also seen in other cultures to where you're literally shattering the distance between you two, you're becoming one, like you're having one with God. There's handfasting, which is a Celtic tradition, as well as has other pagan origins, but is literally tying your hands together and binding you. So same concept, you're putting some sort of either a cape or a garland or a rope around the couple to unite them. Circling happens in Jewish ceremonies with seven circles, I believe. Also in Sikh weddings, you're gonna have the circling as a part of it. So, all of these things are that unity ceremony and you can do one you can do none you can do all but typically this would be that point where I mean if we look at that, I now pronounce you husband and wife You may kiss the bride, all that Shit, that's that like moment. So all of these could be considered that moment. Jumping the Broom has, and breaking the glass, those things have such a physical aspect to them that once that thing has happened, it's a moment right? So those are really awesome for that kind of statement and an explosion.

Corina Waldie:about that wedding we did in:Sydney Spidell:

And the officiant's outfit, man, like uh - she killed it.

Corina Waldie:

So I you know, honestly, if you really want somebody to like, some of our like that officiant was a lifecycle celebrant. So especially in Alberta, if you are having a hard time finding a local Alberta Commissioner that you jive with, check into lifecycle celebrants. So they're technically in terms of law, they are pastors, part of their like, that's their kind of affiliated pastors, but they're not like Christian pastors. So they can still perform the legal aspects of marriage without needing to be a Alberta marriage Commissioner. But you know, this particular person, she was a lifecycle celebrant. And you know, we did the smudging, there was a blessing calling on the four elements. There was also, actually the couple, so this was an elopement, and so they brought crystals, yeah, so different crystals. And so they handed them out to each one of their guests and asked them to bless the stone and then kind of collected them afterwards

Corina Waldie:

I almost think that that moment is almost more aligned with like, the readings and section of it, like the crystals, that could be considered kind of like that, that portion of this breakdown. Because again, it was this moment of getting everybody involved and interacting with something and it was meaningful. And it also created a transition from element to element of the ceremony too and then definitely the ceremony itself with that blessing, with the smudging and everything, was a lot more of, it was it was a melding between the vows and the unity. So like it was the Unity ceremony that they did around the vows kind ofthing.

Corina Waldie:

But ya know, my point is, though, like, really, honestly, truly sky's the limit, you know. And don't feel, don't feel like you have to be pigeonholed into something just because that's the way that it's done. Like in that particular sense with that client, you know, they wanted to honor the fact that, you know, that that was their belief system. And they wanted a ceremony that represented that and that was, ended up being such a beautiful, unique ceremony because they said, it really threw out the proverbial, you know, we I know, we say it all the time, but they threw out the proverbial wedding ceremony rulebook, and really just did something that was uber meaningful to them.

Sydney Spidell:

(singing "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac) You can go your own way, go your own way

Corina Waldie:

And I know, the biggest thing for them was actually their handfasting.

Sydney Spidell:

Anyway sorry. Yeah, that was amazing. Every part of that was just marvelous.

Corina Waldie:

Every part - that was just such an amazing elopement.

Sydney Spidell:

There was like 10 people there, it was perfect.

Corina Waldie:

Because of that, it was great. It was such a really lovely day. All right, so you know, you've had your, your unity ceremony. And then of course, you know, we now have the last part of your ceremony, typically, which is your recessional

Sydney Spidell:

Get the fuck out of there

Corina Waldie:

To go back down the aisle. Right. So you can have the, you know, the typically, you know, a couple will go down first, and then the wedding party will follow, and then the parents will follow that. And then everybody sort of files out of the church. Lots of photos, lots of excitement, lots of clapping, hopefully, maybe some sort of big, like, you know, music,

Sydney Spidell:

If you hate the venue staff, maybe a lot of confetti, you know, if you just grudge against the people who need to operate the vacuums after, maybe you're gonna throw some shit around,

Corina Waldie:

you will probably pay dearly for that financially though. They'll come after you if they've, if they say no confetti in their contracts. But, you know, it really is this opportunity where it's like, okay, we did this, like, let the party begin. And so you know, really kind of getting to go back up the aisle. Another great opportunity this does serve too and I've seen it several times, we talked a little bit about receiving lines in our episode on receptions. This is another opportunity too where you could get to the top of the aisle and then like literally kind of turn around kind of get in line and sort of greet people as they file out of your venue. Now, if you're doing outdoor ceremonies, you know, this works too, but just kind of at the top of the aisle and sort of work with people to kind of corral them into to that line. It can be kind of a good way if you have a smaller ish crowd to sort of really kind of get through that receiving line as quick as possible

Sydney Spidell:

So can get everybody on the other side and once people have said their blessings and every thing organized by whoever is organizing people. Okay, now how did this next station please? Rather than like (freaking out)

Corina Waldie:

Yes, it's actually honestly, if you are moving right into cocktail hour to reception, you know, it's really, you know, a great opportunity sort of at the end before you're you have sort of your final pronouncement that you're, your partners, that you announce anything like that, because, you know, even if it's on the invitation, it can be written in the program, it can be written

Sydney Spidell:

when were done,

Corina Waldie:

on signage,

Sydney Spidell:

go there, go there,

Corina Waldie:

People are not necessarily great at reading or following directions. So just having that officiant, you know, once again, affirm, okay, people ceremony is done, you know, you're gonna head over to this building now, for a cocktail hour. Dinner is gonna start at six. Or if you're transitioning venues, leaving a church to go somewhere else, like just reiterating those instructions, is really, really helpful for guests, simply just so that they know where they're going and what's expected of them because as humans, we like to know what, generally speaking, where we're going, and what it is that we need to do

Sydney Spidell:

If you're doing our receiving line after the recessional as well, one of the great things about that, too, is we talked about this last time - giving people outs, that's a really good way to give people an out to leave after the ceremony and go home and not participate in the rest of your festivities. Because then they felt like they've seen you and they've said something, they don't feel like they have to go to another location just to shake your hand and then they maybe have to have a drink and hang around. If you want to be able to give people that sort of graceful exit, that's an awesome opportunity to do that. But if you don't want to do the receiving line there, what it does get you is after your recessional, means that you're not waiting for all the guests to leave the space. So you can actually get on to your next activity, which is theoretically more important for you to be on time than your guests to be on time to the next activity. Because probably photography.

Corina Waldie:

Yeah. Another element too just gonna mention this that you could think about. So you know, if you're the kind of people that don't like to be front and center, you know, I worked with one couple, many years ago, one of the first couples I worked with, and she was so anxious about being in front of people, that what we actually did is we did a small ceremony with just their immediate families, and then we invited everybody to the party. So that is totally a valid option. If you don't want to be center stage and have a great big grand ceremony, you really don't have to. Like if you care more about having that intimate ceremony, and then, you know, having the big party later and inviting a whole bunch of people to the party. Yeah, you can totally do that. In fact, I can guarantee you, a bunch of your guests will probably thank you for it

Sydney Spidell:

And you don't even have to make that ceremony part of it then, anything big. You can just do a get together a couple of witnesses say those two lines, everybody happily merrily on their way. And then have your big to do be just that reception or whatever, like, again permission to do whatever makes you happy.

Corina Waldie:

And we're sort of also seeing a lot of this now coming out of the pandemic in the sense that people did do these quicker, smaller ceremonies during the pandemic to just get married. And now they're having sort of a bigger party at a later date. Maybe they're mocking another ceremony. But you know, you really, you know, you can do it on separate days, if you you want to. Like, I guess like that's kind of the you know, the end all and be all of this. Your ceremony should represent who you are as a couple in whatever way that looks like, so do what is best for the two of you. Period.

Sydney Spidell:

How do you decide that Corina, you figure out your purpose,

Corina Waldie:

Figure out your purpose, know who you are, do something that's really, really intentional. All right. Well, I think we've kind of covered all the things so.

Sydney Spidell:

Knew would be a big one.

Corina Waldie:

So whether you, I knew like we're, we're definitely hitting edging towards that hour, which is a little more than we usually like to go. But you know, it's really such a big topic. And you know, and this was just covering Western weddings, we didn't even touch other cultural and religious traditions. So it's definitely a very large topic that we will revisit again in the future. But whether you knew all of this already, or it's blown your mind that a kiss isn't required. We do want to thank you for joining us today on the Un-Wedding podcast. So next week, we're actually going to wrap things up with this series with some tender kind of loving after care because let's be honest, you've spent potentially a year or two or longer leading up to this big day and then you get married and you go through that day and on now what the fuck what? So we're gonna talk about that. You know, so and we know that you can kind of move on and start your life as a happily married couple. Now, we'll tell you why it's probably too much to hope for. Okay this is what happens when I don't

Sydney Spidell:

Read the outro before you

Corina Waldie:

But it's okay. I'm just gonna skip that paragraph and we're just going to read the last little bit. But, you know, so while you yearn for us to wrap up this series and move on to the next, you can stay connected with us on Instagram and TikTok @unweddingmovement, or you can surf on over to our website unweddingmovement.com. We got lots of resources and fun things or you can also look into services if you're looking for the support of a wedding planner for a small wedding. But we'll see you next week. And until then, cheers.

Corina Waldie:

You can find us on the Internet at unweddingmovement.com or an Instagram TikTok, Facebook and Pinterest @unweddingmovement. Our podcast episodes are released weekly and available wherever you'd like to stream.