How to have a ceremony full of WARM HUGS...even in the middle of a pandemic!

Weddings are a huge effort in organisation and planning. Throw in a global pandemic and logistics for weddings suddenly get very complex…do we/don’t we…who comes/who doesn’t…COVID plans…temperature checks…QR codes…always sitting and no dancing…the perfume of hand sanitiser e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e!


Then when you do make it down the aisle in front of your very closest family and friends…the celebrant starts off by having to remind everyone that social distancing is still in force so you no hugging or kissing afterwards…what.a.bummer!


BUT…it doesn’t have to be!


There are still ways of embracing each other like a big warm hug without breaking any public health orders…and the answers are relatively simple…


- Firstly, don’t skip over the fact things are weird…acknowledge it! I may not use the C word and definitely don’t use “unprecedented” but I never try to pretend life is completely normal. It feels uncomfortable and then everything that follows feels unauthentic. It doesn’t have to be heavy but don’t be afraid to ask to make references and even light hearted jokes about the circumstances whether it be in your small touches (toilet paper confetti anyone?), stand-ins for those who couldn’t be there (think cut-outs or even cross dressing real ones) or in your vows (“for richer or Jobkeeper, in nasal swabs and in health”)

- Connect to your guests…if ever the time is to break traditions, its now. Maybe greet your guests individually on arrival and walk them to their seats, that extra personal touch focuses the attention back on your special relationships and away from the physical distance. Or if you still want that magical moment of a big reveal leave messages for your guests to read on the way to their seats and allow them to leave one in return for the two of you for later (either could be written or via video).

- Include your guests! One great way is to include people who couldn’t attend by having the guests who could read messages from those who couldn’t, and by making sure you haven’t seen those messages first, means it will be a huge surprise to the both of you and extend a warm hug from a distance.

- Don’t forget those on livestream…make sure your celebrant and the two of you speak lines direct to them, make references to them during the ceremony and ask them to interact in return by taking selfies and videos of them watching the ceremony and posting it to a live event feed.

- Real hugs, yes really…during your ceremony your guests are taking on a ride of love and laughs, and all that warm and fuzzy energy has to go somewhere, so find a place to put it which IS allowed. My favourite way of including everyone, especially including those on live stream at home, is after YOUR first kiss get everyone to turn to their household partner they are witnessing the occasion with…reaching over…and embracing them in a huge hug along with a smooch too! And there’s a zinger of a line I like throw in for those watching solo too which gets every chuckling…you can watch an example of this happening here. Then you can whoop, kiss again and enjoy the moment of sharing the love!

See just a few ideas go a long way to make your ceremony feel like a happy love filled embrace, even if you have to be an arms distance away!


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Contemporary Civil Celebrant bringing love stories to life in ceremonies throughout the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, on the South Coast, 

in the Southern Highlands and beyond!

Based in Gerringong, NSW

I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I work and live, the Waddi Waddi people of the Dharawal Nation, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. I celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

Copyright 2021

Curator of Love Stories  

curatoroflovestories@gmail.com

All images utilised with prior permission

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