When you’re thinking of your wedding ceremony, it’s totally easy and forgivable to get caught up in the sense of togetherness that should hallmark the occasion.
A wedding really is about the couple and necessarily so. But there’s more involved here than just romance and commitment. A whole lot more.
Parents, relatives and friends, for example.
We wouldn’t exist without our parents – we definitely needed them so we could arrive on this earth. And then they looked after us. At least for 15 years, probably longer. And they still care about us. Your relatives have also helped you and as for your friends, they’ve been by your side as companions for perhaps many years…
And now they’re going to join you for your wedding. If you’re getting married in Thailand, then it’s not just a question of driving a few miles to a local venue. Everyone will have come a long, long way. Thousands of miles, possibly.
So that makes your wedding a great opportunity to show gratitude to those who’ve come a long way to be with you on your day.
Couples often ask me how they can make their ceremony stand out and be even more meaningful. Well, one way is to acknowledge the fact that those who are closest to you have made the effort to come so far (yes, even if they are combining your wedding with a vacation of their own). The wedding’s a great time to say that they mean a lot to you, that you’re grateful and to acknowledge that they’ve stood by your side for perhaps decades.
So, how to add a sense of gratitude to a wedding ceremony?
You can, right at the start of the ceremony, thank everyone for coming so far to be with you. I often welcome guests and on behalf of you, the bride and groom, thank them, and say how happy you are that they’ve come to your wedding. This step can be personalized: I thank the guests by name, mentioning where they have traveled from.
Often a couple will want to mention very specifically family members who cannot be at the wedding as they are deceased. So we mention them, too, and perhaps say how much they would have liked to be here today.
You can also show gratitude by directly giving guests a present. You can do this at the ceremony itself or at some point in the vacation – up to you. But if you decide to make the gesture public, at the ceremony or at the reception, then the gratitude is given extra weight.
The couple should also show gratitude to each other. This can be done in the vows. Often couples will share out loud some of the things they really like and appreciate about their partner.
And, naturally, you should keep on showing gratitude to your partner in all the days to come. Every day, in some way, your partner is going to help make your life better. Perhaps just by being there. Or by giving you support. Or even by being very critical – and thereby pushing you on to being more the person you want to be. There are lots of ways and we should try to acknowledge them and show our partners that their presence is very important to us.
Lastly – and this doesn’t even need to be scripted into the ceremony – we should be grateful to be in Thailand, and taking part in a ceremony in a beautiful place. Basically, we are very fortunate to be here. We should acknowledge this, perhaps just in our hearts. Not everyone is going to be able to spend time in a wonderful setting with friends and family; not everyone has the possibility to have a wedding in a far-flung exotic location.
Gratitude will automatically turn a wedding ceremony into an occasion which is heartfelt. Simply by adding gratitude you are guaranteeing that your ceremony will be a powerful one.
And if you’re looking for words for your ceremony, then try being grateful to your partner every day. Think of the ways in which you’re appreciative of your partner. Go ahead and tell him/her. Or keep it inside you. You don’t need to voice everything you feel –especially as your partner will sooner or later feel your gratitude. By practicing gratitude over a period of days and weeks, you’ll find that when it comes to scripting your vows, it’ll be a lot easier and you’ll have plenty of ideas.