I think the most memorable entry of any wedding I've attended was on a beach in Byron Bay. The bride arrived in a beautiful white gown, although barefooted (apparently it's difficult to walk on soft sand in high heels!) and made her way down the beach to the waiting guests. Most of the guests, however, looked quite concerned that the groom and groomsmen hadn't yet arrived. Had she been stood up on her big day?! Moments later the sound of a light plane was heard overhead and as heads turned skywards several skydivers left the aircraft and made their way with clockwork precision to the beach. The groom parachuted in to land at exactly the right spot beside his bride, followed by his groomsmen (it turns out they were all professional skydivers). They removed their parachutes, put on tuxedos and proceeded with the ceremony. The arrival of the groom even upstaged the wedding I attended where the groom arrived by helicopter!
Here are the latest trends that I'm seeing.
- I'm seeing more and more brides making the grand walk with both parents, or none at all. I was recently the Celebrant at a beautiful wedding where the groom walked down the aisle first, accompanied by his best man with the groom's pet dog on a leash. After they took their places at the front the bride arrived with her bridesmaid who also had the bride's puppy on a leash. Tied around the neck of each puppy was a little box containing a wedding ring, so they took centre stage during the ceremony when I called for the ring-bearers to present the rings! I mentioned during the ceremony that the couple began their relationship by taking their puppies to the park together and these "puppy-dates" turned into a romance, and hence it was appropriate that the puppies should have a special role on the big day.
- But what should you do for a wedding with two brides, or two grooms? I married one couple where the two brides arrived at the same time, and entered from different directions escorted by their mums, meeting in front of their guests. But it's not only same-sex couples who are finding creative ways for both of them to make a grand entry. Straight grooms are also being inspired to make an entry.
- I've also been the Celebrant at weddings where the marrying couple have been the first to arrive, and they have greeted their guests as they arrive. This "non-entry" is a pleasant surprise for arriving guests and creates a celebratory atmosphere from the very start. Greeting the guests as they arrive may be an obvious choice for home-weddings, especially if the wedding is at the couple's own home, but I've seen it work just as well for a beach wedding.