The story is by far my favourite part of any ceremony, I find it an honour when couples are happy to share their most intimate feelings about each other and it makes me all warm and fuzzy when I read the details about how they met and how they arrived to this point.
It gives your guests an insight into some of the aspects of your relationship they may not know. I have a little giggle how often I hear a groom saying "nice to meet you" when certain guests are arriving at their ceremony, I am sure if they haven't met you, they certainly don't know the little things you love about your partner or why you're standing up there marrying them. So I like to tell them! This aspect really sets the tone for your wedding so if you want a fun vibe, give your celebrant some funny aspects to work with, if you want a formal vibe then maybe don’t put funny aspects into your responses.
The story is usually to the start of the ceremony to get it rolling with a bit of personality and flair so no one in the audience is thinking "Oh is it over yet?" Is it over ceremonies are not my specialty...
How does it work?
I have a list of questions that I ask the couple to answer, I then create their story with their responses and most times they hear it for the first time on the day! If a couple answers the questions separately and send their responses through, it is often interesting for me to see two different perspectives on how they met and fell in love, but the best part is seeing each others responses on what they love most about their partner. At times this is the way some deliver what they would like to say in personal vows but don't feel as though they could manage. Its a way of still of communicating them to your partner in a public way, just spoken by me instead.
What sort of questions do I ask?
How you met and fell in love, depending on your style of wedding you may want to include some funny stories about you as a couple. The questions I usually ask in order to write the personal story are totally up to you if you would like to answer them, the standard questions I ask are listed below.
How/ Where did you first meet or tell me about your first date?
Do you know if there was a moment when you knew you had fallen love?
What are 5 things you love about your partner?
Do you have an interesting proposal story that you would like to share?
Tell me a little about what your family and friends mean to you?
Have you been through any adventures or achievements as a couple?
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
The biggest one I work with is what are 5 things you love about your partner, you might think "oh only 5?" or you might think oh I have to do "5 geez! " I put the figure on there to even the playing field. Previously I would leave it open and I discovered the brides had a lot more to say than the grooms... I would receive 10 from brides and 2 from grooms and I didn't want the brides to feel disheartened hence the number 5. You can do more, you can do less after all its your story and you share what you feel you would like to!
What does a personal story look like?
Well I have now written hundreds, some short and others long, it all depends on how much content I receive with the question responses. I will usually try and include as many details as I can from what you give to me, if you feel its important enough to give to me then its probably important enough to include in your story.
The way I gather these responses is through a Google Doc form- you can fill your answers in at any time you like at the following link-
And last but not least, below is an example of a personal story-
Now Kirstin and Tom have one of the youngest meeting stories I’ve ever had. They actually met when they were only in grade 5 of primary school when Kirstin’s family moved to Mackay. Of course, they weren’t quite ready to settle down then, but they were friends for the whole rest of their primary and high school years. They even went to their high school formal together but not officially as boyfriend and girlfriend.
They became official not long after school finished but right after that, Kirstin was moving away to Brisbane to go to university and Tom was beginning an apprenticeship still in Mackay. They basically got together and signed up for long distance straight away. Even thought they knew it was going to be tough, they had been best friends and so close for so long that they knew if they stayed together that they would make it through the long distance. They also knew they wanted to pursue their own dreams and not to have one of them feeling held back, so they had to make it work. And they did.
So that was where it all began, and I next asked them if they knew if there was a moment where they had fallen head over heels for one another. Tom said he knew he was well and truly in love with Kirstin when he was saying goodbye to her after she had just spent her first Christmas holidays back in Mackay. He said it was very emotional knowing that the relationship they shared was so special and another 3 years of long distance was going to be hard, but he was so excited for when it was over, and they would be able to spend all of their days together.
Now Kirstin was adamant that she told Tom she loved him first, and not to let him tell me otherwise. Well, he didn’t tell me otherwise, he did tell me you said it first, however the stories of how she first said it were a little different…
They were staying at our friend Ali's house and her parents had built a theatre room with stars aka (lights) all over the roof. They were laying there together under the lights. It felt like the right time and like they were the only people in the world.
He says it happened when Kirstin drunkenly confessed her love for him when they were at a party by grabbing his hand while he was cutting a pavlova and told the party that this would be them on their wedding day one day.
Since then, they have been on some amazing adventures and achieved so much together. Of course, they made it through 4 years of long distance stronger and more in love than ever. The had the devastating time that followed Tom’s car accident. There was point where Kirstin was waiting in the hospital honestly not sure if she was ever going to see him again. Of course, he pulled through but they then had the many surgeries that followed; including the hospital stays and recoveries that came along with them.
They’ve travelled to some amazing destinations like Fiji, New Zealand, Canada, China, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. They’ve purchased a home together and love living there with their 2 black Labradors even though they are super needy. They’ve progressed in their careers and set up investments for their future. And of course, Tom commended Kirstin on her achievement of planning this wedding as we know planning a wedding in this current environment could not have been easy.
Throughout their time and shared experiences, they have learnt to acknowledge and appreciate certain qualities in one another. I asked them what it was that they loved the very most. Kirstin loves how excited Tom gets over wine and anything wine related. She also told me to check his cufflinks today…
She loves how much love he has for their foster dogs Shadow and Pepper. She loves how generous and thoughtful he. She loves how much he cares about their family and friends. She loves that he is as big of a foody as she is so they can treat themselves to fine dining a little more often than they probably should. And last but not least, she loves how easily he fits into her family and how he has the ability to make everyone he meets love him.
Tom says what he loves most about Kirstin is that she constantly challenges him to be a better person, to view the world differently and she continually pushes him to be the best person he can be. He loves that she is always there to support his dreams and there to bring him back down to earth when needed. He loves how her smile is so infectious and sometimes when their eyes connect and her smile grows, the world stands still. He loves how she has a way of making people feel calm and loved. He loves that they don’t share exactly the same interests. It forces them to be invested in the others interest and expand what they love to do together. He loves that she has introduced him to musicals, art galleries, fine food and of course, wine. And lastly, he loves how she commits 100% of herself to everything she does, whether it be her work, interactions with their friends and family or day to day tasks. She is inspiring.
It was all of these aspects that they love about one another that led to them deciding it was time to get a bit more serious about getting married. They have always talked about getting married one day, but
over the last few years watching friends and family tie the knot, the interest grew. About 2 years ago, they decided to go and pick out a ring to be created together. At the time Tom said that Kirstin wouldn't be able to wear it once he'd picked it up until he felt like it was the right time. Then in February last year Tom bought a new car, and they took it for a run down to the Gold Coast to pick the ring up. But as soon as he had it, he couldn’t wait to give it to her, he didn’t feel it was right to have it in his possession instead of her wearing it. He was ready for Kirstin to be his fiancé immediately, so they headed straight for the beach, and he popped the question right then and there. The answer was an absolute yes!
A yes that has led us all here today, a day they wanted to share with their closest friends and family who they say mean the absolute world to them. They believe all of you present have truly helped them to
become the people they are today. Always loving and supporting them whole heartedly.
Today starts the next of their future plans which were absolutely perfect. The top of their list is of course to get married and live a long and happy life together. To be successful in their careers. To travel the world together. And then when the time is right, to have their own children to share their memories with, being hopefully just as amazing to them as their parents have always been to them. Most of all they can’t wait to always be together, enjoying every second of life, being just as in love as they are in this very moment.