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The importance of family and community involvement in ceremonies

The importance of family and community involvement in ceremonies
Humans have used ceremonies and celebrations for thousands of years to: 
  • affirm or encourage people at special events  e.g. Olympic Games, Presentation nights, graduations
  • celebrate milestones in our individual life journey e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, retirement 
  • acknowledge significant life-changing occasions e.g. namings/ christenings, engagements, marriages, funerals
  • honour individuals or celebrate community values, e.g. memorials, Australia Day, Citizenship Day, Harmony Day

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The pros and cons of a private ceremony

TCN celebrants have noticed a recent trend towards couples choosing to elope and having a small ceremony with just the celebrant and witnesses.  

On the plus side, these ceremonies can be romantic, fun, stress free and far less expensive than the traditional family occasion.  They are ideally suited to some couples.

The down side may be that family are genuinely hurt by being excluded from this important occasion. 

This can be difficult to understand, especially for couples who are already living together and who decide they just want to "make it legal" with minimum fuss.  

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Sharing is Caring

However, if the couple think more deeply about the significance of the marriage ceremony they may see the value in a larger ceremony that involves family and friends.

The marriage ceremony results in changes of legal status and relationships.  The marriage partners become legally responsible for each other and any children of their relationship.  They also acquire new relationships with their in-laws - a new extended family and friendship group.  For the parents of "first time marrieds"  the marriage ceremony symbolically marks a "graduation" at which their work in raising a baby to adulthood formally ends. 

So in many ways a marriage is not just a relationship between two individuals. It is a formal and social relationship between two networks of family and friends.  Being part of the ceremony means a lot to those who love the couple.

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"But big family weddings are too expensive - eloping cuts the cost!"

This can certainly be true.  So how can we have a big celebration for a small cost? 

This TCN article about having a big celebration on a low budget could assist your planning.

Share your ideas on how to involve family and friends in celebrations that are meaningful for everyone present … 

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Tuesday, 23 July 2024

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