One thing about living in multicultural Australia is the number of different languages you hear spoken. So often my weddings are not always all in English!
One of my weddings at Gunners Barracks in Mosman this weekend was partly conducted in French. The groom was French/Australian, and his family flew over from Europe to join us for the wedding. But his mum only spoke French. So to be as inclusive as possible, I dusted off my French and included three sections in her native language just for her – an introduction, a special welcome to the family, and we did the legal vows in both English and French.
I knew she appreciated it because as soon as I spoke to her in French, a huge grin came across her face (and yes I did apologise in advance for my accent!).
Going the extra mile when it comes to language is an important aspect to consider. Another recent wedding had family from Japan with no spoken English, so I translated the ceremony into Japanese and gave them a copy before the marriage ceremony began.
I am doing the same thing this weekend – providing a Spanish translation for the groom’s mum who is flying in.
And I also have a welcome in Mandarin ready for the many Chinese couples who marry here in Australia.
Whatever language you speak, I want to ensure everyone is included in your ceremony. But most importantly, your wedding is written in the language of love, whatever your mother tongue may be.
Written by Stephen Lee
Marriage Celebrant Sydney