A bride and groom sat down with me recently with a major problem. The last wedding they went to was really embarrassing for the grandfather of that wedding’s bride as he fell asleep in the middle of the ceremony. They wanted to desperately make sure that no-one fell asleep in the ceremony we were creating. Below is what I told them, and hopefully, it can help you.

How to stop people falling asleep mid-wedding

  1. Do meaningful, valuable, things in your wedding ceremony. People lose interest in TV shows, books, ceremonies, staff meetings, when they do not value the contribution being made in front of them. A practical example of this is a sand ceremony. Totes sorry if you love sand ceremonies but I just don’t know what they mean, if you find meaning in them then let’s do one! Here’s some other ceremony ideas.
  2. Involve the people witnessing the ceremony in a greater way than purely witnessing the ceremony. If your sole job is to stand still and watch something, you’ll fall asleep quicker than a groom saying “I do”. So get your witnesses, your guests, family and friends involved. There’s another blog post coming soon about this doozy. A modern version of the handfasting ceremony is sometimes a cool way to involve family.
  3. The ceremony should use the Goldilocks principle in regards to timing: not to big, not too small, but just right. Practically speaking this means doing everything that’s required to celebrate your marriage, nothing more and nothing less. If that means the wedding ceremony goes for 5 minutes or 50, then it’s the right length. The shortest ceremony will cover off these bare minimums.
  4. Change the seating. Studies of schools and places of education consistently show that the best seating plan for the highest levels of engagement in a classroom is the dome or circle configuration of seating, as opposed to the chapel or straight line seating config. So change up your ceremony seating, skip the chapel feel and sit everyone differently. Here’s some seating tips!
  5. Set yourself up for a standing ovation, by removing all of the seats. Standing people are more alert and aware than sitting people.
  6. Adjust the timing. Your ceremony does not have to be at 3pm on a Saturday. Choose any other time across the whole week. Hold the ceremony inside the reception. Get married at sunrise … or sunset, whatever dawns on you :). Read more tips on ceremony time here.
  7. Simply ask guests to participate. At the start of every wedding I officiate at I’ll invite the guests to yell, scream, clap, cheer, make some noise at the really cool thing that is happening. After all, getting married is the best thing two people can do together (in front of their parents) so it should be celebrated! Not witnessed silently!

I’m sure there’s ten million other ideas on how to keep everyone awake, but the first step is to get a really cool celebrant. If you’re looking for one, I know a guy. If you’ve got some other ideas, comment below!