I wanted to comment on the placement of the celebrant in this ceremony, which pretty much replicates a wedding but without the legals, even in the USA.
The couple had no attendants standing up with them during the ceremony - it was just them and the celebrant. This happens in a lot of weddings as well as other types of ceremonies, and is an extremely intimate setting.
So I found it a little strange that the celebrant stood between the couple for the entire ceremony. Why does he need to be so close to them when no one else is around? Things I noticed from this positioning: the celebrant is in every single photo taken of the couple at every angle, and doesn't move out of the way for the vows or the kiss at the end of the ceremony.
I did wonder if perhaps this placement was at the direction of the tv film crew, but I know that this also happens a lot in western ceremonies at the direction of the celebrants or officiants. It's also the placement you'll see in a lot of religious or church ceremonies officiated by ministers, priests etc. Food for thought!
Placement and movement of people is one of the key elements of ceremony planning and for me, very important. I actually run through the ceremony in my mind like a little movie, which helps my planning process. Who is standing where, how people move in and out at different points for things like readings, ring presentation, rituals and so on.
In a situation like this one, I would stand off to the side so that everyone's attention was just on the couple, as it really should be. I would not be in all their photos and certainly not right there as the couple share a kiss at the end of it all.
Now I know there are some celebrants around the world who insist, loudly and publicly, that they would stand in between the couple in a situation like this, and justify it as being a "necessity". I personally don't think it's necessary for celebrants to stand in-between couples for an entire ceremony - and especially when no one else is present. There's not a single reason - let alone a good one - for doing that other than to ensure the celebrant is front and centre, in my view.
What I guarantee my ceremony clients is that I'm not front and centre in all their ceremonies. People are listening to me, yes, courtesy of my microphone, but not necessarily looking at me. That's why I move around a lot and don my "invisibility cloak" so that I'm not in all my clients' photos.
There's a saying that "the little things in life really are the big things", and I truly believe that. Little things like staying out of the majority of my clients' photos during their ceremonies is really a big thing for me - and, I presume, also for them.
What do you think about people placement in ceremonies? I'd love to hear your thoughts below.
Photo screen grab from Heidi and Spencer's vow renewal ceremony featured on "The Hills: New Beginnings", September 2019, MTV Shows, (article by Jordana Ossad) at: https://www.mtv.com/news/2t3ctm/hills-vow-renewal-comparison-2009-wedding