I've just completed the first draft of the address for a wedding I am conducting on Saturday. I haven't done very many weddings, and most (though not all) have been for people with whom there is a genuine and long standing connection. Even with people I don't know very well (or at all) I do my best to personalise the ceremony and tailor the address to their interests, personalities and needs.
So, on Saturday, I am working with the metaphor of knitting. I won't say too much lest someone who knows the couple sees this and accidentally lets it slip, but it's a great metaphor to play with, and I've had fun.
Around eighteen months ago a couple had chosen a poem about an arch as their 'non religious reading' (I always offer this option as it means they can choose something really meaningful for themselves). This was another fabulous metaphor, allowing my mind to explore ideas that were significant for them and help to craft a meaningful address.
Once I had a toy Eeyore, although that was a slightly sideways move from the writer of Ecclesiates.
A couple times I've had three branched candlesticks, with various symbolism. The first time was for a Hindu-Baptist wedding, emulating and adapting the 'fire rite' from Hindu tradition, with each mother lighting one of the outer candles to represent the birth families, then together lighting the central candle for the new family. The second time was for the threefold 'faith, hope, love' with a single origin.
And with an older couple, each having been married (and widowed) who chose the KJV version of 1 Corinthians, my sideways step to C S Lewis's 'the four loves' involved, among other things I have since forgotten (and did not write down) a coffee mug (or two).
Marriages are always both privilege and challenge - like all the best services I suppose - and I do enjoy trying to personalise them. Probably as well I don't get too many though, as I'd inevitably run out of ideas and start having to 'mass produce' them!