You might like to incorporate a special ritual to symbolize the spirit of your Marriage, Blessing, Vow Renewal or Anniversary Celebration. Some possibilities to use in any of these ceremonies include:
Though quite simple, the Rose Ceremony is powerful and deeply moving. Roses have long been a symbol in relationships, depicting ‘devotion’ and ‘love’. Presenting a single long-stemmed rose is a distinguished way of expressing “I love you” to another. In a Rose Ceremony, the first gift that a couple exchange with each other is a simple one – a single, beautiful rose offered to one another. In this symbolism, the couple are giving and receiving their unique love for each other, while the essence of this ceremony also conveys how to use the symbol of a rose during difficult times when forgiveness and understanding becomes fundamentally important. As your Celebrant I will assist you by integrating this ritual into your ceremony if you wish.
The art of blending and integrating grains of sand into a lovely glass vase or container is becoming quite popular and is an innovative trend at ceremonies. Growing in popularity, this ceremony is used to symbolise the blending of two lives as partners in life. The Bride and Groom each hold their own vessel of sand (usually two separate colours; one for each person). They pour the sand from their vessels into a larger decorative vessel and this process creates a beautiful, artistic keepsake.
The Bride’s sand vessel signifies her special, unique personality, her personal power and strength, her life ambitions and dreams, her values, beliefs and ideals, and her life experiences – all of which have woven together to create her distinct tapestry as a woman today.
The Groom’s sand vessel signifies his special, unique personality, his personal power and strength, his life ambitions and dreams, his values, beliefs and ideals, and his life experiences – all of which have woven together to create his distinct tapestry as a man today.
In ceremonies where children are involved, either as members of the blended family as a result of marriage, or children who are significant to the couple, those children can become part of the Sand Ceremony by adding more colours of sand, representing their presence in the life of the couple.
Another popular ritual for weddings is the lighting of the “Unity Candle”. This is an elegant ritual holding the special meaning of joining two separate lives into one. ‘Light’ has long held the symbolism for joy and the goodness of life. Flames from the candles held by the Bride and Groom join with the brighter, stronger light of the Unity Candle, embodying the love, the strength, the respect and the commitment of the couple.
The lighting of Unity Candles can be one of the most beautiful parts of a Wedding ceremony. If desired, this ceremony can include parents or other special family members or friends in the lighting of individual candles before the Unity Candle is lit by the Bride and Groom. This can make this particular ceremony especially powerful and moving.
At the heart of the Unity Candle ceremony, the couple will step up and each take a tapered candle, lighting the centre of the ‘Unity Candle’ together.
A revival of this ancient tradition was raised compliments of the 1995 movie Braveheart, but, in fact, Hand Fasting is perhaps one of the oldest of wedding traditions. In Europe, until the mid-1700’s, few unions were sanctified in a church or synagogue. Instead, they were celebrated by a simple hand fasting ceremony, which often marked the betrothal or engagement period (“a year and a day”). Sometimes Hand Fasting was used after that period of time to permanently bind together a couple as husband and wife.
Hand Fasting is a lovely ceremony which uses colourful ribbons or cords which are wrapped around a hand of the Bride and Groom, linking them together. The colours of the ribbons can be chosen for their meaning and charms can be added for further depth and representation of the couple’s new life together. The phrase ‘Tying the Knot’ likely evolved from this tradition, and today this ritual offers a gentle, lovely way to symbolise the blending of two lives, two hearts, two futures.
As an additional element to traditional Hand Fasting, a ball of colourful ribbon or cord can be passed among the guests in a circle, with each person lightly wrapping a section around their wrists, signifying their connection with the Bride and Groom. Then each person can cut and tie a short piece of the ribbon around their wrists as a symbol of the Bride and Groom’s marriage and their role of support in that union.
The Wine Ceremony
The wine ceremony or ‘cup of love’ as it is sometimes called, is a fab way to include something symbolic and romantic in your ceremony, especially if you are a big wine freak, like me! But apart from getting to have a little tipple during your ceremony (yippee!) there is actually some really cool symbolism attached to this ritual and with some added personal touches it really can be made into a lovely celebratory element of your ceremony.
Love Letter and Wine Box Ceremony
A Love Letter and Wine Box ceremony will serve as a lasting reminder of the commitments made to one another. Heartfelt letters, encapsulating your thoughts and feelings are locked away in a wine box to be revealed several years into your marriage. Whiskey, Scotch or Tequila can easily be switched out for the wine.
So as with all ceremonial rituals the wine ritual has a specific type of symbolism. These are just a few of the ceremonial rituals that can be designed into a Wedding Ceremony. We can explore other symbolic ceremony ritual ideas such as the Marriage Box, Ring Warming, Jumping the Broom, Blessing Flags, Celtic Oathing Stones, and many more ideas.