The PERSONAL Stuff
Wedding Ceremony Inspiration – Rituals
Including a meaningful ritual, within the flow of your Ceremony, is entirely an individual choice.
Rituals can be creative, unique and personally expressive.
A ritual can often be useful as a symbolic moment, where you believe there is a need to acknowledge something special to both of you.
The best way to decide if a ritual has a place in your ceremony – and then deciding an appropriate ritual for your ceremony – is to identify the outcome you want it to symbolise.
If you are drawn to particular textures and elements of nature, this too can play a part in deciding an appropriate ritual that suitably represents the message you wish to convey.
Some examples from the variety of rituals are:
Sand Blending – Two become one as two different coloured sands are blended in a bowl, forever intertwined, and impossible to separate. A number of different sands can be combined to represent blended families.
Love Letters – Each of the parties to the marriage writes a letter to their partner. They are symbolically locked in a box, perhaps with a special bottle of wine and two glasses. A date is determined for the future, when the box will be opened, the letters read out loud to each other, and a celebratory toast is shared.
Water Blending – Similar to the sand-blending ritual, each couple has a different coloured water in a unique container. As the 2 colours are blended together into another container, a new colour emerges. For blended families, multiple coloured waters can be utilised.
Candles – The lighting of candles can represent many different stories. Candles can be lit for those who are no longer present. A family candle can be lit at the beginning of the ceremony, then a third candle is lit after signing the Marriage register. Lit from the flame of the two original candles, the lighting of the third candle is to symbolise a new union.
Hand Fastening – This is where the familiar ‘tying the knot’ comment is believed to originated. Cord or ribbon is used to fasten hands together united for a new beginning. Hands are held in a figure eight to strengthen the union, as the fastening occurs.
Ring Warming – This is an energy blessing where the rings can be warmed or blessed by chosen people, present at the ceremony.
Wine Blending – Similar to sand or water blending, except this time two wines are blended and a drink shared from one cup together
Your Own Ceremonial Certificate – Prior to the wedding, a couple decides their own unique or fun vows together and a ceremonial certificate is creatively prepared. This can be signed during the time of the official signing of the Marriage Register, and placed on display or read out loud for guests to view or hear.
The Arch of Swords – a military connection or history may have meaning when the married couple’s recessional is under an archway of swords.
The Arch of Good Wishes – Similar to the arch of swords except this is where the Guests are invited to form an arch with their arms and hands, for the married couple to pass through
The Celtic Sundial – traditionally from Pagan times, a silk scarf is passed through a sundial, with the parties to the marriage making a personal wish, then entwining their scarves for united wish together.
The Family Fire – Parents are invited to each kindle a fire. The two flames are then combined to create a new and third fire that burns throughout the ceremony.
The Gift of Tilak – a traditional custom for some traditional Indian weddings, where the bride’s mother welcomes the groom to the ceremony by placing red vermilion powder or tilak, on her future son-in-law’s forehead to welcome him to the family and protect him from evil
Blessing the Rope – A knotted rope is passed around the guests who each hold it and give their good thoughts and energy to it. It is returned to the marrying couple for hand-binding or wrapping around their bodies, as a symbol of ‘tying the knot’.
Under the Chuppah – based in Jewish tradition a chuppah is like a canopy with four legs. The marriage takes place under the chuppah and a family member stands as protection at each of the four corners, throughout the ceremony.
The Crowning – a tradition from Greek Orthodox culture features a crown placed on each of the betrothed heads, and joined by a ribbon. This symbolises union and king and queen of their own family.
The Lasso – from Mexican, Spanish and Filipino culture, a floral strand or rope is placed in a figure eight across and around the couple’s shoulders. It traditionally remains for the whole of the service and removed at the end, by the person who placed it, and gifted to the bride.
Circle of Love – at smaller weddings the ceremony is conducted together with every Guest, forming a circle. Each Guest has prepared a paragraph or statement they wish to share with the couple, and this is read in the circle out loud by each guest.
Tie the Knot – an old Irish tradition where a piece of ribbon is tied by the parties to the marriage in a fisherman’s knot. The tighter it is pulled the less likely it will ever break or come undone.
Jumping the Broom – a centuries old traditional which symbolises jumping over a broom together to leave behind the past, and move forward into the future
Tree Planting – symbolising the beginning of new growth, a tree is planted with soil added from two separate containers – one from each of the wedding parties.
Watering the Pot – similar to Tree Planting except a pot plant is created and the couple water the pot together, symbolising their nurturing and feeding of new life
The Time Capsule – items are placed inside a box that is sealed shut. The items symbolise the journey up until the wedding day and have meaning for the couple. The time capsule is opened at a future anniversary.
Cleansing the Feet – an outdoors ritual representing the cleansing of old emotional blocks that have no place walking forward together
The Coloured Canvas – an artistic moment where the couple each add colour and creativity to a blank canvas
The Goodwill Tree – a drawing of a tree full of leaves. Each leaf is signed by every Guest present at the ceremony, as a contribution to their new growth ahead
The Magic Silk – each party to the marriage place a different coloured silk into a bag. It is blessed with good intentions and wishes and is withdrawn from the bag now ‘magically’ knotted together, forever more.
The Message Box – a card is provided for family or for all guests to write their personal message on. It is locked to be opened and read at a future anniversary