When you design your own wedding ceremony, you can involve any ritual and symbol that is meaningful to you. Read, for example, in one of my other blogs, how a multi-faith couple included a personalised ritual, inspired by the Jewish wedding ceremony, to their special day.
However, you don’t need to invent the wheel yourself. Wedding ceremonies and rituals have been existed since the beginning of humankind. So, if you would like some inspiration, why not consider the following examples?
- Hand-fasting: a strong bond This ritual has its roots in the Celtic tradition. The couples’ hands are tied together, for example with a cord or colourful ribbons. It symbolises their lives being joined together. The number of ribbons and their colours can represent additional symbolic meanings tailored to the specific stories of the couple.
- Candles: unity in light and warmth This ritual is done with two tapered candles and one larger candle: the ‘unity’ candle. The couple each takes an individual tapered candle and lights the centre one together, symbolising the merging of their lives.
- Rose ceremony: a gift of love In this ritual, bride and groom give a rose to each other. Roses are the flowers of love. They represent their first ‘gift’ to each other, symbolising the giving and receiving of their love together throughout their entire married life.
- Sand ceremony: a strong blend In this ritual, the couple pours two colours of sand into a glass vase or bowl. The different colours blend into one entity that is inseparable.
- Sweet and sour: love and support through the heights and lows of life This ritual is done with sweet and bitter food, for example dates and horseradish. The couple eats something sweet and something bitter, symbolising the happy and hard times in their lives together. The food can be offered by family and friends while they express their personal blessings to the couple.
- Planting a tree: growing and giving In this ritual the couple plants a young tree in a garden, or presents a tree in a pot. The tree is a source of inspiration for many symbols. For example, a tree stands for:
Growth: the tree will grow with the couple
Fertility and giving: the gifts the couple may be sharing in their marriage to others
Roots: the family roots and the values the couple shares.
The ritual may also highlight what’s needed to grow a tree. It needs, for example, good care, water and sunlight, symbolising the things that the couple will need to give to each other in order to help their marriage flourish.
Many of these rituals can also be used in ceremonies related to other life-events. A tree-ceremony, for example, can also feature in a naming ceremony beautifully.
The examples mentioned above are just a selection of rituals that can be done at a wedding ceremony. Maybe you have seen other rituals that might be worth sharing. Or maybe you have some interesting ideas for a unique ritual for your own special day.
Feel free to leave your ideas, comments and questions. I would love to hear from you!