When you think of your wedding ceremony, what do you envision?
This is an important question, sit with it and think on it and then write that down.
For me, I thought of walking down the longest aisle I could find and staring at my future all the while. I thought of standing next to my partner and telling him how much I loved him. I envisioned weepy eyes and all the emotions one could invoke.
What I got? Well...I got the longest aisle I could find, I did stare at my future the whole time, except I was wondering why he looked green and if he was okay (thank you to his big brother, those drinks the night before didn't sit so well lol). I got all the emotion because I was a crying blubbering mess. I mean the kind of mess where snot is running down your face, and no tissue in the world could be found, where you can hear me sniffle and sob - I mean good lord I couldn't hold it together for the life of me. We had a church wedding and discussed the ceremony with the Pastor. We stuck to tradition because I didn't have Pinterest and we were one of the first in our circle of friends to get married so we had nothing to compare to. We did light a unity candle which was sweet, but we did it because it was tradition, no other reason really.
And that's where I turn to you, today you have Pinterest, the internet for research and pictures and heck even full blown ceremonies can be found. But put all that aside, look at your answer, what do you see?
Maybe you see tradition also, and that's awesome. Perhaps you envision laughter and jokes during our wedding ceremony, heck to the yes! Maybe you want to incorporate our love of beer or outdoors or your joint passion for food - let's do all of that!
Your wedding ceremony can include a unity ceremony, readings, laughter, tears and so much more...or less. That's the point, your wedding ceremony can be a reflection of what you envision and how you see your wedding day beginning.
Create a unique and personal wedding unity ceremony
If you plan to do a unity ceremony during your wedding ceremony, make it personal. I want your guests to go, yep, this makes sense, this is them! Not...why are they pouring sand in that vase?
You can do whatever you want during your wedding ceremony, it is your wedding day after all, so why not choose a unity ceremony that is a reflection of who you are a couple?
Like beer or wine? Do a beer or wine sharing ceremony
Love chocolate? Blend chocolate together
Nature your thing? Plant a tree
Sailing or Boating fun for you? Tie the Knot
Do you collect things? do a rock warming ceremony
The point is, think about what you love as a couple and incorporate that into your unity wedding ceremony.
Oh, I almost forgot! No, you don't have to have a unity wedding ceremony at all.
Here are a few wedding unity ceremonies I've done
Stone Ceremony; A basket of stones are set next to an empty “gathering” container; the guests are asked to hold a stone, wish a kind thought and place said stone into the gathering container, if the stones are large enough the guests may write their name on it. The stones are then set in a place of honor in the couple’s home or garden. During the ceremony the couple will each hold their own stone and think their own kind thought and place them in a container .
Ring Warming; Your wedding rings are placed in a box or decorative baggie and at the beginning of the ceremony we announce that we will be doing a ring warming ceremony and today as we pass your rings we ask that each person hold the rings, place a kind thought upon them and pass them onto the next guest. When we do the ring exchange we remind the couple that the wedding rings you will wear have been so blessed by each of your guests today and we hope that in years to come when you look at your rings you remember your guests with love and kindness.
During this ceremony Lyn and Beau will exchange rings. These rings are visible signs of their commitment to one another.
As this ceremony proceeds we ask that you, Beau and Lyn’s community, take part in the warming of the rings. As each of you receives the rings, we ask that you take a moment to wish them health, happiness, and a meaningful life together before passing them on to the next person. When these rings come back to them, they will contain that which is priceless: your love, hope, and spirit.
[GROOMSMAN TAKES RINGS OUT AND HANDS THEM OFF TO CLOSEST PERSON IN FRONT ROW]
Please bring the rings forward.
[GROOMSMAN RETRIEVES RINGS AND BRINGS THEM TO BEAU & LYN]
Wedding bands are visible, tangible symbols of a couple’s commitment and of their emotional and spiritual connection. Many people talk about rings as being a perfect circle, having no beginning and no end. But we all know that these rings have a beginning. Rock is dug up from the earth. Metals are liquefied in a furnace at a thousand degrees. The hot metal is forged, cooled, and polished. Something beautiful is made from raw elements.
Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings. It is the process of making something beautiful where there was once nothing at all.
Lyn and Beau, let these rings serve as a reminder of the feelings you have in your hearts at this very moment. There are times in life that we tend to focus on the things we have not yet accomplished, there will also be times of great loss. Yet as you look at your wedding band, remember the great gift that you have been given and all that you have in one another. Remember that you have someone to share this life with. Never again will you walk alone.
Wine Box/Love Letter; You are asked to write each other a love letter and bring them on the day of your wedding along with a bottle of wine placed in a decorative box. During the ceremony we explain that the Wine Box should be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary.
There is only one other reason the box should be opened before your anniversary. If there should come a time when you hit a bumpy road in your relationship, before you give up or make any irrational decisions, open the Wine Box. The hope is that there will never be a reason to have to open the box except on your anniversary!
If you do hit a rough spot in your relationship sit down together, open the box, uncork the wine and unseal the envelopes that you wrote for one another before your wedding, go to separate rooms and quietly read the love letter.
Even if you are not seeing eye-to-eye at that very moment, it will remind you of all the reasons you choose this person as your partner and all the things that helped shape the life they've created together. Never take your blessings of being together for granted.
The romantic sentiments you wrote, the declaration of love, the clear thoughts about why you chose this person as your life partner will help put you back on even ground. This is the perfect ritual to remind you of your wedding day and your intention to love and cherish each other in good times and bad for as long as you both shall live.
Sand Ceremony; The bride and groom each pour a different color sand from individual containers into one container; thus joining your individual lives together.
Blaine and Jennifer will commemorate their wedding ceremony with a sand ceremony.
Your relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two containers of sand; one, representing you Blaine and one representing you Jennifer. Each one holds its own unique beauty, strength and character. They can stand on their own and be whole, without the need of anything else. When the two are blended together they represent an entirely new and extraordinary love relationship.
I invite you to pour your sands now. As the two vials of sand are poured into the third keepsake vase, just as these grains of sand can no longer are separated so shall your love be.
Unity Candle; two taper candles are lit and the bride and groom each take a taper candle and light one unity candle thus showing your now joined lives.
Chocolate Sharing; Like relationships and human beings chocolate comes in many different types and flavors. On your wedding day you will each choose your favorite chocolate and you will take a bite of your own piece and then take a bite of your partners thus showing your ability to share in life all that is good and sweet.
Hand Ceremony; you are asked to join hands as I or someone of your choosing reads the following:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Native American Blessing: ay the sun bring you new happiness by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night; May the rain wash away your worries And the breeze blow new strength into your being, And all the days of your life May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.
"Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth." "Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives -- remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight."
"Tying" The Knot
Many Asian couples, as well as folks with a Celtic background, practice a "handfasting," in which the officiant binds or wraps the bride's and groom's hands together (usually with ribbon or cloth) to symbolize the joining of families and the blending of cultures. It can also express the pure, simple beauty of two souls coming together for eternity. His mom and my mom will both present us with a piece of thick ribbon - his black and mine white (our wedding colors) and we will then "tie the knot" to represent the two families becoming one. We also plan to hang the knot somewhere in our house and tie a new knot each year on our anniversary in rememberance of our special day. (the ribbons are only going to be about a foot and a half long, so we'll need new ribbons every ten years or so).
The Rose Ceremony
The Rose Ceremony is simple yet profoundly moving. The bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other.
“Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife. In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
_________ and _____________, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future –
whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
__________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”
Unique use of ceremony seating:
To make our wedding ceremony more unique we placed the guest chairs around us in a circle, with the parents and grandparents behind us in a half circle so they saw our faces and the bridal party standing behind them - the rest of the guests were on the opposite side of the circle behind us.
We had a chandelier hanging above us that we decorated with ivy and flowers and draping tulle to other chandeliers in the room. We had candles in white bags lining the aisle and candles lit all around the room and the lights dimmed...and just wrote our ceremony with our official together, taking pieces from about three different ones and piecing it together. So the only ones in the middle of the circle was us and the official. And afterward the center of the room became the dance floor, it was great!
“Michelle and Sam, will you each pick up your glass and bring to mind your promises, the honor and integrity with you have made them and your shared hopes and dreams… and toast to one another? Couple raise their glasses toast and drink And will you offer of yourself and your promise to the center glass….. Couple pour some of their wine into the center glass If you will now pick up the center glass, the one that was just an empty vessel before the strength of your promises to one another, and drink of one another’s vow, of your shared commitment and take these in that they as your marriage may become a part of who and what you are.” Couple then together pick up the center glass, and drink from it as celebrant continues, “As the wines in the glass have intermingled their essence so do your spirits join as you drink of each others love. Neither of you shall ever again thirst for total Love, understanding, or companionship, for as food and drink nourish the body so does Love nourish the soul. In this manner so shall each of you be as sustenance to the other.”
Jumping The Broom Ceremony - Tradition Jumping the broom is a ritual that goes back in time to the ancestral roots African Americans who wanted to honor their unions when they could not afford to legally marry. This ritual symbolizes the sweeping away of old former single lives, past problems, and previous cares. Jumping the broom symbolizes the crossing of a threshold and the leaping of faith into a new relationship.
During the ceremony after pronouncement, the Officiant says:
Starting a new life with another person requires a "leap of faith. This broom represents a threshold. ____&_____, although still individuals, will begin a new life together. Jumping over the broom represents crossing this threshold into new territory; a life vitally connected to another's. They leave behind the past and jump into the future together secure in their love. The leap they take over the broom is also symbolic. By taking the leap, they make a gesture of dedication to working together through the tough times ahead, as well as the easy times. Please count with me now and shout with joy as they perform their first act of working together as husband and wife: 1, 2, 3, jump! ~ Hurray!!
Truce Bell Tradition A bell is rung on the wedding day and then placed in their home. During an argument, one of them can ring the truce bell to remind them of the happiness of their wedding day and to end the disagreement quickly.
To include children:
Have an older child wheel the baby down the aisle in a decorated wagon. This can be done at the same time that the flower girl and ring bearer walk down. Decorate the wagon with tulle, fabrics and flowers. If your baby isn't big enough to sit up, be sure to put her in something that is secure so that she will not fall out.
While the couple speaks the vows, allow the baby to be a part of it. Present the baby/children with a trinket, such as a small piece of jewelry, to formally show that the baby/children is as much a part of this new union as the couple.
Recite vows or a poem to the children/baby after you recite your own vows; speak to the love of joining a new family today.
Let your baby/children help with the sand ceremony. Since a baby cannot hold and pour the sand, designate a special vase just for him. While the mother or father holds the baby, have the wedding Officiant announce that the vase represents him as part of the family. Then the mother or father can pour the sand in the vase for the baby. Save a bit of the sand from that day and keep it in an enclosed vase to display in his room, up high on a shelf, as a keepsake for him to treasure for years to come.
Ribbon Ceremony Angel and John will now share their vows using 5 ribbons.
The first ribbon is Green, representing the foundations of your relationship and the material world you share together. As you tie the green ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to live with each other always and to share all in the material world you have with each other. You promise to be dependable and to aid each other in growing and healing.”
You may now each take the green ribbon.
*Angel and John tie green ribbons*
The Orange ribbon represents intellect and communication. As you tie the yellow ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to communicate as clearly as you are able, to share your thoughts, hopes and dreams, as well as your fears and insecurities. You promise to be open to hear each other whether the words bear good news or bad.”
You may now each take the orange ribbon.
*Tie orange ribbons* The Red ribbon represents the passion and warmth in your relationship. As you tie the red ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to openly express your love and to share yourself with the other completely. You promise to love each other unconditionally and without hesitation. You promise to laugh together in times of joy and comfort each other in times of sorrow.”
You may now each take the red ribbon.
*Tie red ribbons*
The Blue ribbon represents the emotions and the fresh start in your lives together today. As you tie the blue ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“You promise to always consider the others feelings when making decisions. You promise make your relationship a priority above all else. You promise to both apologize and forgive in every fight as you each play a part in all actions and communications together.”
You may now each take the blue ribbon.
*Tie blue ribbons*
The White ribbon represents the spiritual and philosophical in life. As you tie the white ribbons onto the other’s wrist, you make these promises:
“As everything in life is a circle, so is your love. There is no beginning and no end. You have been here before, and someday you will return. You are two, and you are the same. Today and forever, with these White ribbons you promise this will never change.”
You may now each take the white ribbon.
*Tie white ribbons*
May we now have the rings? *Ring bearers (10-year-old and two-year-old) present rings*
May these rings always remind you of these promises you have made to one another.
*Place rings on hands*
Angel, do you take John to be your husband?
John, do you take Angel to be your wife?
I now pronounce you husband and wife—you may kiss the bride!
Love stories are my passion