Wedding Rituals

It is a well-known phrase that actions speak louder than words.  Actions, such as the rituals performed today for your wedding ceremony — holding hands, carrying flowers, and exchanging rings — convey deep symbolic meaning.

Unity Candle Lighting

This ritual shows that you are committed to taking action with regard to your promises.  The Bride and Groom take a candle and together ignite the large one to flame.

This is a glowing reminder that in a true marriage, your lives are both individual and together as one.  This is also a symbolic reminder that while we are all one with the Universe, as you are now within your marriage, you still maintain your own sparks of your individual selves.

Tying the Knot

 The Bride and Groom choose colour sashes or ribbons that have some meaning to them, like the colours of their wedding theme or from a country’s flag or university.  Actual knots have certainly been used in marriage ceremonies for some time and the tradition of trying the wrists of the bride and groom with twine continues today in marriages in the use of sashes which are placed over the principal’s wrists Middle English to mean ‘the tie or bond of wedlock; the marriage or wedding knot’.  The sash makes for a lovely keepsake of their wedding ceremony.

Ring Warming

Incorporating a ring warming into your wedding is such a special way to involve all of your guests in your ceremony. A ring warming is when you give your guests the opportunity to hold and imbue your wedding bands with a wish, blessing or prayer for your marriage. By the time your rings make it on to your fingers they will be saturated with the love of your friends and family.  It is also a fantastic option for couples having a non-religious ceremony but want to consider their religious loved ones. A ring warming ritual, everyone will be welcome to take a moment to bring their own beliefs into your ceremony in a private but meaningful way.

Sand Ceremony

This beautiful ritual establishes your relationship symbolized through the pouring of two individual containers for the Bride and Groom, of sand; representing all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.  It is a lovely ceremony when including children or extended family.

As you each hold your sand the separate containers of sand represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one.

You may now blend the sand together symbolizing the uniting of the bride and groom into one.  Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be. 

Hand Blessing

The Bride and Groom each other. First join your right palms, and then your left palms. This forms an infinity symbol with your hands, which symbolizes a love that will go on forever. 

“Now join your hands, and with your hand’s your hearts.” (Wm Shakespeare)

These are the hands of your best friend. They 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 alongside 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 wracks your mind.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

May these hands always reach out with love, tenderness and respect.  May these hands continue to build a loving relationship that lasts a life time.

With eyes locked, and hands linked, this ritual is a beautiful symbol of the union of two hearts, two lives, and two souls.

Rose Ceremony

Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is often placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife. In the old language of flowers, a single red rose always meant “I love you”. The Rose ceremony gives recognition to the new and most honorable title of “Husband and Wife”.

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.  So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.

As you exchange your first gift as husband and wife of the rose, 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. 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.

Red String:  

This ceremony requires the use of a piece of (red) twine/string. In this case, a spool of it is passed from guest to guest who wraps it around their right wrist and passes it along to the next person – so in the end everyone is joined by this string. 

The celebrant talks about how we are all connected as family and friends and how we are all connected at this location or place to  remember/honor/celebrate.  A favorite piece of poetry might be spoken or a song sung or played.   

Then at a certain point, scissors are passed around to cut the string and everyone ties it to their own wrists and the celebrant talks about how we will wear this string to remember this wedding day.\

Note:  Best suited for small, intimate weddings. 

Circle Ceremony 

Create a large circle into which you both step, before the Celebrant, for the ceremony.  It could also be in the shape of a heart.  Choose any materials that appeal to you.  For example, rose petals, sea shells or bird of paradise flowers woven into cedar bows.  

Spice or Herb Ceremony (I’ve used herbs)

Several herbs are set out on a table in small bowls.  Each herb has a spiritual meaning, for example:

  • Fennel Strength
  • Basil Protection
  • Rice Prosperity
  • Sesame Lust
  • Chamomile Patience and wisdom
  • Marjoram Happiness

As you each pour half of the contents of the bowl into a container like a glass vase, I speak a blessing of the qualities of the herb into something meaningful for your married life.