Traditions And Customs
Where wedding ceremonies are concerned, there are so many different traditions and customs from all over the world. No matter what your nationality, race or life choice, in almost all cultures, there is a tradition, custom, or symbol that you, as an individual can relate to. Please feel free to view the links below, if you think they may help you to create that extra special moment within your ceremony, or if you simply wish to understand the origins of some existing wedding customs.
Unity Ceremonies are extremely popular in that they not only add another personal element to a “standard” ceremony, but that they are also a great way to include close family members, or any other special people.
Here are a few examples of Unity Ceremonies:
The Unity Candle
One of the most common ceremonies. The couple each take a lit candle and simultaneously light a third larger “unity candle.” They may blow out their individual lights, or leave them lit, symbolising that they have not lost their individuality in their unity. You may also have your unity candle personalised with your names and the date, allowing it to be a keepsake from your wedding.
A simple unity ceremony where the couple exchange roses. Other variations: the families exchange roses, the couple exchange roses with their families, the couple exchange roses, then present their mothers with the roses.
Wine CeremonyThe couple each take a carafe of wine and pour it into a single glass, which they both drink from.
Variation: Parents fill family carafes and then they both pour into a unity cup which the couple both drink from.
Wine Box/Love letter Ceremony
The couple place love letters in a box with a bottle of wine and seal it during the ceremony with the intent that they will open it on a significant anniversary, drink the wine and read the letters.
Variation: This can be done as a Time Capsule, without the wine if preferred.
Ring Warming Ceremony
The wedding rings are passed from guest to guest during the ceremony and as each person holds the rings in their hands, they “warm” them by bestowing a special wish or prayer upon the bride and groom . Can also be done with just the immediate family or parents only.
Handfasting is an ancient Celtic tradition, and one of the earliest forms of a recognised marriage!
It involves a ritual where the couple physically bind their hands together with ribbon or cords, symbolising the blending of their two families through marriage, and as a declaration of their love and commitment to each other.
An ancient Orthodox wedding tradition where the couple are “crowned” with either traditional crowns, or circlets joined with ribbon, establishing the bride & groom as King and Queen of the new home they are creating together.
The Spanish custom of giving wedding coins, signifying the groom’s recognition of his responsibility as a provider and the bride’s acceptance, trust and unconditional confidence in her husband to be.
The bride and groom (and any other family members/guests) take turns pouring different coloured sand into a glass, creating a layered effect. Each colour represents a quality which is deemed important in the relationship.
Blending Essential Oils
You can create your own blend of essential oils to create a unique scent that will always remind you of your special day.
Holding Hands Ritual
This symbolic ritual represents that in giving each other their hands, the couple are also giving each other their hearts. The couple simply hold each others hands while the wedding celebrant/ or guest recites a blessing of hands.
German Wedding Toast
Originating from a centuries old story, a couple drinks from a traditional, double-sided chalice, bestowing good luck upon any bride & groom who can drink from this cup without spilling a drop.
Butterfly , Dove, or Balloon release
The release of butterflies, doves, or balloons symbolises new beginnings, or the union of families.
Regardless of your choice of unity ceremony, you are free to put your own personal spin on it, to show your personality as a couple. As an experienced wedding celebrant, all I need is an idea, and I’ll help you to incorporate that idea into your wedding ceremony and make it meaningful to you.
The more you put into your ceremony, the more it will reflect in your memories as the years go by.