Where marriage ceremonies are concerned, there are so many different wedding traditions + customs from all over the world. No matter what your nationality, race or life choice, in almost all cultures, there are traditions, customs, or symbolic elements that you can relate to.
Provided below are some links below to help guide you in the right direction.
They may even help explain what symbolism in wedding ceremonies mean. Or they may simply inspire you to create that extra special moment within your own marriage ceremony.
Alternatively, I am totally open to discuss a new tradition you would like to start yourselves!
Wedding traditions + customs 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 other special people in your lives.
Here are a few examples:
The Unity Candle
One of the most common symbolic elements.
A member from each family, usually a parent, will light a single candle each. The couple then use those candles to simultaneously light a third, larger, unity candle.
They may blow out their families individual candles, 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, providing a beautiful keepsake from your wedding that you can light every year on your anniversary!
Couples can exchange roses, or any kind of flowers, as their first gift to each other as newlyweds.
Other variations can involve the couple presenting flowers to their new mother in-laws, as a token of respect and as a visual sign that they are embracing their new extended family.
The couple each take a carafe of wine and pour it into a single glass, which they both drink from.
Variation: Parents fill two seperate carafes before blending them 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, and with as many guests as you choose placing letters/notes inside.
Ring Warming Ceremony
This tradition involves passing wedding bands between family members/guests during the ceremony. Guests are invited to hold the rings for a brief moment, “warming” them with a special wish or blessing for the bride and groom, or their future together.
Handfasting is an ancient Celtic tradition, and one of the earliest forms of a recognised marriage.
The couples’ hands bound together together with ribbon or cords, symbolising the bonding of their two families through marriage. It also provides a visual representation of the promises they have made for their future together.
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.
This is the Spanish custom of giving wedding coins. The Groom gives the coins signifying the recognition of his responsibility as a provider. The bride accepts the coins, showing trust and unconditional confidence in her husband to be.
The couple, and any other immediate family members, 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. This can also be bottled and presented as a great wedding favour for your guests.
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 Marriage Celebrant/ or guest recites a ‘Blessing of the 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
Do it your way
Regardless of your choice of wedding tradition, you are free to put your own personal spin on it and show your personality as a couple. As an experienced Wedding Celebrant, all I need is an idea to run with! I can then help you to incorporate that idea into your wedding ceremony and ensure it adds meaning to your celebration!
The more you put into your ceremony, the more it will reflect in your memories as the years go by.