Ceremonies Within Your Ceremony

Wedding ceremonies can be a true expression of your relationship and a meaningful start to your marriage. One way to make your wedding day more personal is through the incorporation of symbolic rituals and unity ceremonies. Here are some examples of ceremonies you can include as part of your “I Do’s.”
(Find this unity candle set here.)
Unity Candle Ceremony – Prior to the Unity Candle Ceremony, the bride and groom each light their own taper candles as a symbol of their individual lives and experiences. During the ceremony, they will use their respective candles to light a large pillar candle together, signifying the joining of their lives through marriage.
Sand Ceremony – A similar concept to the Unity Candle, the Sand Ceremony is another physical representation of a couple’s union. The bride and groom take turns pouring their own vials of colored sand into a larger vessel creating a meaningful keepsake. Couples can choose to show the blending of entire families by giving their parents or even their children a color of sand to add to the vessel.  The sand can be kept in a variety of objects, from personalized vases to vintage hourglasses or even special picture frames.
(Find this salt convenant here.)
Salt Covenant – It’s said that during ancient times, agreements and promises were sealed through a Salt Covenant.  A person would take a pinch of salt from his or her pouch and place it into another’s.  Any agreement sealed this way could not be broken unless the person could retrieve his or her own grains of salt from the other’s pouch.  Since this is a pretty impossible task, the agreement was essentially sealed forever. This symbolism works perfectly for wedding vows.
The Lasso Ceremony – The Lasso Ceremony is another way to bind a husband and wife together. The lasso can be made out of cords, ribbons, rosary beads, flowers, crystals or other precious materials. It is draped around the couple’s shoulders in a figure 8 or infinity shape to symbolize the unending strength of the marriage. This ceremony can be performed by the officiant, family members or anyone else who has had an impact on the couple’s relationship. 
Handfasting – This is a way to literally “tie the knot.” This particular ceremony usually happens after the ring exchange. The couple joins hands and the officiant ties their hands together with cords, ribbons, or fabric. Hands represent a source of strength and comfort throughout a marriage. Binding them together is the first step in a couple’s journey to build a future together side by side, hand in hand.
Ring Warming – The Ring Warming Ceremony is a beautiful way to take the ring exchange a step further while including the wedding guests. Early in the ceremony, the rings are tied together and passed around to the guests who are asked to say a silent prayer or blessing for the couple when the rings reach them. By the time the bride and groom exchange the rings, they are filled with the warmth and love of their family and friends. For larger weddings, couples can opt to pass the rings to immediate family or the bridal party rather than all of the guests.
(Find these stones here.)
Stone Ceremony – This is another guest inclusive ceremony that doesn’t require the couple to part with their rings. Each guest makes a wish for the couple on a small polished stone. The stones are collected in a single container to be kept by the bride and groom for years to come. Stones can be substituted with shells, sea glass, crystals, flowers or another object of the couple’s choosing.
Planting Ceremony – A Planting Ceremony is a perfect example of the effort a marriage takes to grow and thrive.  The bride and groom can place a sapling or plant into a pot and collect a small container of dirt from their respective homes. During the ceremony they can each pour the dirt from their containers into the pot and then water the plant together. After the wedding, the tree or plant can be transferred to the newlyweds’ home as a concrete way to put down roots together.
Tasting Ceremony – Tasting ceremonies represent the different emotions and phases of a marriage. The Wine and Chocolate Ceremony pairs bitter chocolate with sweet wine, while the Tasting of the Elements uses sour lemon, bitter vinegar, spicy cayenne and sweet honey.  Sampling the flavors in either of these ceremonies acts as a reminder that the future will be full of ups and downs, but if a couple can get through the hard times, they will enjoy the sweetness in the end.
Wine Box and Love Letter Ceremony – Prior to the wedding, the bride and groom should write a love letter to each other explaining the reasons they fell in love and their hopes for their marriage. They cannot read each other’s letters. During the ceremony, the couple will place their letters along with two glasses and a bottle of wine into a strong wooden box before it is sealed shut. Should the relationship ever hit a rocky point, they should open the box, share the wine and read the letters as a way to remember all of the love they felt before their wedding day. If that difficult time never comes, then they can open the box as a way to celebrate a milestone anniversary. A variation of this ceremony has the couple write a new letter each year as a way to create a time capsule of their relationship.

Remember, these are just some of the many ceremonies you can use. Don’t be afraid to adapt or even combine rituals to make them apply to your relationship or to the look and feel of your wedding day. Get creative! Anything you feel strongly about can be incorporated into a unique ceremony that will make your wedding unforgettable.


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