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It represents the merging of the Bride and Groom and of the two families into one inseparable unit. This ritual has two parts: the first part takes place near the beginning of the ceremony, where the two special participants are asked to present the individual candles to be lighted. Then those candles stand ablaze while you and your spouse listen to the beautiful and unique ceremony I created for you. Following the exchanging of vows and rings, you and your spouse will then complete the ritual by lighting a center candle. But there are many ways to do this, maybe you want to lit all of at the same time or maybe your mothers or a family member will lit the taper candles during the Processional and then you lit the pilar candle during the ceremony.
Reverse Unity Candle
It can start similiar as the unity candle. All guests, including bridal party were provided candles prior the start of the ceremony. A family member will lit the taper candles at the beginning of the ceremony and towards the end, the couple uses those candles to lit the candles of every guest. Either the couple or the Best Man and Maid of Honor, will lit the candle of the perosn next to the same and sucesive until all candles are lit.
This looks beautiful but preferably done indoors and sunset or evening hours where the effect can be appreciated in photos and a magical moment created.
Is a beautiful and meaningful unifying ceremony from Hawaii that symbolizes the joining together of the Bride and Groom or the blending together of their families. It began to gain more popularity here on the “mainland” within the last 20 years, especially among those seeking a non-denominational and non-religious ceremony. There are two versions: one for the couple and one for the family, but I can tailor it any way you’d like. It makes a lovely alternative to the Unity Candle Lighting Ceremony, especially if you would like to include the participation of children.
Jumping the Broom
The meaning behind Jumping the Broom has evolved since its origins, and, according to the most commonly used interpretation, it now focuses on its primary significance: the sweeping away of past transgressions, the removal of and protection from evil spirits, and the welcoming of a new beginning. Whatever your beliefs may be, I will tailor this custom to suit your preferences.
You can buy it and others prefer to use a regular household broom decorated with bows, flowers, and/or other trinkets in their wedding colors. At some receptions, guests may participate in the ceremony by tying ribbons around the broom before the Broom Jumping begins.
Have you ever wondered where the phrase “tying the knot” came from? It refers to the ancient marriage ritual of Handfasting, which is a custom found across cultures around the world. Isn’t fascinating that so many different people performed a similar ritual?! It was recognized as a binding contract of marriage between and man and woman before weddings became a legal function of the government or a papal responsibility of the church. After the wedding vows and ring exchange, the couple’s hands are bound together with a cord, strap or fabric that is tied in a love knot, signifying the joining of their lives in a sacred union. Today, it is a symbolic ceremony to honor a couple’s desire for never-ending commitment to each other and to acknowledge that their lives and their destinies are now bound together. The Serbian Handfasting is one of my favorites!
Tying the Knot
This is literally! Instead of a handfasting, the couple trully ties a knot during the ceremony. The meaning of it, is that it takes 2 to create a couple and in this case, the couple has to work together to tie the ropes. The Fisherman's knot, which is the strongest knot created, is performed by the couple to symbolize their desire to work together and their unbreakable bond.
Is a great twist of the handfasting for couple and guests to enjoy.
Wine Box- Time Capsule
A few weeks before the wedding, take some time to each write a letter to one another in private, expressing your thoughts about the good qualities that you found in your future partner, the reasons for falling in love, and your hopes and dreams for the future. Place your letter in an envelope, and seal it with the name of your partner on the outside. You can also include CDs of your favorite music, memorable photos of you together, and other mementos making it your own romantic time capsule.
The Wine Box should be opened anywhere from 5 to 25 years later on your wedding anniversary, depending on the wine and storing conditions you will be able to accommodate. You will be reminded of what brought you two together, and the hope is that your relationship has aged as well as the fine wine has. This is a glorious way to celebrate your dedication to each other on your wedding anniversary!
Couples Rose Exchange
This is a lovely Ceremony Enhancement geared for you and your partner. Something similra is done in Hindu ceremonies where the couple exchange Varmala (rose garland). It is the very first gift you give to each other as partners for life, and it symbolizes your ever-growing love for one another. On each wedding anniversary you share, it is suggested that you add another rose to the vessel. In addition, many couples will use the symbol of a rose to represent their heartfelt intentions and thoughts.
Ceremony of the Rose (Mothers)
The Ceremony of the Rose symbolizes the merging of the Bride and Groom’s families by paying respect to the women who first taught the couple what it means to give and receive unconditional love—their mothers. At the beginning of the ceremony, once the Bride is received, she will give her mother a kiss and a rose. Once the ceremony has ended, she and the Groom will stop and offer another rose and kiss to the Groom’s mother. In doing this, the Bride is expressing gratitude to these women for preparing her and her new husband for their beautiful relationship as husband and wife.
Wine Ceremony/Unity Loving Cup/Toast
Sharing a glass of wine has been included in many different ceremonies dating back to the 15th century, having it roots in Scottland and France. Thinking about wine and how it is made helps us understand its special relationship to a wedding ceremony. Like your relationship with your true companion, wine making requires a certain environment, patience, tenderness, and loving care to cultivate the very best the grape has to offer. Many couples wanting to incorporate the Sharing of the Wine—Unity Cup find it to be a perfect segue to the Breaking of the Glass Ceremony. Nevertheless, the Sharing of the Wine—Unity Cup is not restricted to any particular custom or faith, and it makes a lovely complement to your sacred promise to each other.
I have perfomed multiple variances of this, from a champagne toast with all guests toward the end, to a unity cup where mothers and couple drank to a toast just between the couple.
Breaking of the Glass
The breaking of the Jewish wedding glass is a perfect way to include a touch of tradition to an interfaith or civil marriage ceremony. It takes place at the end of the wedding ceremony when the Groom stomps on a glass enveloped in a napkin or satchel, at which point the guests shout “Mazel Tov!” (meaning “congratulations” or “good luck”) or “Siman Tov!” (meaning “good sign” or “good omen” and “a wishing of good things to come”). I recommend that you select the interpretation that resonates with you and your partner so that the act holds more significance for you. The breaking of the glass symbolizes the fragility of life, because whatever we see before us as whole can be broken at any moment. It reminds us of the need to care for one another. Many times couples save the pieces of glass from the ceremony in a symbolic box.
The Cord of Three Strands
Traditionally this symbolizes the joining of one man, one woman and God into marriage, but as with any ritual, it can be used in any situation and non-religious ceremonies as well.
Is a great addition to a traditional wedding ceremony, it adds an unique element to your ceremony that friends and family will remember.
At a certain point in the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom braid the Cord of Three Strands together. The groom or Officiant holds the strands and the bride/groom braid the strands together, symbolizing their union as husband and wife.
The colors of the cords is significant:
Gold Strand - Represents God at the center of the Marriage
Purple Strand - Represents the Groom
White Strand - Represents the Bride
The Chocolate & Wine Ceremony
This ceremony represents that life has both bitter and sweet moments and that you will experience them together.This Ceremony Enhancement can be placed anywhere in the ceremony but many couples choose to have it just before their wedding vows. You will need two small portions of Dark Chocolate that represent the bitter and two glasses of Red Wine to represent the sweet.
As wedding ceremonies become more meaningful and personalized, there are many different ways of bringing special touches for couples who want their guests to feel included in their ceremony.
During a ring warming, the couple’s wedding rings are passed among their guests, who are asked to say a prayer, blessing, or make a special wish for the couple over the rings while holding them. This intimate exchange brings all of the loving thoughts of the couple’s families and friends into the rings that the couple will be wearing for a lifetime. It brings an inclusive element of the ceremony and connects the couple with their loved ones in attendance.
Since this is a fairly new trend and somewhat non-traditional, there’s a good chance many of your guests will have never heard of it. You may want me to explain its meaning or adding an explanation in your wedding program about how the ringwarming ceremony works and why it is important to you. When your rings finally come to rest upon your hand, they will contain not only the love you have for one another, but also the love, hope and pledge of support of all those that you love.
Lantern or Balloon Release
In ancient China, sky lanterns were used as a method of communication on the battlefield. Naturally, these beautiful ornamental lights have found their way into many celebrations with their thought-provoking beauty, including wedding ceremonies! For couples, it represents the letting go of the past and embracing your new role as “partner for life” with the person you love most in this world. If your ceremony is outdoors and is set to begin around dusk, this is a magical way to end the most important part of the day.
A little twist to it, is the release of bio-degradable helium balloons which can be used at any time of the day. I used it with a couple for their Blending families ceremony, instead of sand, all balloons were tied together during the ceremony and released while background music played.
The Tree Planting Ceremony represents the nurturing, tender-loving care that is required for your relationship to evolve. Love is the root from which all things spring forth and the hope is that your relationship and love for one another will mature and blossom just as the tree you planted on your wedding day. It will serve as a visual reminder of your commitment to each other because just as the tree will need daily and constant care, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment. Each year, the growth of the tree will represent all that you have accomplished, endured, celebrated, and shared with each other and its strength and height will give you the hope and encouragement you need to continue on your journey together. This is a wonderful way to include other family members too!For a very special touch, the couple will have their own pot of earth from your home or birth blace.
Dove or Butterfly Release
Releasing Doves or Butterflies at a wedding ceremony is a very beautiful moment for all to witness. Doves mate for life, so they serve as a perfect symbol for the newly wedded couple. Releasing them during the wedding ceremony visually represents the couple beginning a new life together. It is the hope of everyone in attendance that you and your new partner will begin this new segment of your life with the same freedom, ease and peace as the doves’ flight. Whether the doves or butterflies are released to commemorate departed loved ones in the beginning of the ceremony or they are used immediately following your recitation of vows, releasing doves or butterflies in your ceremony is a unique and memorable enhancement.
This is a very unique and creative manner to represent the blending of the families (used with children as well) that the couple can later display at their homes. Pieces of glass are used during the ceremony, just like a sand ceremony takes place that later will be melted and a one of a kind creation will be made, just like the couple's family.
As you can imagine, when wanting to incorporate the concept of blending families and uniqueness, you can pretty much do any kind of "unity". I stress to couples to do something different or even to create something new, specially if it is something that represents them so the ceremony can be personalized instead of something standard. The photo was a ceremony
I did 2 years ago and the couple (both work in the pharmaceutical field) did a unity reaction. The liquids when mixed turned blue and all of their guests easily understood the meaning of it as it represented very well the couple and their relationship.
Adding a ritual or tradition to your ceremony is sure to elicit many compliments from your family and friends because some of them are fairly new and uncommon, others are a bit more traditional but all are a great addition to any ceremony style.
I can also design the ceremony to include other family members, such as children, parents, grandparents and so forth. Be sure to ask for more details on any of these special Ceremony Enhancements because they can all be adapted to suit your preferences or you can create your own to reflect your own relationship or what is important to you as a couple.
There are many options, here are a few ideas. As usual, you can create your own!
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