Ceremonial Symbolic Acts
A Wedding Ceremony can be greatly enhanced and personalised, by the inclusion of various symbolic acts. They can provide a poignant visual content and are ways through which couples can physically demonstrate their love for each other. A symbolic act is also a great way to include important guests such as children, parents or special friends within the ceremony.
The wedding celebration is a public declaration of the couple’s private commitment to each other. It’s a mini piece of theatre in which the bride and groom each publicly demonstrate their love for one another; inclusion of symbolic acts within the ceremony, simply adds to the drama of the occasion.
Weddings are already full of symbolism; white dresses, flowers, wedding readings, exchanging rings, wedding cakes, the special introduction, etc. are all outward visible expressions of an internal union of hearts. As part of their wedding ceremony, couples often choose to add extra special symbolic acts as an additional demonstration of their love for each other.
A bespoke ceremony allows you to symbolise your unity by including small, physical gestures of love, that will help make your day truly unique and memorable.
Here are a few ideas…
This is a special way to involve all of your guests in your ceremony. A ring warming is when you give all your guests, the opportunity to hold and imbue your wedding bands with their wishes for your future happiness. By the time your rings make it onto your fingers, they will be saturated with the love and affection of your friends and family. Everyone will be welcome to bring their own beliefs into your ceremony, in a private but meaningful way.
First Kiss Last Kiss
This is a lovely way to include both mothers (and possibly fathers) of the Bride and Groom. As the people who gave you your first kiss in life, they are invited to come forward and give you their last kiss, before handing you over, with their blessing, to your new husband or wife. It’s proving quite popular to include this as a surprise for your mother’s – and is guaranteed to get the ceremony started with a massive ‘Awww’. Pass the tissues!
Unity Candle Ceremony
There are many ways in which candles can be used within a ceremony. A common way to do this is that two tall thin candles, which represent the Bride and Groom, are lit at start of the ceremony. At an appropriate point, they are used to light a large, central candle which represents the couple’s union, the joining of two families and their love for one another. You can either source your own candles or I can arrange to supply fully personalised ones for you.
Unity Sand Ceremony
The Bride and Groom each have a transparent container filled with sand of a different colour. There is a third vase into which you will pour your sands together. The two colours will then mix, symbolising your union and the fusion of your two personalities. Just as the grains of sand can never be separated, so your union will be impossible to separate. This is a beautiful inclusion which also provides a permanent keepsake of your big day. It can be extended to include children, parents, etc. We’ll just need more colours and more containers!
A Handfasting Ceremony is an ancient tradition that originated in the British Isles. Originally, this pagan ceremony bound two people for a fixed period of one year and one day, during which time they had to make a child. If this goal was not achieved within the time allowed, the couple separated and resumed their lives on their own!
Today, it is used a symbolic act, between the Bride and Groom. The future spouses cross their hands and one, or several, guests come to tie coloured ribbons or cords around their hands.
Jumping the Broom
This is a wonderful addition to any wedding ceremony. It symbolises sweeping away the old, and welcoming the new. It originates from African marriage traditions but today, couples of all races can choose to include this wonderful symbolic ritual, which always adds a touch of fun and energy to their ceremony. It usually marks the end of the ceremony and is often combined with a handfasting ceremony. Choosing and decorating your broom is all part of the fun, and it will also serve as a wonderful memento of your wedding day for years to come.
Burning your Fears
On the eve of the ceremony, each of the future married couple writes on paper their doubts, fears, apprehensions and worries about the future. On the day of their union, the Bride and Groom together burn their fears in a container. This act symbolises the fact that the marriage will support them in times of difficulty and together they will face all that the future holds them. It marks their willingness to move forward and face any trials together.
On the day of your wedding, each of you brings to the ceremony a rose, or another flower of your choice. Once your promises are exchanged, you will place your flowers together in a vase. Once you take them to your home, you will find a special place for this first gift that you have made to each other as a husband and wife. On each wedding anniversary, renew the ritual by offering each other a rose again.
The Marriage Library
This idea allows all your guests to participate. Each person presents a book on the day; one that is particularly close to their heart or one they feel would be most suitable for you! Inside the book, the guest writes an inscription, explaining why he wants chose it. All the books will form a library; rich in memories and meaning. Each time you pick up a book to read, you will find the words of one of your wedding guests and remember you special day.
Love Letters & Wine
Here, the Bride and Groom prepare a ritual that will take place 1, 5 or even 10 years in the future! They each write a letter intended for their partner for a few years time. The letters, along with a good bottle of wine, are enclosed in a sealed wooden box. We can permanenty nail it shut which provides quite a fun activity and a surprise for your guests! The couple then open it on their chosen anniversary, when they will drink the wine and read the messages that were written for their wedding.
Loving Cup Ceremony
In these ceremonies, the couple pour and taste the first drink that they will share together as husband and wife. The cup/goblet/Quaich can be passed around all, or some of guests, enabling others to drink to the couple’s future lives together.
For the wine ceremony, the Bride and Groom can pour red and white wine into a two-handled loving cup to create a blush, symbolising their unity and a combining of spirits that can never be separated.
Although this has its roots firmly in Jewish tradition, it doesn’t mean you can’t include it in your ceremony. This fun and dramatic act is based on the Jewish wedding tradition of the breaking of a glass by the groom at the end of the wedding ceremony. (Or for a modern take on this, both the Bride and Groom break a glass!) This is a great way to mark the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the celebrations with a bang!