Posted by mswildcrd
Are you trying to make your ceremony unique? Want to do something besides a Unity Candle? Here are 25 fun ideas that you can incorporate into your wedding celebration.
Rose Ceremony: A simple unity ceremony where the bride and groom exchange roses as their first gifts to one another. Other variations: the families exchange roses, the bride and groom exchange roses with their families, the bride and groom exchange roses, then present their mothers with the roses.
Wine Ceremony: The bride and groom each take a carafe of wine and pour it into a single glass, which they both drink from. The below image is a variation of containers.
Wine Box Ceremony: A wine box sealed during your ceremony with a special bottle of wine to open on your anniversary!
Love Letter and Wine Box Ceremony: Similar idea to the wine box ceremony, however, you each add a sealed letter expressing what you love in each other and why you fell in love. Other keepsakes could also be included: photos of the couple, some flower petals thrown by the flower girl during the actual ceremony. The box is to be opened on a milestone anniversary or earlier if you feel your marriage has reached a hardship and you need to reflect upon the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry each other.
Celtic Oathing Stone: “The couple holds or puts their hands on a stone during their vows to “set them in stone”
The Pebble Tradition – or well wishes rocks. Have everyone hold a rock and bless it during the ceremony. After the ceremony they place it in a vase or other container for the newlyweds to display in their home.
Ring Warming Ceremony – rings can be passed around the room on a pillow or in a bag. The officiant can explain a little about it right at the beginning of the ceremony. http://offbeatbride.com/2009/08/ring-warming-wedding (or search google)
Everyone holds the rings for a few seconds and says a little blessing/prayer for them. Then by the time you do your vows the rings have made their way all the way around the room and all your loved ones have given their blessings.
An alternative is to have them displayed at the ceremony entrance, and have people give their blessings before they sit down.
Hand Blessing Ceremony: Bride and groom hold each other’s hands while a blessing if said.
The Unity Cross
The Unity Cross is a multi-piece sculpture that is assembled during the Unity Service of your Wedding Ceremony representing how the -Two become One. The Groom places the outer Cross in the beautiful wood base as the Pastor explains how God created man- Bold, Strong, the Defender of the Family yet how he is empty and incomplete without the woman. The Bride then places the more delicate cross inside of the Grooms cross as the Pastor explains how God created Woman- Delicate, multi-faceted, taking care of all of the little things that completes the man, and the -Two become One. The Bride and Groom then use the 3 golden pegs to lock the union (cross) together in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the pastor exclaims that: What God has brought together let no man take apart. Then the Unity Cross is taken home and displayed as a Daily Reminder of your Wedding Day and the Covenant that you both have made.
Cord of Three Strands: The cord of three strands symbolizes the joining of one man, one woman, and God into a marriage relationship. http://www.godsknot.com/CordOfThreeStrands.aspx
Feet Washing Ceremony: A beautiful idea for a Christian wedding. A sign of being humble, thoughtful, and willing to serve. Have a beautiful pitcher with just a little water in it, a bowl, and a sponge. The bride and groom take their shoes off, placed the sponge in the bowl, poured the water on top of the sponge, lightly washed each others feet with the sponge, the dried their feet off with a towel, and placed their shoes back on once they were done.You can get special monogrammed towels to go with it.
Handfasting: Handfasting is a simple and traditional ceremony used in Irish, Scottish, and Welsh weddings, which goes back to the medieval and renaissance period. It involves the tying of hands together to symbolize the coming together and remain tied together.
Unity Sand Ceremony: a symbolic blending of two different-colored sands into a single vessel. The blending of two different beings, into a single, inseparable unit that is their marriage — the joining of their lives. Hard as it would be to separate out those grains of sand, that’s how difficult it is to separate these two people. Multiple sand vessels can also be combined to include God or children.
wording options: http://www.forthisjoyousoccasion.com/unity-sand-ceremony.html
Salt Covenant: Many cultures consider salt to be the purest of all natural substances. Salt has also been seen as a symbol of other elements of life, such as permanence, purity and good luck. In the Bible, salt is mentioned in the expression “covenant of salt” in reference to the substance’s binding nature. By pouring the two separate jars of salt together, the couple are totally mixing the grains. It would be impossible to ever distinguish the salt as coming from one person or the others again, much as their commitment to each other before God can never be broken. (Don’t color your salt, then you can distinguish the grains.)
Your take on the Sand/Salt Ceremony: Mix any two items into one vessel. Are you chefs or have an interesting connection with food? White peppercorns and black lava salt, turmeric and paprika, salt and pepper, cinnamon and sugar.
Hour Glass Ceremony: A take on the sand ceremony but it can be turned on every anniversary. The idea is that when you put each color of sand in the glass they’re inseparable but not entwined. As time continues on the colors become so entwined they are impossible to part. http://heirloomhourglass.com/weddingunitysandceremony.html
Water Ceremony: “as you pour your yellow water into the container you bring sunshine and wisdom to your marriage…as you pour your blue water into the marriage vessel, you bring confidence, trust and loyalty to your marriage.”
“Science” Water Ceremony: clear to pink with phenolphthalein
Cat and Andrew came up with a science-based ceremony: “Since Andrew is a Chemist, and a big science nerd. His favorite moment was our special version of a candle lighting/unity ceremony. We each poured a vase what looked like plain water into a large pitcher, causing an instant color change from clear to pink. Magic! (I mean… science!) The audience gasped and applauded, and we were beaming.”
Tasting of Four Elements: An African-American wedding tradition. This ritual dramatizes the “Traditional” promise to love “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” Lemon, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and honey — represent the sour, the bitter, the hot, and the sweet times of marriage.
wording options: http://www.trystanphotography.com/tips-and-tricks/great-wedding-ceremony-ideas-tasting-elements/
Chocolate Ceremony: “By sharing this chocolate with each other, you promise to always be present for each other, in darkness and light, in sweet and bitter, in dismal and delicious.” by Celia Milton
German Wedding Cup: Centuries ago, in old Nuermberg, the nobel mistress Kunigunde fell in love with a young and ambitious goldsmith. Although Kunigunde’s wealthy father did not approve of this pair, it was clear that she only wanted the goldsmith to be her husband as she refused many titled and rich suitors who asked for her hand in marriage. Her father became so enraged that he had the young goldsmith thrown into the darkest dungeon. It did not end their love, and the father created what he thought to be an impossible task: “If your goldsmith can make a chalice from which two people can drink at the same time without spilling one single drop, I will free him and you shall become his bride.” The young goldsmith created a girl whose skirt was hollowed to serve as a cup and her raised arms held a ‘much smaller cup’ that swivels so that it could be filled and then swung towards a second drinker. The ”Bridal” or “Wedding Cup” remains a symbol; love, faithfulness and good luck await the couple who drink from this cup.
Red String of Fate: An East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend and is also used in Japanese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie a red cord around the ankles of those that are to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break.
Tree Planting Ceremony: Plant a tree together with a little dirt from your childhood home. An option is to have the parents water it to symbolize the way they have been an influence in teaching and encouraging love. After the ceremony, take the potted tree, and transplant it at the newlywed’s home to symbolize putting down roots, longevity, and strength within this marriage.
Unity Candle for an Outdoor Ceremony: Get a 3 hook shepherds hook and lanterns to hold the candles.
Actually “Tying the Knot”
Both the groom’s mom and the bride’s mom can present the couple with a long piece of thick ribbon or cord (2 different colors, maybe your wedding colors) which you will tie in a knot to symbolize the union of the two families. You can also plan to “tie the knot” every year on your anniversary with the same piece of ribbon/cord.
Maybe practice to get it smooth? Do it slow for the photographer.
* practice tying a sailors knot
* The groom first takes his piece of rope and makes a knot on one end of the brides’ piece of rope. Then, the bride makes a knot on her end of the rope.
* Then you both pull one of your ends, and the knots will slide together and “kiss” creating the knot.
* The fisherman’s knot is the strongest knot known – your love is its strongest when tied together.
Groom and Bride have chosen to do something unique and special today in tying “the love knot” (maybe tell something about how you plan to do this every year if you like that idea)
(Groom and Bride will be holding these strands for this part of the ceremony.)
Start Tying of the “love knot” (slow for photographer)
Spoken after you tie the first part of the knot
To start the knot, both Groom and Bride must do their part as individuals.
Groom: As these two strands intertwine
Bride: So we join, your life and mine.
bride and groom finish tying the knot
Officiant: spoken after you finish the knot
In finishing the knot, Groom and Bride will understand that only together, and through continued effort can they create a lasting union.
Truce Bell. A bell is rung on the wedding day, the happiest day of the couple’s lives and then is placed in a central location in the home. If the couple starts to argue, one of them can ring the truce bell, reminding them both of that happiness and hopefully ending the disagreement.
1,000 Origami Cranes:
Since the elegant bird mates for life, it is a popular motif in weddings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Some stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life of happiness or recovery from illness or injury. The duty of folding 1,000 cranes was initially assigned to the father of the bride who was wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. The the meaning and task of folding 1,000 cranes is now assigned to the bride; symbolic of showing the groom’s family what a patient woman the groom will be marrying. Couples can also do it together to practice patience, determination, and cooperation. If you wish to do this, know that on average, brides report investing more than 100 hours over six months.
gives a nice ceremony outline, and some examples of symbolic ceremonies.
ideas pulled from and some other ideas
Posted in Ceremony & Day of
Tags: 1000 origami cranes, bridal cup, celtic oathing stone, ceremony, Chinese, chocolate ceremony, cord of three strands, DIY, feet washing, fisherman's knot, German wedding cup, hand blessing, handfasting, hour glass, Irish, Japanese, Love letter, oath, outdoor, pebble tradition, red string of fate, ring warming, rose, salt covenant, Scottish, tasting of four elements, these are the hands, tradition, Tree planting, truce bell, tying the knot, unity, unity candle, unity cross, unity salt, unity sand, water ceremony, wedding, well wishes rocks, wine box, wine ceremony