12 Meaningful Ceremony Rituals
Make your wedding more personal with ceremony rituals
Read through our meaningful ceremony rituals, maybe even get inspired to incorporate a gorgeous tradition into your nuptials!
Unity Candle Ceremony
The candle unity ceremony involves the engaged couple each having their own taper candle and using them together to light the flame of a larger pillar candle. One of the most well-known ritual ceremonies, the candle unity ceremony symbolises the strength that the couple have together, as their two smaller candles burn brighter together and are strong enough to light the third candle.
The handfasting ceremony, also known as the tying the knot ceremony and where the phrase tying the know originates, involves joining the hands of the marital couples by tying them together with ribbon, cord or even vines. You can make the handfasting even more personal by choosing the type of knot you want or by using significant material, such as the ribbon being from your mother’s bouquet when she got married. This ritual is usually incorporated at the end of the ceremony as the final vow to be bound together for the rest of your life.
A symbolic ritual, the sand ceremony is a lovely addition to the more traditional ceremony. During the sand ceremony, the couple each have a container of coloured sand. One at a time they pour the sand into a third container or vase to create layers, symbolising two becoming one. This is a great ritual to perform if you want to include other family members, be that children, parents or siblings, to unify the coming together of two families. Once poured the sand will be almost impossible to serrate back into the individual colours, just as the couple and their families will become inseparable.
Tree planting ceremony
Before the ceremony, each of the couple will collect a container full of soil, from their own parents’ garden or a significant place to the individual. During the ceremony, the couple with plant a tree in a large pot, filling it with the soil from both of their significant places. The tree that is chosen could be from a cutting from a family members’ garden or selected because of its symbolic meaning. Water it into the soil together and once you are home re-plant it in the ground if you prefer. The tree symbolises your growing relationship and love, as well as reminding you that you have to keep nurturing it, as you will your relationship, to keep it alive and blossoming.
The ring warming ceremony can include a few family members or your entire guest list. Before the registrar or celebrant performs the ‘giving of the rings’ the rings are passed around the selected members of the congregation to hold for a few seconds while they each bless them and warm them with their love. When you put the rings on, you are doing so with the love and well wishes from your guests.
Passing around rope all the wedding guests lets everybody join in on the ceremony, signalling their commitment to supporting the marriage. This is a great way to show your love for your significant other’s family and friends. It symbolises their union to each other and if they’re religious it’s a great way to show their dedication to their religion.
Wrap yourselves in blankets
This custom is a Native American ritual that involves wrapping a blanket around the newlyweds’ shoulders to symbolise warmth and togetherness. However, the Cherokee tradition is a bit more in depth, wrapping both parties individually in blue blankets first, before an officiant blesses the two, then they will be wrapped in a white blanket - the blue represents the couple’s past lives and the white represents dedication to their new lives. This is a lovely message of warmth, comfort and dedication.
Exit under an arch of swords
To exit under an arch of swords is a tradition that is reserved for military weddings, this tradition symbolises more than the symbolism of commitment that newlyweds have for each other, this is a pledge of fidelity and protection from he military to the couple. Service members will shelter the married couple beneath the sword arch as they exit their ceremony. This tradition sends a message of unity and protection.
Releasing a lantern
This is a lovely ritual to do after the ceremony, the couple releases a paper lantern into the air and make a wish, allowing their wishes and their love to pass into the universe as one. The couple might release the lantern on their own or there will be a few for guests to be able to release some lanterns as well.
Lighting a Unity candle
To light a unity candle is symbolic of merging two families into one, a visual of two individual lives joining together as one through the action of marriage. Lighting a candle is a great way to bring light to wishes or desires, which can translate into your hopes for your marriage, making it a great way to start life as a married couple.
The Mexican tradition of “lazo” or lasso, a unity ceremony performed after their exchange of vows where a lasso made of rosary beads and flowers is draped around their shoulders in a shape of figure eight. “El lazo” represents the unity of the couple, but its shape also resembles the infinity symbol, meaning the couple hope the marriage will last eternity.
Jumping the Broom
Amanda, an award winning celebrant does personalised and unique wedding ceremonies so that yourself and your partner can incorporate your family traditions without limitations. One of the previous ceremony rituals Amanda has done is the ritual of "jumping the broom" in which couples use the broom to symbolically sweep away their lives as single people and unite together as one. The ritual has Celtic, Welsh, Druid and Roma Gypsy origin, but also has been traced back to Africa a long time ago. Jumping the broom is a unique and fun way to enter married life together, you could even get your guests involved afterwards and make it a fun activity for all to join in with.
Whatever you choose to do on your big day, consider incorporating meaningful traditions.
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