Any number of these can be incorporated into a ceremony to make it truly unique for you.
Unity Candle – Two small candles or tapers are lit (usually by mothers of the Bride and Groom) during the ceremony to signify the life of the Bride and the Groom. The Unity Candle is then lit simultaneously using the individual candles to symbolise the joining of two lives into one and the creation of a new family.
This candle can be relit on each wedding anniversary to symbolise the continuance of the love and the light you share.
Love Letter and Wine Box
Both the Bride and Groom write a love letter that is not shared with each other. You can write about what made you fall in love with the other person, how you have grown since you’ve met, and what your hopes and dreams are for the future. You seal your letter in an envelope and give it to your Celebrant. During the actual wedding ceremony, the love letters are placed in the box which holds a bottle of wine or champagne and locked shut. The box will be carefully stored in your home and on the 1st anniversary of this wonderful day the Bride and Groom will open the box, share the wine/champagne together and read the letters they originally wrote to each other.
Warming of the Rings – The wedding rings are placed in a small organza bag. They are then passed around family members or friends to be “warmed” or wished upon before being placed on the Bride and Groom’s fingers. This is a symbolic representation of family and friends wishing the best for the couple and recognition of their involvement in the lives of the couple.
Rose Ceremony – The Bride and Groom give each other a rose. A single red rose means “I love you” and this ceremony gives recognition to the new and honourable title of husband and wife as well as the first gift being given in this new role.
Sharing of Wine – This is a tradition where the Bride and Groom drink three times. The first is a drink to friendship, the second to commitment of love and the third represents the unity of spirit.
Hand Fasting – The Bride and Groom’s hands are tied together (loosely). The inter-woven fibres of the ribbon represents the interconnected facets of their lives. The loop and tied knot which remains after the hands are removed symbolises infinity and the joining of the couple, tied together forever.
Honouring a special person – With blended families becoming increasingly the norm, the inclusion of children into the wedding ceremony acknowledges the very real need to honour the uniting of two adults and their offspring.
When families blend through a shared adult couple, there is potential for more than this loving relationship alone. Children can be included into the wedding ceremony to help make them feel special and a wanted part of the new family.
Sand Ceremony – The sand ceremony has several symbolic features. Firstly, one can imagine the sand as the foundation of the place from which each partner has come – his or her literal home ground. Secondly,
the sand may represent the sands of time as they pass through the hourglass, measuring out our time on Earth, and the grains as all the various things that combine to create our lived experience.
Unity Bowl – This ceremony is an example of honouring the range of generational influences on the lives of the Bride and Groom, especially when these people are able to attend the wedding ceremony. It also allows children of the couple to be included.
The Bride and Groom choose a glass bowl that will have a prominent
place in their home. Each person who has some relationship to them, for example, grandparents, parents, siblings, or through other relationships (godparents, step-parents, guardians) is given a small bag that is filled with coloured marbles or stones. Each bag holds a colour that is unique to that person.
The stones are placed into the bowl that the couple has chosen. This represents the foundation of the family and the wedding itself. After everyone has added their stones to the mix, the celebrant mingles the colours and then the Bride and Groom add their stones as well.
To conduct the sand ceremony, two containers of sand – one each for the Bride and Groom – are required, with a third container (preferably made of clear glass) for the celebrant. The Bride and Groom pour their sand into the third container symbolising the blending of their lives together which can never be separated.
Flower ceremony – This is a simple addition to the traditional ceremony. It is also an easy way to acknowledge the mothers during the service. As the bride walks down the aisle she presents a single flower from her bouquet to her mother.
After the wedding ceremony is complete she hands a flower from her bouquet to her mother-in-law on her way back down the aisle. The Flower Ceremony brings you together in accepting all parts of your personality and uniting them.
Dove Release – For many centuries, the White Dove has been a symbol of peace, love and new beginnings.
Butterfly Release – The Bride and Groom release several butterflies and as they fly upward, silently, the guests make a silent wish for the couple.
Stone Ceremony – This ceremony works particularly well for beach weddings. The Bride and Groom are given a stone each, and they cast it into a body of water (usually the sea or a river) to symbolise their unity so long as the river flows or the tide ebbs and returns.