Unity Candle Ceremony - A symbolic ceremony that has the bride and groom light a single candle representing their willingness to walk life's pathways together as one.
Sand Ceremony – This ceremony can be a beautiful and meaningful alternative to the "Unity Candle" ceremony. The pouring of two different colored grains of sand together is used to symbolize the joining of the couple or the "joining of their families." If there are children in the relationship, they too can participate in the ceremony by using their own container of sand. After the service, the vessel that contains all the different colored sand remains as a keepsake of your ceremony.
Rose Ceremony - In this brief ceremony the bride and groom present each other with their first gift as wife and husband; a red rosebud (a symbol of Love).
Honor Your Mother - Here is an honorable tribute that will fill your mother and mother-in-laws' hearts with joy and pride. Plus a very subtle way to honor close family members who have passed on and the colors of roses and their special meanings.
Blended Family Ceremony - When the bride and/or groom have children, it is appropriate for the children to be included in the wedding ceremony. Children will accept a parent's remarriage more readily when they feel included in the wedding ceremony. Pouring different colored sands together is another way to symbolize the joining of the bride and groom and their family together. The children love this version. See the Blending of the Sands Ceremony.
The Loving Cup Ceremony - The purpose of the Loving Cup ceremony is for the bride and groom to share their first drink together as wife and husband and to show the coming together of two families. Special words can be added to include the Bride and Groom's parents (and friends) as part of this ceremony.
The Lasso Ceremony - This tradition is usually associated with Hispanic and Filipino families. Lasso (sometimes called, "lazo") or rope is placed around the bride and groom's shoulders after they have exchanged their vows to symbolize their everlasting union.
The Handfasting Ceremony - This Celtic tradition of Handfasting is an ancient commitment ceremony. It is the predecessor to the modern wedding ceremony.
The Gold Coins Ceremony - The custom of the giving of wedding coins originated in Spain. Thirteen gold coins (arras) are given to the bride by the bridegroom, signifying his willingness to support her.
- The 7 Steps (or Blessings) Ceremony- This Hindu Ceremony has several components and it is quite beautiful. It includes 7 Sanskrit blessings as the bride and groom walk 7 times around a table as the minister recites the 7 blessings.
The Breaking of the Glass Ceremony - The breaking of the glass serves as a separation between the awe of the ceremony and the reception celebration that will follow. Although this ceremony is traditional and of Jewish origin, many couples choose to incorporate it into traditional and non-traditional ceremonies.
The Love Letter & Wine Box Ceremony - Here's an idea that will certainly grab the attention of the guests, add some pizzazz to your ceremony and incorporate a new twist into your celebration. Take a wooden box, write each other a letter, put your favorite bottle of wine in it and each nail the box shut to be opened at an agreed upon date in the future.
The Circling Ceremony - In the Jewish tradition, after the bride and groom first enter the huppah (a canopy traditionally used in Jewish weddings), or the bride walks to the alter escorted by her father, the bride circles the groom three or seven times.
The Butterfly Release Ceremony - The butterfly symbolizes new beginnings and rebirths. What better way to celebrate the beginning of a new life together than with the releasing of butterflies at your wedding.
White Doves Release Ceremony - As a true symbol of Love, the White Dove chooses its mate for life, therefore they are a very fitting and final addition to any wedding. They create a magical atmosphere as they circle the skies before leaving on their new journey together.
Jumping the Broom Ceremony - The Jumping the Broom Ceremony is an African American tradition. It signifies their entrance into a new life and their creation of a new family by symbolically "sweeping away" their former single lives, former problems and concerns, and jumping over the broom to enter upon a new adventure as wife and husband.
The Oathing Stone Ceremony - Embrace the old European tradition to add a meaningful highlight to your wedding ceremony. The Oathing Stone is an old Scottish tradition where the Bride and Groom place their hands upon a stone while saying their wedding vows. It is said that this stone is to signify that this is the first ‘block’ in building their new lives as a married couple.
The Cord of Three Strands Ceremony - The Cord of Three Strands ceremony (often called "God's Knot" or the Unity Braid Ceremony) symbolizes the joining of one man, one woman, and God into a marriage relationship. It adds a truly unique element to your ceremony that friends and family will remember. The cord of three strands ceremony is a great addition to any wedding ceremony.
The Hand Blessing Ceremony - In this Ceremony, hands are held palms-up in the hands of the other and a blessing is read as a reminder of what these hands mean to your relationship with each other.
Godparents Celebration Ceremony with Sand - It is a great honor when friends ask you to be a Godparent (aka, mentor, supporting adult, Godparent, guide parent, or guardian) and is an awesome responsibility and signals that they really trust you. You can invite them to represent you as they pour sand in the sand ceremony.
Native Vase Ceremony – This ceremony utilizes a Native American Vase the couple takes turns drinking from a single vase to symbolize the life they will share as together. The two separate spouts remind them that they will remain two separate and unique individuals even as their lives become one. The vase with three spouts where the couple drinks from it symbolizing the part of their lives they share with one another. It depends on what type vase you use and you then use appropriate wording and prayers to create it.
The Blanket Ceremony – A Native American tradition where a blanket is placed over the couple are first wrapped individually in blue blankets. While wrapped in the blankets, the officiant blesses the couple's union. The blankets are then removed and the couple wrapped in a single white blanket. The blue blankets represent the elements of the couple's individual past lives and the white blanket the couple's dedication to filling their new lives with peace and happiness. The blanket ceremony is used in Cherokee wedding ceremonies, according to First Nation Ministry, but can be used by any couple.
The Painting Ceremony- The couple stands before an easel and each uses a different color to make the painting of a heart (or whatever they choose) and they create a keepsake of their day as well.
The Cake Exchange – In this ceremony, one person places their hand over the other as they cut the cake, but the officiant tells the guests about how the person holding the knife is taking the role of the action in the relationship, the person who will ensure everything goes according to plan and executes the plans. The other person that places their hand on the person’s hand that is holding the knife, is said to be the planner and guide in the relationship. The person’s hand under the other accepts the guidance of the other and the person who has their hand that resting on top agrees to provide strength and support to the other. As they cut the cake together, they then make another slice in the cake, exchanging the positions of the hands to signify that each person shall be responsible to take on whatever role is necessary and that by working together, they can accomplish anything.
Italian/Greek Almond Tradition- The couple serves candied almonds to the guests to signify the bitterness and sweetness of life.
Ring Warming – This ceremony can be done in many ways: you may choose to have your rings placed in a pouch and the officiant invites each guest to hold the rings and make a wish or blessing on them; you can have the rings at the entrance to your ceremony and have each person warm them with their blessing as they enter; you can run a ribbon through the guests and the rings are threaded through the ribbon and the guests move the rings along the ribbon and bless them and move them along.
The couple then warms each other’s rings prior to exchanging them during the ceremony.
What else? Can you think of one you would like to use that is not listed here? Did you create one or want to create one of your own? Let’s talk about it! Make a PB&J sandwich together or create a mixed drink! There are way too many choices to list them all, but we can find one(s) that speak to you to make your wedding unique and meaningful to you!