The Unity Candle Lighting Ceremony, represents the merging of the COUPLE, and of the two families, into one inseparable unit.
This ritual has two parts: the first part takes place near the beginning of the ceremony, where the couple or two participants chosen by the couple, light the two outer candles. Following the exchange of vows and rings, you and your partner will then complete the ritual by lighting a centre candle.
This is merely one way to create the perfect ending to your magical day, and I can tailor this Ceremony Enhancement a number of ways to suit your preferences.
For example, the candles can represent the past, the present and the future, each one being lit by a guest of your choosing e.g. Grandparent for the past, Parent for the present and you and your partner representing the future.
Have you ever wondered where the phrase “tying the knot” came from? It refers to the ancient marriage ritual of Handfasting, which is a custom found across cultures around the world. ( Isn’t it fascinating that so many different people performed a similar ritual ?! )
It was recognized as a binding contract of marriage between a couple before weddings became a legal function of the government or a papal responsibility of the church.
After the wedding vows and ring exchange, the couple’s hands are bound together with a cord, strap, or fabric that is tied in a love knot, signifying the joining of their lives in a sacred union.
Today, it is a symbolic ceremony to honor a couple’s desire for never-ending commitment to each other and to acknowledge that their lives and their destinies are now bound together.
Your wedding day is the happiest day of your life. You are about to marry the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, surrounded by the people you love the most. But for couples who have lost a loved one, the occasion can be bittersweet.
It’s common to want to honor these people at the ceremony. But you might be wondering how to include meaningful gestures without casting a dark cloud over your special day.
There are both verbal and non-verbal ways to honor deceased loved ones. There are lots of more subtle but equally poignant ways to remember loved ones who have passed away.
Flowers are a popular way to honor loved ones. One moving gesture is to place a white rose in an empty chair ( next to the aisle or in the first row ) to honour that special person.
Anything that reminds you of a loved one is fine: A photo of that special person and perhaps a personal item that reminds you of them. I like to light a memorial candle just before the ceremony and after the opening welcome I acknowledge that at all special occasions there are absent family and friends and we take a moment to remember them.
The Blending of the Sands is a beautiful and meaningful way to symbolize the joining together of the couple or the blending together of their families.
This makes a lovely alternative to the Unity Candle Lighting Ceremony, and it is a wonderful way to include the participation of children and make them feel part of the ceremony.
It represents the joining of independent lives into one, cohesive family. Just as the grains of sand cannot be separated, the relationship created this day cannot be divided.
The "Jumping the Broom" is a ceremony in which the couple, at the end or during the ceremony, signify the beginning of their new life together and their creation of a new family by symbolically "sweeping away" their former single lives and literally “jump over the broom”, it’s great fun.!!
This is a lovely way to involve all of your guests in your ceremony. As they enter they are invited to select a stone from a basket or container and to hold the stone during the ceremony while making a silent wish or prayer for the couple.
After the ceremony they return the stones to the container and the couple get to keep this beautiful gift of blessings, love and good wishes from their family and friends in a special place in their home.
During a ring warming, the couple’s wedding rings are passed among their guests, who are asked to say a prayer, blessing, or make a special wish for the couple over the rings while holding them.
This intimate exchange brings all of the loving thoughts of the couple’s families and friends into the rings that the couple will be wearing for a lifetime.
It brings an inclusive element of the ceremony and connects the couple with their loved ones in attendance. It is Very Special.
Obviously, there are limitations to a ring warming as it wouldn't work well for larger weddings as the progress of the rings and keeping them moving in a timely manner through your guests could create problems.
But for smaller more intimate weddings, you could attach them to a pillow or some other symbolic item for the passing.
The Hands of the Couple ceremony is a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony that is guaranteed not to leave a dry eye among the couple and guests alike.
The ceremony is typically done right after the exchange of rings. It can be done as a secular or religious element.
Here is an excerpt from the beautiful ceremony.
"These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever . . .
. . . And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch"
A few weeks before the wedding, take some time to each write a letter to one another in private, expressing your thoughts about the good qualities that you found in your future partner, the reasons for falling in love, and your hopes and dreams for the future.
Place your letter in an envelope, and seal it with the name of your partner on the outside.
These letters are placed in a wine box and are a beautiful keepsake.
You can also include CDs of your favorite music, memorable photos of you together, and other mementos making it your own romantic time capsule.
The Wine Box can then be opened at some time in the future, perhaps on your first wedding anniversary, when each of you will read the letters you wrote to the other while enjoying that delicious bottle of wine.
You will be reminded of what brought you together, and the hope is that your relationship has aged as well as the fine wine has. This is a glorious way to celebrate your dedication to each other on your wedding anniversary!
The Mothers’ Rose Ceremony, which is also known as the Rose Presentation, takes place near the beginning of the ceremony, and is especially sweet and touching when it’s a surprise for the Mums!
A Ceremony to honor the mothers of the bride and groom.
The couple places two roses with a ribbon tied around them on the ceremonial table.
You can use any flower, however the Rose is a universal symbol of love and can be pressed really easily in a book for a keepsake.
Usually the Ceremony Honoring Mothers comes just after the officiant’s welcome, and the couple will present the mums with their rose.
The Officiant then tells the mothers how important they have been in the lives of their children.
You may also write notes of love and gratitude, rolled up like scrolls, and attached to the roses with a ribbon.
In these letters you can tell your mothers all the things you love about her.
The Rose Ceremony brings a touch of elegance, romance and beauty to your ceremony.
The ceremony is usually held at the end of the ceremony, before being pronounced married. The bride and groom exchange two roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life.
The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other. You may choose to have the Officiant hand the bride and groom their roses, or the Officiant can invite the bride and grooms mothers up to give their children the roses.
Red roses are usually used but a white rose can also be used. For a smaller wedding, couples may also choose to present roses to their guests as a "thank you" for sharing in their special day.
This ceremony is adaptable for a vow renewal as well.
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