Customizing your wedding—rituals
Rituals for weddings
Rituals come in as many forms as you have imagination to create them. They can be traditional or new, local, or from far away, wedding rituals that reflect your heritage, faith, language, culture.
One of the joys of being a celebrant who specializes in interfaith and intercultural weddings is the opportunity it gives me to combine different rituals and traditions in a way that is meaningful to the couple and honours both backgrounds.
Some rituals I have led in ceremonies include lighting a memory candle at the beginning of the service to honour those who have passed away or who cannot be at the ceremony for whatever reason; a unity candle to symbolize the blending of the couple’s lives and that they will be light to each other throughout their life’s journey; sharing a cup of wine to show that their sorrow will now be halved because they are shared, and their joys will be doubled because they are shared. A handfasting, an ancient tradition from which comes the expressions “tying the knot” and “giving your hand in marriage,” a sand ceremony, where you each pour different-coloured sand into a glass jar to show how your lives are inextricably mingled from this day on.
Of course, you may also wish to consider the cultural traditions from around the world: coins from Spain, trees from The Netherlands, horseshoes from England and Scotland, wedding crowns from eastern Europe, the Sofreh from the Persian tradition, breaking the glass from the Jewish tradition. The list goes on and on. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. There are all kinds of resources online to guide you, and often, in your own families.
Create your own wedding ritual
And you can create your very own ritual, something that has meaning for you.
Whatever rituals you choose to include in the ceremony, if I am your officiant, I will always give a short explanation of the significance of each wedding ritual. In this way, your guests know its significance and that you are doing this ritual for a reason and that it has meaning for you.
There is a bonus to having rituals. They can be an opportunity to honour family or close friends by asking them to participate in this very meaningful ceremony, whether it is your mothers handing you lit tapers so you can light a Unity Candle together, or your best friend presenting you with the ribbon for the handfasting, or your father saying the blessing over the wine in the cup you will then share.