Wedding Ceremony Traditions

4:24 PM, by Yasmen Wass

In the midst of all the planning, have you given thought to that moment when you say I do? One of your wedding planning tasks should be to review wedding ceremony ideas and traditions. Many of my couples ask me about options for ceremony styles of course there are the typical types such as the unity candle and the rose ceremony. But I knew there were other marriage ceremony traditions, but wasn't sure what they were, exactly, so I decided to do a little research.

Here are some of the ceremony styles I found.

Unity Candle Ceremony - The most common ceremony type to perform is the unity candle ceremony. What this symbolizes is that two families are coming together as one. You'll need two tapered candles and one larger candle. During the ceremony, your church or master of ceremonies will have a representative of your family light the tapered candles, hand it off to you, the bride and groom, and together light the main candle. This is commonly found in a Catholic church as this is a Catholic tradition but has been adopted across the board by all walks of life.

Petal Ceremony - Ask your florist to include different colored rose petals in your order. The reason for different colors is that each color means something different. For example, red means passion, white means fidelity, pink for joy and yellow for always being friends etc. At the end of the ceremony, your guests' toss them in the air as you two walk down the aisle. You might ask the florist to place them in little baggies that can be placed at the end of each ceremony row. Your planner will instruct each guest what to do and when and the officiant will let everyone know what the colors mean. I love this idea and for pictures, it'll be a fun one.

Rose Ceremony - This ceremony tradition is rooted in the societal idea that a single red rose means "I love you." Both you and your fiancé gift each other a red rose right after the vow exchange. It symbolizes your first gift to each other as husband and wife. Then each year of your wedding anniversary you'll revisit this same gesture reminding yourselves what you promised each other on your wedding day.

Wine Box Ceremony - Essentially during your wedding planning process, you and your fiancé need to find a wine bottle that won't be opened until after your wedding. You can make this a fun experience by going wine tasting and trying a few specialty wines. Once you find your favorite, have a chat with the vineyard and ask them if it ages well. This will be the wine you use for your ceremony. Find a beautiful case or have one made and engraved with your wedding details. During your ceremony, you'll seal the box, in front of all your guests, with a nail and hammer, or lock and key. You make a promise in front of your guests to not open the wine until whatever time you've designated to open it. Could be an anniversary, or your first home together, etc.

Sand Ceremony - Involves three glass vessels: one holding a color of sand and the other holding a different color of sand and the last one holding traditional sand. The two glasses holding the colored sand are held by each the bride and groom and blended into the one vessel housing the original sand, which symbolically means your marriage. The idea is that as hard as it would be to separate each grain of sand and return it to its original state, that’s how this marriage would be.

Ring warming -  The way this works is that your wedding ring is placed in a small bag, and passed around to your guests to provide good vibes for a happy life. You're supposed to assign someone to watch the bag at all times and when it's time, during the ceremony to exchange rings, the assigned person will retrieve the rings and take them to the front of the aisle.

Pebble ceremony - This is a Scottish tradition. The couple requests all guests to pick up a pebble (or rock) and then, one by one, they place their rock in a designated vase. Then the bride and groom top off the vase with their own special rocks. The guest's rocks symbolize a strong foundation to your marriage.

Tree Ceremony - Both the bride and groom add dirt and water to a tree, which represents you both coming together as one.

And then there is the butterfly and dove release. Always fun. Which wedding ceremony idea do you like best? Are there any I missed, I'd love to hear them.

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