The beauty of a Celebrant led ceremony is the opportunity to weave in a symbolic ritual that represents unity. A symbolic ritual often gives a beautiful, visual and interactive experience not only for the couple but also for family and friends attending the ceremony.
Many rituals are rooted in tradition, so if you are looking to add your very own stamp to your ceremony, then with the support and guidance of your Celebrant you can choose a ritual that symbolises your love and unity.
You may choose a ritual that is pertinent to your own beliefs o r heritage, or you may choose one that is rooted in love and creativity. Whichever one you choose, it will add a truly personal and beautiful element to your Celebrant ceremony.
There are so many symbolic rituals to choose from, but here are a selection of some of my favourite ones.
This is one of my favourite rituals and is probably one of the most easily recognised ones within a Celebrant ceremony. Hand fasting or tying the knot originates from an ancient Celtic tradition which is believed to go back as far as 7000 BC. There are many ways to tailor this ceremony, but generally the couple will place their palms together and the Celebrant will wrap the cords or ribbons around the joined hands and say meaningful words. There are several ways to tie the ribbon, from a simple knot to a more impressive infinity knot.
You can also incorporate vows and the exchanging of rings if you wish. There are many different options when it comes to the types of cords and ribbons available and each coloured ribbon has a different meaning. You can also ask friends and family to be involved in the tying of the ribbons.
I have conducted some beautiful hand fasting ceremonies over the last few years and I always encourage my couples to think creatively about their ribbon choices. One couple chose pride ribbon colours for a same sex ceremony, another couple chosen the country colours of Japan.
With this specific ceremony the colours were red and white which are the traditional colours of marriage in Japan. We also added crane charms as a beautiful and final addition. The crane in Japan in supposed to symbolise fortune and longevity, so super special and it looked just beautiful.
For more information on this beautiful practice www.intertwinedhandfastingcords.com has lots of excellent information on their website and this is where I order my ribbons from.
I conducted a beautiful wedding last year for Jade and Matthew at Caswell House and as part of their ceremony they chose the ritual of the rose ceremony.
Both Jade and Matthew are super close to both of their Mums, so as a surprise within the ceremony they presented beautiful pink roses as a symbol of their eternal love and gratitude to them both.
Jade and Matthew chose the pink rose as this is thought to mean love, joy and appreciation, so the perfect choice for their very special Mums.
Roses are also a promise that no matter how far away you are, you are always in that persons hearts. The rose says the words “I still love you’ and will remind you of the love and the hope that you have shared on your very special day.
There are also many beautiful preserving companies available that will not only preserve your bouquet, but specifically with something like the rose ceremony, the single rose can then be preserved into a beautiful tea light holder, a super special reminder of your ceremony.
The essence of a wine ceremony is meant to mean the blending of two lives and specifically at a wedding ceremony, the blending of two families into one. There are some couples who will choose to drink from the same cup, a practice you might see in more religious ceremonies, whilst there are others who might prefer to pour into two cups of wine and then into one before sharing. The ‘blending’ element of this ritual is the symbolic union of the life that you are about to create together.
Lighting a Unity Candle
This is a well-known Christian tradition which will be a more familiar experience for some. Again the essence and meaning of the lighting of candles is the symbolism of unity. In practical terms the couple will each hold a lit candle and they will then combine their flames to light a third candle. There is also potentially the opportunity to involve the couples parents to further enhance the blending of the families.
The sand ceremony is another symbolic ritual which is a beautifully visual ceremony. Your Celebrant may also be able to source different coloured sands. You may wish to use sand from a place that is special to you, a place where you love to go on holiday or a place that you might live which gives it extra depth and meaning. The essence of this ceremony is unity and the blending of families. You may wish to keep the vessel of sand as a keepsake and as it starts to settle in time this is also significant of you both settling into the next chapter of your lives.
The rituals outlined in this blog are just a few of the many that are available. Your Celebrant, through the process of getting to know you, should be able to guide and advise the best and most appropriate ritual for you that will elevate and truly complement your ceremony. A moment in time that will be remembered by you and your guests for many years to come.