You may wish to consider one of the following symbolic rituals to add in to your ceremony. There are others available too, but this is just a short list.
Unity Candle – it is often a lovely gesture to light a candle or candles in memory of loved ones who cannot be there on the day, with a brief period of reflection (not suitable for outside ceremonies)!
Sand Ceremony – you can include friends and family in this ceremony, and it represents the coming together of you both and the people who are so important in your lives.
As each pours in their different sand colour, the grains layer up to produce a beautiful sculpture that can be kept as a memento of the day.
Finally, you pour your sand together to mix the colours together with the symbolism being that just as these grains of sand can never be separated again, so will your marriage and union be.
Hand Fasting – you may wish to incorporate the tradition of a hand fasting ceremony into your service, which is symbolic of the bond which you already share and the tie of commitment you are making to one another.
This fastening of hands is steeped in tradition and magical meaning and is in fact where the saying ‘tying the knot’ originates from.
Originally it was a betrothal or a promise of marriage between two people who would spend a traditional term of a year and a day together to see if they were compatible.
After this time, and if they were in agreement, the vows could be taken again and they would be considered married. Nowadays it is used in a more contemporary way, either as a series of ribbons or one long ribbon.
Other similar themed ceremonies are The Ties That Bind Ceremony where ribbons are plaited and tied by members of the family and friends and the tying of a Fisherman’s Knot – a knot that gets tighter the harder you pull.
Wine Box Ceremony/ Wishes Ceremony – this ceremony symbolises love and forgiveness in marriage. Prior to the wedding day the couple each write a love letter to each other, in secret, that tells the story of why they are marrying their partner on that day and what they mean to them. These are sealed and during the ceremony they are placed in the box with a bottle of their favourite wine or whiskey!
Should the marriage hit difficulty, then they open the box, drink the wine and read the letters they wrote to each other to remind them of the reasons that they chose to get married. If all is ok, then they can open and enjoy on a wedding anniversary.
The box in the picture was engraved by the groom with their vows to each other adding a really lovely personal touch.
Rose Ceremony – this ceremony symbolises the first gift you give each other as husband and wife/wife and wife/husband and husband, representing the love you have for each other, as you exchange your first gift.
The wording for this ceremony can also reflect the importance of having a place in your home for roses – so that if/when things get tough and we say things we don’t really mean, by placing a rose in your favourite spot, the other person will know that you still love them.