Showing posts with label Rituals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rituals. Show all posts

Thursday 12 January 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Handfasting with Children




Some time ago we brought you a version of a 'handfasting' which has been very popular on the blog, so we thought we would follow it up with a fabulous way of including children in this wonderfully meaningful ritual.


Including children in a handfasting:


Celebrant
: 'When we think about marriage we immediately visualize the joining of two people. But this is not always so. Marriages unite families and as is the case in many families today who already have children, they give us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and embrace some of the other important relationships in our lives.


During a wedding ceremony rings are sometimes exchanged with a promise. As (Bride) and (Groom) are not exchanging rings, but instead binding their hands, they thought appropriate that their children should also take part as a reminder of their promise to them on this day.


(Bride & Groom) wanted to find a way to let their children know now how special and wonderful they are, and how privileged and blessed they feel to be their parents'.


Children step forward and their hands are bound with the parents

Celebrant addresses children:

'(Insert children’s names): These are the hands that will support encourage and protect you through all of life’s ups and downs, happy times, sad times, love and we hope, great joy. This binding is a reminder of the love and respect that each of you have for the others and that which will last for a lifetime'.

You can amend the wording of any of our ritual examples to suit your own family circumstances. Check out some of the others we've shared in previous posts.


The Wedding Gurus x

 


Saturday 31 December 2022

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Cup of Life Ritual

We love sharing our ideas for wedding rituals and traditions that can be easily performed without too much hassle. This one, The Cup of Life, is idea behind it is really lovely.

The ‘Cup of Life’ is a symbolic ritual that signifies the bride and groom as individuals coming together as one through the sharing of wine.



Requirements: Goblet, Bottle of wine

An open bottle of wine is placed along with a glass on a nearby table. The cup is representative of ‘life’ while the wine represents the good times and bad with both sweet and bitter elements. The sentiment is that any bitterness is lessened and any sweetness is doubled or heightened because it is shared.

Example:

‘Glenn and Pauline have chosen to include a symbolic gesture in their ceremony today called ‘’Sharing the cup of Life’ Glenn could you please pour the wine and take a drink and then hand the cup to Pauline to drink.

This glass of wine is symbolic of the cup of life. As you share this wine, you promise to share all that the future may bring. All the sweetness the cup of life may hold for you should be sweeter because you drink it together; and whatever drops of bitterness it may contain should be less because they are shared. We wish you all the blessings that life can bring-joy and gladness, love and companionship, happiness and prosperity all the days of your life’

The ‘Cup of Life’ is a simple and easy ritual/tradition to perform and is always well received by guests.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - A Family Unity Sand Ceremony


One of the most popular rituals performed in wedding ceremonies today is the ‘Unity Sand Ritual’. The rite can be performed by the couple alone, but is more often used when there are children from previous relationships or when the couple already have children of their own. The Unity Sand Ritual is a wonderfully unifying ritual; simple yet meaningful.

Requirements: A sand kit including - clear glass vase or goblet and different coloured sand in ornamental bottle for each person involved.

The glass vase is placed in the centre of a small table at the ceremony’s location. To add a personal touch it can be accessorised, or engraved with the couple’s initials or names and the wedding date.

Two of the smaller vases, containing different coloured sands, are placed either side of the central vase, one for the bride and one for the groom. These sands can be in the wedding colours.

During the sand ceremony, the celebrant will verbally direct the couple to take turns to pour the sand from their individual vases into the central vase, creating a layered effect. If children are participating, they will then be invited to pour their own colours, to mark their inclusion as part of a loving family.

Finally the couple will pour the remainder of the sand into the vase at the same time so that the two colours combine and can’t be separated, symbolising the unassailable strength of their union. A poem or reading can be recited at the same time as the sand is poured.

Tip: If the ceremony takes place at a beach the celebrant may take some sand from the ground and pour it as the final layer to represent the location where the couple solemnised their family’s unity and commitment.

Example:

‘Jane and Daniel have chosen to include a symbolic ritual in their ceremony today called the Unity Sand Ritual. Could I ask Rebecca and Shane to bring Brayden and Sarah forward.

Jane, Daniel, Brayden and Sarah, today you are making a life-long commitment to share the rest of your lives with each other as a family. The relationship that you each have with the other members of this family is symbolized through the pouring of these four individual containers of sand; One, representing you Jane and one representing you Daniel and all that you were, all that you are and all that you will ever be. The other two representing your two beautiful children Brayden and Sarah and all that they have been and have meant to you and the unlimited potential for what they may become.

As each of you hold your sand, the separate containers represent your individual and unique lives up to this point. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one. I ask you now to individually pour half of your sand into the container. We will start with you Daniel.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage and your family be.

I now ask that you all pour your remaining sand into the container together. May this togetherness never be broken and may your lives always be blended and intertwined with each other’s in happiness, hope and prosperity.’

Here is a little video of what this might look like:



 




Sunday 11 December 2022

Modern Giving of the Bride Wording

In this day and age many couples still like the idea and tradition of the Giving of the Bride, but perhaps not what is stands for or the wording that goes with it. 

If the bride wants someone to escort her down the aisle, she can choose instead to modify the wording to a more modern version. 



Any wording can be used, but here is a sample we prepared for you as an idea:

Celebrant addresses person escorting bride (attendant)

Cel     Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family's blessing.

           Celebrant: Rachel, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

           Rachel: Yes, it is true.

           Celebrant:  And with whose blessings accompany you?

           Bride's attendant: She’s accompanied with her father’s blessings.



vvvv

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The

Thursday 24 November 2022

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - A Box of Memories - Gorgeous for Wedding & Anniversary

 

This has to be one of our all-time favourites!

The ‘Box of Memories is a beautiful way for a couple to capture their thoughts and feelings about marriage and most importantly, about their love for each other.



Requirements: A wooden box, nails, a bottle of wine, 2 glasses and 2 handwritten letters

In the days leading up to the wedding, the couple select a decorative wooden box and some nails, making sure that it is large enough to hold a bottle of wine and 2 glasses and sturdy enough to stand the test of time. Together also, they select a bottle of their favourite wine and 2 glasses that can be placed in the box in advance.

On the eve of the wedding, each takes a little time out from the busy-ness and excitement, and spends a few minutes writing a letter to their soon-to-be partner expressing their feelings, what they are thinking, what they love about them and their hopes and dreams for the future. The letters are then sealed in an envelope.

During the ceremony, the celebrant will explain to the guests what the couple have done, and as they watch both place their sealed letters into the box and hammer in the nails one by one in turn, will tell them of their plans to open the box on the day the 10th wedding anniversary, when they will share the wine and read the letters.



Example Wording:

Jasmine and Daniel your commitment to each other today is obvious and evident to all of us as you stand before us now. With your vows declared and your rings exchanged, you have made a public demonstration of your commitment and love, but there is something more that you have chosen to do as a reminder of this day, that will be a source of great comfort and joy.

(Couple walk over to the table with the box, hammer and nails)

‘In this box you have placed some items that you have lovingly chosen together. A strong and sturdy box that has plenty of room for all the things you need and is sturdy enough to stand the test of time, just as your marriage will be. Inside you have placed 2 glasses and a bottle of wine, whose sweetness will remind you of all of the happy times you shared together, when you open it together on your 10 year wedding anniversary. I ask you now to please place the letters that you have written for each other on the eve of this day and seal the box with the nails.’

(Couple begin to hammer the nails)

‘May this box be a reminder of the love you shared today and upon its opening – on your 10 year wedding anniversary, as you sip the wine, let it serve to rekindle every bit of spirit and joy that is present in your heart as you stand here today. As you read the letters, let the words contained in them stay with you forever, through whatever storm may come, and be forever grateful to have shared it with all of those you hold dear.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Monday 7 November 2022

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Something Old, Something New

 

One of the most common and recognised wedding traditions has to be ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ – and if you are going all the way then ‘And a Sliver Sixpence in her Shoe.’

Requirements: The 5 specified items

Of the many thousands of traditions that have come and gone over the centuries, this old English rhyme from the Victorian era is one that has truly endured, and for some reason is still the most popular of all wedding rituals & traditions in our modern society.

‘Something Old’ is said to symbolise the special connection that the bride has with her own family, to her origins and her past, that she will continue to maintain. ‘Something Old’ – allows the bride to choose something that is meaningful from the family, perhaps an heirloom or a piece of her grandmother’s, (or other family member’s) jewellery. Another option, far more popular in the past than in recent times, is the wearing of a wedding gown belonging to her mother or grandmother.

‘Something New’ signifies that if the bride has something new, then good fortune and success will be in abundance as she begins her new life with her husband. ‘Something new’ can be anything of her choosing, but if she is not wearing a dress from the past, then her new wedding dress is often a good choice.

‘Something Borrowed’ is a reminder to the bride of her strong friendships and family bond. The borrowing of an item will give her a sense that she will have love and support whenever she may need it, and always have others to lean on when times are tough. The borrowed item is most often something that is easily concealed, worn or able to fit in a small purse.

‘Something Blue’ is a symbol of love, faithfulness, modesty, fidelity and loyalty. In ancient times blue was the colour that represented all of these.  Brides often wore blue wedding gowns in those times and today still honour this by wearing a blue garter.

‘A Silver Sixpence in her Shoe’ A sixpence is an old pre-decimal coin which, if concealed in her shoe, was said to bring to the bride the good wishes of loved ones for financial security and happiness. For the best of fortune, she should be sure to wear it in her left shoe. In modern times any other silver coin may be used as a substitute, but there are places that sell keepsake sixpences for weddings.

Tradition has it that a bride who carries these objects will ensure that she is blessed with a happy, long and prosperous married life. While we love this tradition and all of its sentiment, if a bride finds herself without one of these items, she may choose to begin a new tradition with what she has rather than see it as an omen. Every bride is beautiful and lucky on her big day!

The Wedding Gurus xx

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Unity Candle Ritual (Bride and Groom)

 

The ‘Unity Candle’ ceremony is becoming increasingly popular in modern and traditional weddings. 


There are many versions of this ritual, some involving different people and entire families, but for this version, the conducting of the ritual symbolizes the commitment of the bride and groom to each other and the merging of the two families. 

As a general rule, 3 candles are required to perform a unity candle ceremony; 1 large centre candle and 2 slim (or taper) candles.

The Mothers of the Bride and Groom may light the 2 taper candles. The Bride and Groom taking these candles, proceed to light the single large candle, representing their two lives and two families uniting as one.

The two single candles may then be blown out to represent the extinguishing of their single lives, (or they may be kept alight to signify that, although united through marriage they still retain their individuality).


Requirements: 1 large Candle and 2 slim or taper Candles

Example Wording:

‘The lighting of these family candles symbolise Caroline and Jacob’s separate lives and pasts before today.

(Bride’s and Groom’s Mothers light the candles).

Through the love, support, wisdom and guidance which they have both received from their families, they are here today to join their lives as one.

Caroline and Jacob, with the light from your family candles, unite the two flames into one

(Bride and Groom light centre candles).

The unity of this flame symbolises the union of your separate lives and your families, into a commitment made in love and kept in faith. The two of you now have a fire that represents love, understanding and the future. It will give you warmth and happiness through even the darkest times. This new fire represents a new beginning, a new life and a new family.’

The candles can then burn throughout the remainder of the ceremony being extinguished at the end.

Checkout our YouTube channel, The Wedding Gurus for a video on the Unity Candle Ritual and many more, at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtdzLi6-IK7AkwzvZNtrbtw



Friday 14 October 2022

Placement of the Wedding Ring

Have you ever asked yourself why the wedding ring is placed on the third finger of the left hand?

We recently pondered the same question and in response, we decided to go in search of where this idea may have originated. As you can imagine there were many interpretations and we have outlined our favourite 3 for you.

 

In Western Culture it was thought to originate from the Greek physicians in the third century B.C where they were misled to believe that a vein of blood ran from the third finger of the left hand straight to the heart. A slightly misguided interpretation of the human anatomy, yes, but you can understand their logic of placing the ring that symbolises love and commitment on the part of the body that was thought to be in direct connection to the heart. In fact, this vein was later named ‘vena amori’ or vein of love.

 

The Chinese have a beautiful interpretation and we have outlined this below showing the representation of each finger :

 

Thumb represents your parents

Index finger represents your siblings

Middle finger represents yourself

Ring finger represents your life partner

Little finger represents children

 

Now, this idea is not based solely on just guessing what each finger may represent, there is actually a really sweet theory behind it.

 

Basically, if you place your palms together in front of you and bend your middle fingers down so that they are knuckle to knuckle (see pic) the significance becomes clear.





Your thumbs (which represent your parents) are easily separated as you are separated from them as you move off to marry.

 

Your index finger (which represents your siblings) is also easily separated signifying how you will separate from them in your life, creating your own families.

 

Your middle finger - is removed as it represents yourself.

 

Your little finger (representing your future children) is easily parted also representing that they too are not with you forever.

 

If you try however to separate your ring fingers (representing your life partner) You cannot. Why? because you are tied together as one for eternity. The sentiment behind this theory is beautiful in that the inability to separate these two fingers is exactly where the rings should be placed reminding us of this everlasting unbreakable bond.

 

A final theory (culture unknown) puts forward the idea that the third finger cannot be held out alone, it needs the support of both the middle and little fingers on either side. So what does this signify, well it gives the ring finger union, support and protection thus representing a happy and healthy marriage and life together.

 

The Wedding Gurus xx


Sunday 9 October 2022

Silent Flower Ritual

The silent flower ritual is one of the simplest and most basic rituals that may be included in a wedding ceremony, but its significance and emotional depth are long remembered.




The silent flower ritual brings significance to the roles of the mothers on this special day, that may otherwise go unspoken and to all that they have contributed to the lives of the couple present. In nurturing, loving and caring for each of them and in being there to share this special day with them.

Once the guests are assembled and the groom and celebrant are waiting for the bride, the entrance music begins and the bride enters carrying her bouquet with 2 loose long stem flowers. As she approaches her groom on her father’s (or whoever is escorting her) arm, she lets go of him and walks silently over to her soon-to-be mother-in-law and hands her one of the flowers, giving her a kiss on the cheek. She then walks over to her own mother handing her a flower also and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

No words are said during the ritual and the bride then returns to her escort’s arm and continues to her groom.

The ritual, though silent, is very meaningful and brings a tear to the eyes of guests and of course the mothers.  It is a truly wonderful way of honouring the mothers' role in the lives of the couple and their importance on this day. The mothers are always very pleased, particularly when they are not aware that it is going to take place.

The Wedding Gurus

xxx


Wednesday 28 September 2022

A Family Unity Ritual - Exchange of Rings (including children)


With so many couples finding love later in life or when they already have children, Family Unity Rituals are fast becoming not only popular, but important in bringing a sense of commitment, readiness and togetherness to the wedding ceremony and to each member who is trying to find their places in the new family structure. 

This example is a simple way of including the children in making the commitment and leaving each member of the family with a lasting reminder of their inclusion.

 

At the point in the ceremony where the couple have exchanged their rings the celebrant will say: 

 

"Could I now ask Jasmine and Sarah to please come forward? Jake, can we please have the rings?"

 

(The children can either know about this or it can be a surprise for them. For a boy who would prefer not to wear a ring,  he may be given the ring on a chain to wear around his neck or something else appropriate.)

  

"Jasmine and Sarah, today your parents are making a life-long commitment to share the rest of their lives with each other as a couple, but they could not make those promises wholeheartedly without including the two of you. Not only are they making their vows to each other, but also to both of you to live the rest of each of your lives connected to one another always. (Mum & dad to place the rings on the girl’s fingers).




The relationship that you each have with the other members of this family are symbolized with the rings that you each now wear. Each one is perfectly round with no beginning or end and is made of the strongest metal. Today they represent everything that your parents hope for this family. For there to be no end and for this family to be made of the strength, love and commitment that each of you bring to it today.

 

May this togetherness never be broken and may your lives always be blended and intertwined with each other’s in happiness, hope and prosperity.

 

The Wedding Gurus.


Tuesday 27 September 2022

Top Tips when planning a DIY Destination Wedding.

Planning a wedding locally is relatively easy, well sort of! (if you don't have family drama, messed up plans or any of the other issues that usually drive people crazy).

Hundreds of brides, every day, plan their weddings with the benefit of suppliers and venues who are nearby and can be visited for lots of options and guidance. But what if you’re a bride planning a destination wedding in an exotic location like Bali, Mexico or Thailand…tasting that wedding cake might be a bit tricky, not to mention getting it delivered! 

We know that when every bride sets out on the wedding planning journey, the first thing to happen is the creation of the mood board, and no bride wants to compromise on their DIY vision! 

Getting all those DIY trinkets - think jam jars and origami cranes - “on location” is tricky and brides often have to settle for the ‘cookie cutter’ package the resorts offer, or suffer the cheesy props local hire places have on offer for crazy prices – try $12USD per candle in Mexico!

Although destination weddings shed their fair share of stress comparatively there are more stresses involved that most brides don’t even realise until the last minute. 

So, to give you a b it of a hand getting started, here are our top 5 musts when planning for a destination wedding.




1. Thinking ahead – A destination wedding doesn’t just mean jetting off and forgetting about everything! As well as the wedding plans and your own travel arrangements, your guests are likely to be travelling a long distance also. Don’t forget to think about their travel, accommodation and giving them all the necessary information about the local area. Best thing to do is sit down and write a to-do list of all the arrangements that need to be made, including travel, shipping, purchasing props and shipping. Next, assign responsibilities and deadlines to each task. This way, you’ll banish that bridezilla and make the day stress free!




2. Budgeting – From the onset, decide what’s important to you to take and what’s not. Trying to lug everything across the world is a hassle and not to mention expensive – especially if you have to pay excess baggage fees just to get your dress and veil across. So look into what is light and easy to send (think DIY faves such as fairy lights, jam jars, origami cranes and chalkboards), and think about what is most important to you and really adds to your vision of the day.



3. Getting ‘The Dress’ there – it’s your pride and joy but how are you going to get it there in one piece? There are a couple of options – you can place it in your luggage, pack it in a special box, carry it on board the plane and ask a nice flight attendant to care for it or even wear it on the plane – imagine the sight! However, you take it there, bring a portable steamer with you or check if your resort has one if you’re dealing with a different shaped outlet (see you really do have to think of everything).




4. The location – Do your research into the customs policies for your destination. Some countries don’t allow fruit, wood or other items, so make sure the DIY items you plan to take are allowed in the country.



5. Shipping – No bride should have to give up on the details – they’re the bits that everyone remembers! Excess baggage fees can be ridiculous, so do your research and cost comparisons and find a shipping company which suits you. If you’re going to an exotic location in the middle of nowhere, check out Pack and Send, which will send absolutely everything and anything anywhere. Anywhere? YES ANYWHERE.


Get planning your amazing destination wedding!


Saturday 24 September 2022

Creative ways to remember lost loved ones in your ceremony

Many couples about to wed have a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, brother or sister who have passed and cannot be there to celebrate with them on their special day. 

It can be very important to a lot of couples to remember these people by adding a special gesture somewhere throughout their day. However, getting the balance right between acknowledgement and keeping it light and simple so as not to over-upset the couple or the guests, is important.

We have compiled a list of ideas in this video and if you have an idea to add to this list please feel free to share it with us as a comment below: 




The Wedding Gurus

Friday 23 September 2022

Traditional Seating at a Formal Church or Civil Ceremony

As part of our ongoing 52 Rituals/Traditions from around the world, we thought we might take a bit of a look at seating arrangements for the ceremony.

If you’re having a traditional church wedding or a large civil ceremony, but want to uphold some of the more formal or religious traditions around seating, you might want to consider the seating arrangements for the ceremony.

 

Traditionally, the bride's family and friends will be seated on the left hand side facing the front while the groom's family and friends are seated on the right. 

 

The best way to ensure that people sit where you want them to is to have an usher show people where to sit. This alleviates any confusion and lets guests know that it is okay to sit down and that they are in the right spot. Often people will stand around for fear of sitting somewhere they are not supposed to. Ushers should where possible seat guests as they arrive, from front rows to back

 

Another option is to simply place flowers or ribbons on the ends of the first few rows so that guests know that this is seating for immediate family and special guests.







Row 1 (front left) Should be set aside for the Bride's Parents – it can be difficult to organise if the parents are divorced, but if they are on good terms then they can sit together in the front row. However, if they are remarried or not on good terms, one parent and his/her new partner may like to sit a row or two back to keep things pleasant.;

Row 2 (front right) Should be set aside for the Groom's Parents – with the same considerations as above


Row 3. (second left) Should be set aside for the Bride's Grandparents and Siblings


Row 4. (second right) Should be set aside for the Groom's Grandparents and Siblings


Row 5. (third left) Should be set aside for the Bride's Special Guests


Row 6. (third right) Should be set aside for the Groom's Special Guests


All of the other rows can be filled with other guests in attendance as they please. It is best to have any young children toward the back so that if they need to be taken outside, it can be done without disruption to the service.

 

Of course, all of this is nothing more than a choice and if you decide to just mix it up a little and let guests sit anywhere then do what makes you happy! You can even add a fun sign that says:


No need to pick a side, we're all family now!



The Wedding Gurus

xxx

Monday 19 September 2022

Wedding Ceremony planning

 


Let’s talk Ceremonies

To keep it upbeat and light I thought I would talk about ceremonies in general. Keep in mind that while couples spend months and thousands of dollars on their receptions, they sometimes forget about the ceremony. Of course the party and dancing are wonderful, but don’t forget that what you are there for is to actually commit to one another for life. Your family and guests aren’t just there for the free food and entertainment (although if your family is anything like mine, they may well be), they are there to see you make that commitments to one another. A good ceremony will envoke an emotive response in your guests with laughter and tears and warm memories.

So many clients come to me having absolutely no idea about how to plan their wedding ceremony, what the legal requirements are or how to put together something special and memorable which is what we all want, right?

The first question I usually ask them is “have you attended many ceremonies before?” Often the answer is no and it is at this point we start with a completely blank canvas and begin to build a fantastic ceremony from scratch.

Sometimes though, the answer is yes, so the next question I ask them is “thinking back to those ceremonies, what did you like, what did you dislike and were there any points during the ceremony that you felt like pulling your fingernails out with boredom?”

This is always a great place to start. It’s easy to pick someone elses ceremony to pieces so the best way to make yours great is to analyse those that you yourself have attended. It’s not about being mean, but about recognising what inspires and uplifts you and how you can put some of your own personalities into your big day so that it really reflects who you are as individuals and as a couple.

Once we have established a list of like’s and dislike’s then we are ready to start making some plans. There are so many choices, but the most important thing to establish before proceeding is if you want a more traditional ceremony or something modern and different. If you really want to stick with a traditional format, then there are plenty of things that you can incorporate to make it beautiful and most importantly your own. If you really want something different and modern however, then the world is your oyster so to speak!

There are so many considerations, such as the length of the ceremony, the wording, giving of the bride, readings, vows whether or not to include a ritual and the list goes on……

So what is the order of a ‘usual’ ceremony?

Well it goes something like this, but is open to modification:

 

  Opening music details:

  Details of Bridal parties entrance

The Welcome: (Celebrant usually writes this – just 1-2 lines)

 Any announcements about having an unplugged ceremony - no photos or social media

 Acknowledgement of loved ones that are passed or can't be present

Giving of the Bride:

Introduction:

1st ReadingTo be read by:

Celebrant’s legal words (where required)

The Asking:

The Vows: 

The Ring Ceremony: 

Details of any traditions/rituals/symbolism/blessings: 

2nd ReadingTo be read by:

Declaration by Celebrant:

Signing of Marriage Certificate & Register

Presentation of Bride and Groom as Mr & Mrs

Any announcements for guests - group photos or petal archway etc

 

So this is just a guide and as long as all of the legal requirements are met (depending on which country you live in of course) then you can add and remove things to suit your needs.

In future blogs I will address each of these sections individually and in more depth, so please post your comments or any questions and I am happy to answer or help in any way.


Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Dove Release

In this post we've chosen to bring you a look at the Dove Release which can be a beautiful and symbolic addition to any wedding ceremon...