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

Saturday 3 June 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Wishing Stones

The Wishing Stone Ceremony


The ‘Wishing Stone' Ceremony is a wonderfully inclusive ritual to incorporate into your big day and is great for not just weddings, but any ceremony you may be considering.


I have performed it as part of a baby naming as well as for weddings. It basically involves using small polished stones, just large enough to write a small wish on if necessary.


Photo from: Intimateweddings.com

Usually the stones are given out by someone selected to perform the task (can be a great way of including children, by getting them to walk around and make sure everyone has a stone).

As the ceremony commences the guests are asked to hold the stones tightly and make a loving wish for the couple’s life together.

The stones can later be collected in a vase for the couple to keep as a memento of all of the wishes their loved ones and friends made for them or each person can be invited to come forward as part of the ceremony and place their stone – making their wish for the couple, in the vase.

Each stone represents a special wish that the couple can take with them to reflect on throughout their married life together.

Some couples may wish to go a little further and ask guests to write their wish on the stone, offering felt tipped pens for the guests and family to write their names and add their wish.

The Wedding Gurus xx

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Hindu - The Seven Steps Tradition

 


A traditional Hindu ceremony, in most cases, is quite extravagant and beautiful, incorporating many different rituals and traditions. It is often filled with chanting and Sanskrit blessings dating back to a time long ago. The wedding ceremony is known as 'Samskara', and in India, it can last for days or even weeks. In the West these ceremonies have been modified, they are usually a little less extravagant, but can still last over two hours.

Requirements:  Sari, Fire, Puffed Rice

The central component of a Hindu wedding ceremony is 'Saptapadi', or the 'Seven Steps'. In this ritual the Bride’s Sari is tied to the Groom’s Kurta. Alternatively, a shawl may be draped from his shoulder to her sari. The couple then link ‘pinky’ fingers and the Groom leads his Bride in seven steps around a ceremonial fire.

While this is taking place the celebrant chants the seven blessings and vows for a strong union. These are adapted here in English from the Hindu ceremony.

Example:

1. “May this couple be blessed with an abundance of resources and comforts, and be helpful to one another in all ways.

2. May this couple be strong and complement one another.

3. May this couple be blessed with prosperity and riches on all levels.

4. May this couple be eternally happy.

5. May this couple be blessed with a happy family life.

6. May this couple live in perfect harmony… true to their personal values and their joint promises.

7. May this couple always be the best of friends.”

With each step, they throw small pieces of puffed rice into the fire, representing prosperity in their new life together. The action of walking around the fire indicates that they agree to these seven blessings. This is considered the most important part of the ceremony as it seals the bond forever.

This ancient ritual can be easily adapted into a contemporary civil marriage ceremony with the use of an ornamental pot of fire that can be placed on a small table. The bride and groom can then take seven steps around the table, while the seven blessings are spoken in English.

It is not necessary to be Hindu to incorporate a ritual such as the Seven Steps in a marriage ceremony. Rituals and Traditions are becoming ever popular, with couples all over the world trying to find a ritual that is different and unique, that will make their ceremony memorable. As long as they remain respectful of the culture to which the ritual belongs, the use of it then makes for a beautiful and meaningful experience for all.

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Gorgeous Wedding Earth Ritual

 This is one of our all time favourites!



Requirements: Guest participation, medium sized plant pot and seedling

In most wedding traditions, the main focus is naturally on the bride and groom, and where appropriate, their children. They seek to convey the significance and beauty of bringing two individuals together or in uniting a family. The ‘Earth Ritual’ does this, but it goes a little further by involving all of the family and friends in attendance. They not only take part, but are asked to contribute and it is this contribution that sets the foundation for the ritual.

When sending out wedding invitations a small note is included, asking each guest to bring a small container filled with some soil from around their home. (it only needs to be a small amount, especially if it is a large celebration.)

A medium sized plant pot and a seedling are placed on a nearby table. At a certain point in the ceremony, the celebrant may introduce the ritual that is to be performed.

Example:

‘Amanda and Alex have chosen to include a special ritual in their ceremony that involves all of you as their loved ones – those people that they hold most dear.

Each of you has been asked to bring a small amount of soil which was lovingly taken from your own home, filled with love and hope, and today it is hoped that as each of you place your earth into this vessel, it will retain that love.

Once the pot is full, Amanda and Alex will plant the seedling that rests beside it, ready to grow and be nourished by the love of all of you.

I would now like to invite the parents and grandparents to come forward.’

(Once they’ve finished)

‘If everyone else could now please come forward.’

(When everyone has added their earth)

‘Amanda and Alex – your pot has now been filled with the love, hope and best wishes of all of your family and friends. It has been taken from their own lives, their own homes and now passed on to you as symbolic foundation of your future life together. As you now plant the seedling, let its growth and beauty be a constant reminder of the blending of your two lives and families and the love and support that they have for you as they watch you grow together.’

(Couple finish planting the seedling and the celebrant returns to the concluding of the ceremony)

This ritual is easy to do and very effective. As long as everyone participates, its significance is beautiful and memorable. The wording can be changed and easily adapted to suit all situations.

The Wedding Gurus xx

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 - 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 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


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.


Sunday 18 September 2022

The Wedding Gurus are back!

 



Hello again!

It was a long time ago that we first created the Wedding Gurus to bring helpful tips and advice to couples getting married. We shared so many ideas and of course, all of the knowledge (and learning) that we had gained over the years from working in the wedding industry. We also brought you some good informative videos that demonstrated how to do different wedding rituals and traditions and let's not forger how badly edited and cringeworthy some of them were! (They're still on YouTube by the way!)

Coming back to this feels like coming home. We've taken a big break due to weddings, kids, losing loved ones and just trying to do life like everyone else is, but we're here now and we intend to bring you some great ideas and helpful posts that will make your planning a little easier.

As a marriage and funeral celebrant Susan has decades of real life experience doing weddings and  expertise in wedding rituals and traditions. Reach out, ask a question or get in touch if you need a little extra help. We'd love to hear from you.

As authors, we'll also be working in some writing stuff - writing vows, writing your own ceremony or even keeping written journals or other writing of important life events. 

We've called this blog 'The Wedding Gurus Premium' because we want to bring you the best of our old content and a whole heap of new stuff, so stay tuned.

We can't wait to get started!

The Wedding Gurus

xx



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