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

Wednesday 29 May 2024

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 ceremony.



White Doves have been used around the world for centuries to symbolise purity, peace, faith & love. Doves are considered a symbolic release at Weddings because they stay faithful to each other for life and form strong family bonds and share the care of their young. They're also beautiful and a dove release can create a fabulous and significant event to share with your guests.

Please note: It's important to ensure that you get your doves from a reputable and ethical dove handler who is experienced and careful with the birds. 

Celebrant:
"White doves mate for life and much like a married couple, sometimes the doves take flight and follow their own path for short periods of time, not tied to each other every moment of every passing day. But when the darkness sets in, whether their day’s journey has been together or apart, they both return to the safe place they know is home for the night, to each other.

The releasing of these white doves is a blessing to you both on this day. It is a reminder that while your lives, your paths and your other commitments may often lead you in opposite directions, you always have a place to come home to, to find each other and be one."

Release the doves
"As these doves fly they will carry for you and all of your loved ones here present, wishes for peace, love and hope for your future life together."

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - A Fishy Tradition for the Groom (Korea)

 A Fishy Korean Ritual/Tradition

If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, then this one is for you!

In this Korean tradition the poor groom is subjected to some pretty interesting antics. Usually done in the spirit of providing him with increased strength for the wedding night, this ritual begins after the main ceremony. 

The Groom’s ‘friends’ (using the term loosely right now) will tie his ankles together with rope then take off his socks in order to beat the soles of his feet with a fish – A Yellow Corvina.


Pic From: bluedragon.en.ec21.com
Odd? Yes a little, but it is all done in the spirit of good will and as a fun gesture of friendship, so who are we to judge?

We just love these strange and out there rituals/ideas, so if you know of any you would like us to use, please feel free to drop us a line in the comments section.


The Wedding Gurus
xxx


Tuesday 2 January 2024

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Blackening of the Bride (Scotland)

Yes it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – Blackening of the Bride. In this Scottish ritual/tradition the poor bride is subjected to being covered in some disgusting concoctions and substances all in the name of easing her worries. Luckily for the poor bride this takes place in the days leading up to the wedding and never on the day or even the day before.



The most common way of ‘blackening’ the bride is for her friends (debatable) to take her out into the streets and smother her in every awful substance they can find, usually including things like fish guts and molasses, spoiled milk and rotten eggs and occasionally topped off with flour, feathers or anything else that may help her to look ridiculous and smell terrible.

Believe it or not, it is thought that being subjected to this ultimate humiliation will mean that any problems or humiliations the couple may see in the future and within the marriage will seem so much less worrisome or and have little meaning in comparison.

Sadly that is not the end to the ordeal – Completely covered from head to toe in the foul mix and smelling worse than you can imagine, the poor thing is then paraded through the streets, on show for all to see. Her ‘friends’ who walk ahead of her bang pots and pans to ensure the attention of the crowd and then usually lead her to a local pub or club for a celebration of her coming marriage.

Although probably pretty awful and stinky, all in all this would probably be a pretty fun ritual/tradition (or a slightly less foul version of) to do with a group of girlfriends. The photos and the laughs would definitely last a lifetime.

The Wedding Gurus
xxx

Sunday 27 August 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Dance of the Crown from Finland

The stunning country of Finland, known to many as the land of a thousand lakes, is rich in beauty, culture and tradition. 

Like many, Finnish people love a good wedding and it is at the wedding ceremony that we see many of their rituals and traditions at work. We’ve chosen a few of our favourites that can be easily incorporated into your own wedding whether you are of Finnish heritage or not. On the day of her wedding, as the bride prepares for her big day, a golden crown is placed on her head for her to wear throughout the ceremony. She continues to wear the crown as they commence to their reception and it remains on her head until the time that the ‘Dance of the Crown’ is performed. 


 

This ritual dance sees the bridesmaids place a blindfold on the bride as they begin to move around her, dancing and confusing her of their place. Much like the tradition of the garter toss, the bride then places the crown on the head of one of the bridesmaids (it is left to fate as the bride cannot see who she is placing it on). It is this bridesmaid that is then, according to the tradition, the next one to be married. 

 

Another fun tradition that takes place at a Finnish wedding is the dance to end the celebrations. This is something that anyone could include in their wedding just for something different and fun. 


The last dance is known as the ‘Weaning Waltz’ and a group can be easily shown how to participate. To kick of the dancing an instrumental waltz is played as all female guests dance with only the bride and all male guests dance with only the groom. This works best if everyone gets in on it, even the grandparents and older guests and small children assisted by their parents. The bride and groom are whisked around the dance floor, briefly dancing with guests who endeavour to make them ‘forget’ their marriage partner. There is lots of laughter and fun until the bride and groom finally return to each others arms to complete the dance and show to all present that nothing can keep them apart. 

 

One of the most magical things about rituals and traditions in ceremony is that you don’t have to be a part of that culture to incorporate some of the fun and meaningful elements into your own ceremony. Find one that suits you as a couple and will add to your enjoyment of your day. 

 

The Wedding Gurus xxx


Friday 4 August 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Libation Ceremony

 

There are some traditions or rituals practised throughout the world which are not unique to any one culture. These rituals, while often similar in nature, may have different relevance or significance depending on the situation. This is certainly true for ‘libation’ rituals.

The term libation; ‘the pouring of a liquid offering as a religious ritual’, is a traditional part of ceremonies practised by the ancient Greeks and Romans, some African tribes and Burmese Buddhists, to name only a few. The liquid offered may be any number of substances (wine, water, oil), depending on the cultural origins of the ceremony.


Requirements: Liquid of your choice, pouring vessel.

In some African cultures, an essential part of any ceremony is the pouring of a libation. Sometimes water, but more often a traditional wine, is used for the ritual. A prayer calling all to attend and participate is given by an elder, who through this tradition, invokes both ancestors and Gods to be present.

Example: A Libation Prayer

We give praise to the Almighty power

Praise to our ancestors and the roots from which we came.

To truly know his Creator, a man must know his roots.

Let our ancestors and the spirit of the Creator bring us closer in unity.

This ceremony demonstrates the people’s recognition and obligation to their ancestors and to their Gods. The Ancient Romans were also great believers in the use of libation rituals in ceremony. The pouring of wine and perfumed oil was considered an eminent act of veneration.

Libation rituals are still found today in formal ceremonies, (eg. baptism, formal toasts and even in the launching of a ship), and in popular culture, (winning the Grand Prix or ‘drowning your sorrows’ at losing a football match).  In the United States, the term ‘tipping a forty to their memory’, involves tipping a small amount of liquid (usually liquor) from a glass before drinking, paying respect to and in memory of those no longer with us.

A Libation Ritual is a simple and practical ritual to use in a wedding ceremony.  It doesn’t cost anything extra and allows the  ‘head’ of either family, a grandmother or grandfather, the Celebrant, Best Man or anyone of the couple’s choosing to conduct the ritual and say a few words as to the sentiment behind it. A libation is a simple, yet powerful way to acknowledge and pay respect to those unable to participate; a family member separated by distance or a loved one who has passed away.

‘The two eldest members of these families have been seated in a very special place today - one on the bride’s side and one on the groom’s. They have been given pride of place at this ceremony for good reason - in the aisle, nearest the couple, to remind them that the wisdom of their elders is always within reach and close at hand.

‘I have been charged with the responsibility of offering a libation in the hope that the living and the dead, the young and the old, may come together. I pour a libation of ‘Uisge, Baugh’ (Irish Gaelic ‘The Water of Life’ - Irish Whiskey) itself a ‘spirit’, which represents stimulation, invigoration and energy. It is poured in the four directions -- North, South, East and West -- to open the way for the spirits of our ancestors and loved ones to be here with us’.

‘I call on our forebears, who stood for unity and togetherness, to stand beside us on this day, and I invite everyone present to call out the names of those who are dear to them, both ancestors and those more recently passed, in the hope that they too, will cast their love, wisdom and courage on these two people who are coming together to be married. They have, by their very presence promised to do their best to maintain this relationship and the unity of family.

May the love that has been bestowed upon you today remain with you through whatever may come and may this libation always remind you that your connections to past and present are ever near.’

The Wedding Gurus x

Monday 31 July 2023

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Song of the Bride (Romania)

There are a treasure trove of rituals and traditions that originate from Romania and people from different regions practice these in varied forms. The important ceremonial rituals practiced as part of a wedding are heavily dependant upon which region the couple come from.



One ritual/tradition that we came across takes place in the hours leading up to the wedding when the bride is preparing for the day. While she is dressing, the bridesmaids and best friends all gather and assist her.  This is a very important part of the preparation and can be a very emotional and moving moment for the bride and those closest to her. 

As they prepare her for her ceremony a song, "Say farewell bride to your family and house"- "Ia-ti mireasa ziua buna" is played and with an overflow of emotion, is often accompanied by tears and embraces  from all present. We found a rough translation of the lyrics:

Song of the Bride:
Say goodbye bride to your mother, to your father
To your sisters, to your brothers, to your garden with flowers
To your friends and neighbours, to the games or lover
Cry bride, today is the day
It's time to forget your father and love your husband
To forget your mother and to love your mother- in- law
To forget about your sisters and to love your sisters-in-law
 
You will go with your husband and you will leave behind everything you had.

Today with many couples living together before they are married, much of this significance can be lost, but for those who are coming from their parents home to join their husband in a new home and a new life, this rite of passage is still very special.

The Wedding Gurus xx

 


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

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - Dove Release

 

Including a Dove Release can be a beautiful and symbolic addition to any wedding ceremony. The symbolism is beautiful and the spectacle is even more so.



Celebrant:
"White doves mate for life and much like a married couple, sometimes the doves take flight and follow their own path for short periods of time, not tied to each other every moment of every passing day. But when the darkness sets in, whether their day’s journey has been together or apart, they both return to the safe place they know is home for the night, to each other.

The releasing of these white doves is a blessing to you both on this day. It is a reminder that while your lives, your paths and your other commitments may often lead you in opposite directions, you always have a place to come home to, to find each other and be one."

Release the doves
"As these doves fly they will carry for you and all of your loved ones here present, wishes for peace, love and hope for your future life together."

The Wedding Gurus xx

Sunday 26 March 2023

Wedding Rituals & Traditions - Our version of a Rune Stone Ceremony

The ‘Stone Ceremony’ is a tradition that takes us back to a much simpler time, when gold was far less affordable and not readily available to hard working people. Instead of an exchange of rings, the bride and groom would cast stones, etched with ancient Nordic runic symbols, into a nearby water source, most commonly a river, lake or sea.

While couples today can usually afford and easily access rings to celebrate their nuptials, the meaning and sentiment behind the casting of the stones can be a wonderful addition to a wedding ceremony. This ritual can be performed in either of its traditional settings or easily adapted to the modern era, with the use of a fountain, pond or something similar and the stones can be made by the couple themselves or purchased online.

***

Requirements: 2 stones, a river or brook (or a pond)

Example:

“Many early settlers on Australian soil had very little wealth and did not have access to the fine things that life now has to offer. They could not afford the symbolic presentation and exchange of rings that we see at a modern wedding ceremony. To show their love, eternal commitment and to confirm their vows, they would instead each cast a stone into a nearby river or ocean. The water was a natural and lasting reminder that symbolised their intention of remaining together forever, while the tides of time ebbed and flowed over their lives, with joy and sorrow, highs, lows and great love. John and Alice will now cast two stones into the brook behind us. The stones they have chosen for this ceremony have been etched with ancient Nordic symbols, called 'Runes'.

The use of Rune stones today is deliberate and John and Alice have chosen the symbols that are significant for them. Rune stones hold strong meanings and symbolise the merging of past cultures, with the joining together of these two lives as one.

The red stone, carved with the rune 'Berkana'.

This is a rune of new birth and new beginnings. Although it can be indicative of an actual birth or marriage it can also refer to personal growth and development and prosperity. It can indicate the start of something special and the cleansing of doubts before moving forward.

The Gold stone, carved with the rune 'Ansuz',

Represents blessing and joy, a time for new beginnings and to expect the unexpected. It offers harmony, order and Wisdom.  These symbols remind us that, we must always move forward and openly accept the unexpected things that life may cast our way. We must ride the ebbs and flows of the tide together.

John and Alice, please now cast your stones.

***

We hope you enjoy and feel a sense of connection to place when using this type of ritual in you ceremony. If you do use it, we'd love to see some pics!

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.

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:



 




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 - 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



Monday 24 October 2022

Wedding Rituals and Traditions - The Giving of the Bride

 

It is almost certain that everyone would be familiar with this wedding tradition. Even though it has become commonplace at most wedding ceremonies, many would be surprised by the extent of the numerous variations to this theme. 

The Giving Away of the bride has a long history. In Roman times, it was the custom for a young woman to be under the authority and protection of the head of her household; this would usually have been her father or elder brother. When she married, that responsibility was then passed to her husband. This was the origin of the ‘Giving away’ ceremony.

Times certainly have changed, but we retain this ancient custom with a somewhat new cultural meaning. Nowadays it is considered as the perfect occasion when the father- daughter relationship is acknowledged. It also allows the families and friends of the Bride and Groom to show their approval and support for the union. 

Below are 2 examples of common wording, and in a later post we'll share with you a more modern version for those that don't like the wording/concept of 'giving away'.

Examples:

1. Celebrant addresses person giving bride away:

‘Who brings this woman to be married to this man?’

Person replies: ‘I do’ (Then steps forward and joins the other guests.)

 

2. If both the Bride’s and Groom’s parents are involved, the celebrant will ask them to stand, and addresses the guests as follows:

‘Who brings this man to stand beside this woman?’

Groom’s Parents ‘We do’

‘And who brings this woman to stand beside this man?’

Bride’s Parents ‘We do’

‘Are you willing now and always to support and strengthen this marriage by upholding both Lindsay and Lisa with your love and support?’

All parents: ‘We are’

 

3. When the father is the giving the bride away, the celebrant may say:

‘When thinking about this moment people will often ponder on what are the real values in life, and come to decide what it is that really matters — it is human relationships. One of the deepest, yet understated relationships in life is that between the caring father and his loving daughter, and one of the rare occasions that this relationship has the opportunity to be openly acknowledged is at a wedding ceremony.

(Insert Father’s name) represents his family and all of us here today, but in a special gesture on this important occasion he symbolises his own personal love for his daughter and their journey together to this point.

So mindful of these values and of that love I now ask him, who brings this woman to be married to this man?’

Father: ‘I do’

He then joins the other guests

 

The Wedding Gurus xx

Look out for future posts and modern versions of this topic.

Friday 21 October 2022

Wedding Rituals - Handfasting Ceremony Wording

There are many different versions of handfasting ceremonies that are used in different cultures around the world. The way you do it for your own ceremony is really up to you.

You can personalise the wording of any handfasting ritual, or write your own meaningful words to go with the binding of the hands.

To accompany our handfasting ceremony video below, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with the wording for a couple of the more popular wording variations. 

You can checkout our video below or use some of the wording options we've provided.




Example 1:

Celebrant:‘Nicole and Gary have chosen to include a hand fasting ritual in their ceremony today as a symbol of their love Nicole and Gary please hold your hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to each of you.’


(the hands are bound lightly by celebrant)


‘These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, which are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other all the days of your life.


These are the hands that will work alongside of yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams. 


These are that hands which will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.


These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.


These are the hands which will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart.


These are the hands that will give you support and encourage you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realised. 


This binding represents the love that has bound you together to this point. It will continue to bind you to one another until the binding of your rings takes it place.’


The ceremony continues with the couple’s hands bound until the ring exchange at which point the celebrant removes the binding, and the rings then take its place as their binding for life.


Example 2: 


Celebrant: Please join hands. As your hands are joined, so now are your lives. (Celebrant binds the hands)


Above you are the stars

below you are the stones

as time does pass

Remember

Like a star should your love be constant

Like a stone should your love be firm

Be close, but not too close

Posses one another, but be understanding

Have patience with one another

For storms will come, but they will go quickly

Be free in the giving of affection and warmth

Make love often, and be sensuous with one another

Have no fear and let not the ways or words

of the unenlightened give you unease for the Gods are with you.


Hands remain bound until the ring exchange.



Example 3:  Handfasting with Children


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 reminder of their promise to them on this day. 

They wanted to find a way to let them 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.


The Wedding Gurus

xxx


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