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

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 - 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

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



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


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

Top 50 all time best - Wedding 1st dance songs:

When a couple take to the floor for their first dance as husband and wife it is a moment that is etched in time forever. Everyone in the room stops talking, eating and socialising as all falls silent and the mood shifts. All attention turns back to the couple as they hold each other tightly and move around the floor. It is a big and often very hard decision to pick the one song that is just perfect for this special moment.



We have put together for you a list of OUR picks for the 'Top 50 all-time best - Wedding 1st dance songs'. Now, these may not be your top selections, so if we have missed any that you think should be here, please let us know.

 

To add to this, we will also be doing follow-up posts on our picks for the 'Top 10 All-Time Classic 1st Dance Songs' and the 'Top 10 Modern 1st Dance Songs', including video.

 

We hope you enjoy, and please leave comments with any others you think should definitely be added.



TOP 50 all-time best - Wedding 1st dance songs:

    

50        You’ll be in my heart – Phil Collins

49        Keep on loving you – Speedwagon

48        We found love – Rhianna & Calvin Harris

47        Your song – Elton John

46        Nothing’s real but love – Rebecca Ferguson

45        Only you – The Platters

44        Ave Maria – Beyonce

43        Because you loved me – Celine Dion

42        I knew I loved you – Savage Garden

41        You’ve got the love – Florence & Machine

40        She’s like the wind – Patrick Swayze

39        Far away – Nickelback

38        Feel – Robbie Williams

37        Never gonna give you up – Rick Astley

36        I got you babe – Sonny & Cher

35        Lego House – Ed Sheeran

34        Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones

33        Lucky – Jason Mraz

32        Show me heaven – Maria Mckee

31        It had to be you – Harry Connick Jr

30        Can’t help falling in love with you – Elvis

29        Endless Love – Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey

28        All my life – K-ci & Jojo

27        Nothing’s gonna change my love for you –Air Supply

26        Every beat of my heart – Gladys Night & The Pipps

25        Because of you – Tony Bennett

24        I’m yours – Jason Mraz

23        Sea of love – The Honeydrippers

22        Have I told you lately – Van Morrison

21        Here and now – Luther Vandross

20        With this ring – Shelamar

19        Always and forever – Heatwave

18        Unchained melody – The Righteous brothers

17        Don’t know much – Aaron Neville & Linda Rohnstadt

16        I finally found someone – Bryan Adam & Barbra Streisand

15        The way you look tonight – Frank Sinatra

14        Heaven – Bryan Adams

13        Can you feel the love tonight – Elton John

12        At last – Etta James

11        When a man loves a woman – Michael Bolton

10        You’re Beautiful – James Blunt

9          I will always love you – Whitney Houston

8          Everything I do – Bryan Adams

7          When you say nothing at all – Ronan Keating

6          Angels – Robbie Williams

5          Amazed – Lonestar

4          Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

3          Truly madly deeply – Savage Garden

2          You’re still the one – Shania Twain

1          Don’t want to miss a thing – Aerosmith

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


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