Special Ceremony Elements at weddings and some naming ceremonies are becoming increasing popular in civil ceremonies. You don’t need to include a symbolic gesture in your marriage ceremony, some couples prefer a simple ceremony. However, if you are interested in adding a special ceremony element to your special day ceremony then read on. Many of these ceremony elements originate from old Pagan and Celtic rituals.
Unity Candle Ceremony
Elements Well Wishing
Unity Sand Ceremony
Planting a Tree
The Big Hug
Jumping the Broom Ceremony
Breaking the Glass Ceremony
Unity CANDLE Ceremony
The Bride and Groom each light a candle, to symbolise their separate lives before their formal union as a married couple. In a partnership of equals, such as the one which they have, each partner cares for the other through both the difficult times and the good times. They will share the laughter and the tears, the joy and the sadness, as well as the companionship and tranquillity of simply being together. But at the same time, they will continue to respect each other’s individuality and uniqueness and this is symbolised by the two candles.
The betrothed then light a third candle symbolising the joining together of their lives in marriage. The three candles will shine forth as symbols of both their togetherness and of their continuing individuality.
hand fasting ceremony
"Handfasting—the blessed marriage rite in which the hands of you and your beloved are wrapped in ribbons as you 'tie the knot.'" by using couloured ribbons which represent the varied personality traits of those being joined.
ELEMENTS WELL WISHING
As a unique way to symbolise a union is to celebrate life’s essential elements. A well-wishing is said to all the elements. Earth, Air, Water and Fire. There are many ways of doing this, depending on where the ceremony is taking place. Most popular are the associated Pagan-esque rituals.
For further details talk to your Civil Celebrant who will signpost more resources for you.
unity SAND CEREMONY
A marriage is symbolised by the pouring together of two individual containers of sand, representing the betrothed and all that they were, all that they are, and all that they will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the grains of sand can never again be separated, as you will now be in their marriage.
PLANTING A TREE
The tree symbolises the couple's hopes for the future as well as the beauty and wonder of life. Whether a tree grows to be tall and strong depends on the nurture it receives. No tree grows alone – they all need the soil, the sunshine and the rain. So too, a marriage needs to be nourished and the new spouses will be there for each other through all the seasons of their life together – to support, love and nurture each other.
This wedding is also a celebration of family. It is the blending of families, separate up to this moment, but united from this day forward – blending their different traditions, strengthening the family tree. Mothers cry when their children hurt and welcome pain and burden to give their sons and daughters the gift of life.
The betrothed, to honour this blending of families, present a rose to their mothers – to thank their parents for the many sacrifices they have made and for their unconditional love so freely given to their children.
The big HUG
Now you all know what a Mexican wave is don’t you? So you start with the bride and groom giving each other a hug, they will then hug someone else, who’ll hug the person next to them and so on, until every single person in the room has been well and truly hugged!
You never know – you might have started something – maybe another couple will meet and fall in love at the wedding.
JUMPING the BROOM ceremony
In past times setting up home and getting officially married often took place months apart. This could be due to not having a resident notary to perform the ceremony or to have a trial period before committing to the legal marriage.
To give the union a standing in the community the couples would declare their intention to “Live over the Brush” and would in front of family, friends and neighbours literally jump over a broom. The broom was then kept in the shared home as a symbol of the union and to encourage good luck. The also broom symbolises the sweeping away of the past and the fact that the happy couple are now starting a new life together.
BREAKING THE GLASS CEREMONY
Traditionally used in Jewish Wedding Ceremonies, this ritual has become accepted as an appropriate way to "get the party started' all over the world. Two champagne flutes (or wine glasses) are placed in a cloth bag, placed on the floor, then after a countdown, the newlyweds , together step on the glass while everyone shouts "Mazel Tov" (Yiddish for Good Luck!). This act symbolises the new couples unity as well as indicating to those assembled that the formal part of the ceremony is over.
There are many other special ceremony elements that can be used, just ask your Celebrant for details.