Two becoming one. That's what your wedding ceremony is all about! Here are the top 6 symbolic wedding ceremonies we've seen from our #Silverfoxy couples. To offer some added insight, we asked Marie April Gismondi of the Church of Ancient Ways how couples become inspired to personalize their wedding ceremony. She said the answer comes in the form of a question you must ask yourself: "The question is, "what's going on here?""
While all of these ceremonies below are unique, they can be personalized by asking that one simple question. Think about yourselves and your union. Where are you gathering and why? What do you identify with, both individually and as a couple? What brings you together that is special to you? Who might you want to honor? Keep reading to see how the Church of Ancient Ways officiated a ceremony that was highly personalized for the couples' family history and culture.
It's our hope that these symbolic wedding ceremonies inspire you to think deeper about how to have the most memorable and meaningful ceremony on your own special day.
Candle Lighting Ceremony
A true classic, the candle lighting ceremony symbolizes the joining of two. Each of you begin with a lit candle to symbolize your individual lives. For the ceremony, you take from that individual flame to ignite one unity candle together. If you would like to honor your parents or someone that played a significant role in your lives, you can allow them to help you light the unity candle. This would represent how they have helped to kindle your flame during your upbringing.
The couple faces one another and holds hands while the officiant reads this passage, or a similar version aloud:
"These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.
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 that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch."
This signifies two becoming one. The ceremony begins with two jars filled with sand, one representing each of you, and one larger, empty jar. During this ceremony, you will take turns pouring your personal jar of sand into the larger jar, creating a beautifully combined masterpiece of sand art. The sand ceremony is also appropriate and special for couples with children blending two families together.
The Church of Ancient Ways gave us some awesome insight on how to personalize a sand ceremony. Here is an example reading from a recent ceremony they officiated:
“Alicia and Prince have chosen to include a unity ceremony today. These ceremonies are traditionally two joining together to become one. Yet this did not accurately describe the richness in the diversity of cultures and histories that would be joined together today. The sand ceremony that they will perform, represents both families' history. Prince will be pouring his sand from the container that subtly bears the colors of the Nigerian flag. Alicia’s sand will be poured from a container marked with the colors of the Jamaican flag… The flag under which each of their parents were born. The sand itself is of natural color, representing how natural it was for them to come together, how natural it is for them to care for one another, and the way that their life is not there he is not hers but theirs. The container that they are pouring into has the colors of each of their parents homeland and the red white and blue of the American flag, the country in which they will establish a home of their own and spend their life together as husband-and-wife.”
Log Cutting Ceremony:
The tradition of cutting a log is a German wedding custom that represents the importance of working together to overcome obstacles in marriage. The couple must cut through a log using a saw with handles on each side. In doing this, the couple demonstrates their teamwork to their guests as well as their strength as a team. After conquering this first obstacle, the couple is metaphorically prepared to master the difficulties that inevitably arise in a marriage.
Knot Tying Ceremony:
Not only is this is the most adorable wedding pun, but it's a symbolic wedding ceremony. The fisherman's knot is the strongest knot there is, which is why nautical wedding ceremonies sometimes feature a "knot tying" ceremony. The two separate cords represent each of your independent lives. When intertwined into the knot, they are bound together and strong enough to weather any storm. In fact, a fisherman's knot only gets tighter with added pressure, just like your marriage through rough times.
Wine Pouring Ceremony
Blending two wines into a single glass represents the joining of two lives. It is perfect for a vineyard wedding, or for those who just love wine. You will need two small carafes (one with red wine, one with white) and one glass. Have your names, monogram, and/or date added to the glass for a personal touch. Together, pour your individual carafes into the single glass. Next, raise the glass as a toast to your future together and drink. You drink from the same cup to be reminded that from this day forward you will share all that is to come. "May the cup of your lives be sweet and full to overflowing."
There you have it! Tell us in the comments if you plan to personalize your wedding ceremony!