Across the world ceremonies or rituals are used to define the more important stages of our lives and a wedding ceremony is the perfect example of one of those stages being at the height of tradition and formality.
From superstition and myth to etiquette, dress and both ancient and modern rituals, wedding ceremonies are steeped in tradition and symbolism.
Many cultures still actively practise ancient traditions or may have adapted some to suit a more modern environment, but nonetheless they still hold the same meaning and importance to those who practise them.
While as a modern society we may have somewhat moved away from some of the more outlandish rituals of stealing a bride away from her family or slapping each other with fish for good luck, it has become very ‘trendy’ of late to incorporate more of the common and meaningful traditions into today’s wedding ceremony.
Adding a ritual to your ceremony can provide the perfect opportunity to include all of your guests or even a select few whom you really want to play a part. Including a ritual is also a great way of blending families in a really unique way and allows wedding guests to actually see something interesting and heart felt.
If you honestly sat down and thought about all of the ceremonies that you have attended (and for me as a celebrant that is one heck of a lot!) they can often all blend into a distant fond memory, but if the couple did something that was unique, different or that evoked in you an emotional response, then chances are this will be a ceremony that will stay with you always.
For me, doing ceremony after ceremony every weekend is a wonderful experience and opportunity to see people from all different backgrounds, but officiating so many ceremonies often leaves them as a bit of a blurr in my distant memory.
There are, however, probably 4 or 5 out of all that I have done that have stuck with me as clear as if they were yesterday and that was simply because they used a ritual or tradition that touched or inspired me and because of that their exchange was etched in my mind forever.
One of these was something I hadn’t seen a couple do before and it was called the ‘silent rose ceremony’.
As I stood with the groom at the front of the assembled guests under a gorgeous flower lined gazebo, the music began playing and the bride appeared at the end of the garden. She walked up slowly on her brothers arm and when she reached the front of the group the groom walked forward and joined her, taking her arm.
Together they walked over to his mother first, and silently handed her a single gorgeous white rose. Nothing was said, they just each kissed her cheek and embraced her and then walked silently over to the bride’s mother and did the same to her. As the mothers were each unaware that this was going to take place they were both sobbing gorgeously and I think every guest including myself had a tear in their eye. The bride and groom then walked back to stand before me and the ceremony began. It was truly one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen done and yet so simple.
I’m not saying that including a ritual or tradition in your ceremony is right for everyone, but if you can find something that suits who you are then you should absolutely go for it. Make sure your ceremony is one that will be etched in your guests memories forever.
For inspiring ideas, don’t forget to look out for our ’52 Rituals/Traditions in 52 Weeks’
The wedding gurus