Having a Beautiful Ceremony - Why have Rituals?
Choosing the words that feel right to you is where it starts. The other things that make the day include the setting, dresses, music, flowers and more. But I believe having you and your family feeling excited but comfortable and supported makes the day a joy to remember.
My job as your celebrant is to help you have the ceremony and celebration that feels right for you whether it is acknowledging a commitment to a relationship, birth of a baby or the passing of a loved family member.
These are landmarks in our lives! Rituals may be a part of this. Rituals can include unity lighting candles, sand unity ceremony to show the blending of two lives. Ideas to include family and friends include -
Warming the rings where the rings are passed along to family and guests to bless the rings for a moment with their love and good wishes before the couple exchange them.
Having a Wishing Well or a Wishing Box or a Wishing Tree. You provide cards and pens that family and friends can write their wishes for your future. These become a lovely keepsake.
Some wedding rituals have a long history, such as Jumping the Broom, said to originate from African slave culture in the 1600s as slaves could not legally marry so created their own symbols from what they had. Jumping the broom is said to symbolise sweeping away of the old life, leaping into a new shared life and setting up a home together. One idea is to let guests decorate the broom with lengths of ribbon as part of their good wishes for the couple. Family and guests can sign or initial their ribbon if you want. At the close of the ceremony, I ask everyone to join in with cheering, "1,2,3,...Jump!". Then you walk down the aisle together, usually to great cheering. The broom can become a keepsake of the day.
Also Handfasting which is a Celtic tradition of looping your wrists together with ribbon or lace as you hold hands to show unity, love and commitment. There are different variations of beautiful words that go along with this, such as this example by author unknown.
Hands Ceremony – Author Unknown
Please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend that are holding yours as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. That as a team reaching out to each other, you are both stronger.
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 sickness or grief may come to you. These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes, both tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will join your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and comfort in hard times.
And lastly, these are the hands, that are young and strong today but even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same love, encouragement and support as today.