Symbolic acts for wedding ceremonies.
A tradition where the couple exchange wedding rings with their wedding vows, or as a separate symbolic act. The rings are symbols of the marriage, the words said during a ring exchange should reflect the couple’s hopes and aspirations for their married life together.
The ring exchange is usually the last piece of the ceremony before the big kiss!
The handfasting ceremony has its roots in ancient Celtic tradition, symbolizing the binding together of two people (and is the origin of the phrase “tying the knot”).
Originally this is the historical term for a wedding or betrothal. In this beautiful ceremony, the hands and arms of the couple are tied together with ribbons, cord or twine, each symbolising a special good wish or promise. The couple can make it symbolic to each other or invite family members to help them in tying the knot.
The couple’s rings are placed in a secured little pouch, on a small pillow or a ring box. They are then passed around friends and family to bless, give loving thoughts, good wishes and to charge them with positivity to start you on your way to married life.
Lighting a candle has been part of important ceremonies since ancient times. In weddings it symbolises a couple joining in marriage as well as the joining of two families. A couple of family members light small candles then the couple will use those candles to light a single large candle. Often it is the mothers of the couple who do this but you could also ask friends or different members of the family to take part.
A fun symbolic act that is great for any children of the couple or significant family members. Different coloured layers of sand (representing each person) are carefully poured on top of each other in a glass bottle or similar symbolising the blending of the new family.
The Quaich, a two-handled loving cup, is an ancient Scottish tradition that seals the bond and marks the blending of two people. It symbolizes the love and trust implied by the bond, as the new couple shares the first drink of their marriage together.
A lovely way of remembering a family member or friend who has passed away. The bride and/or groom light the candle next to a framed photo, by saying a few words if they wish, to include this person into the ceremony. This is particularly healing if it is a recent bereavement.
A great way of including friends and family in signing as witnesses to the ceremony. Although nothing legal takes place it can make the ceremony have more of a stamp of authority and something to take away to remember in future years.
It only needs to be a few minutes and music can be played during the signing of the certificate, a popular choice is, “Signed, Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder.
The wine ceremony often takes place after the exchanging of vows and rings. The bride and groom choose their own wine, which will then be poured into a single large glass. Each of them will drink from the glass and toast to their past, their present and their future. It doesn’t have to be wine, but whatever you choose, do a test at home first to make sure the cocktail of drinks works. It should taste nice!
A lovely Polish wedding tradition of The Bread, Salt and Wine Blessing that can be added into today’s modern weddings.
The bride and groom are presented by both sets of parents or friends, with a loaf of bread sprinkled with salt and a goblet of wine (or other drink), followed by the sentence “we greet you with bread and salt so that your home might always enjoy abundance.”
The bread, meaning hope to never get hungry or be in need. The salt, meaning coping with struggles in life and marriage. The wine, to never get thirsty, with a life full of joy, happiness and health, sharing the company of friends for many years to come.
Kisses and hugs are then shared with the parents/friends as a sign of their love and unity.
An Oathing Stone is an old Celtic tradition, the Bride and Groom place their hands upon a stone while saying their wedding vows.
Called the Oathing Stone it was thought to be the best way to express a solemn promise in physical form. Taken from the ancient Celtic custom of setting an oath in stone, inclusion of an Oathing stone in the vows can be deeply moving.
The stone can be kept by the couple and put somewhere decorative to remind them of their vows. It can also be thrown into a nearby stream, lake or sea so they can visit the area again to remind them of their vows. Traditionally an oath given near water was considered to be more binding. Some believe that it is where the phrase ‘set in stone’ comes from.
The broom jumping ceremony is based upon tradition symbolising the clearing away of negativity with a sweep of a broom and creating a threshold for the couple to cross over into their new life together. It’s a lively and visually impressive symbolic act, especially if the broom is decorated to match the Wedding’s theme colours.
Symbolic Acts for wedding ceremonies – If you have an idea or want something you have heard about included then let me know and we will make it happen.
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Albert Palmer- Wedding Photographer Bristol