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  • Writer's pictureLaura Bell

A guide to rituals in your wedding ceremony

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

When it comes to planning your wedding ceremony, you may be interested in having a Celebrant instead of a registrar. There are big differences between the two, the most obvious being content and time length.


Celebrants offer more flexibility and essentially create your ceremony with careful guidance from you. We understand that every couple is different and so there will be different things you may wish to include, one of which is rituals.


Read on for my guide to including rituals within your Wedding Ceremony.

 

What is a Celebrant?


Independent Celebrants create ceremonies. We are able to include both religious and spiritual content within our ceremonies as well as rituals.


Also known as visual elements, these include handfasting, sand ceremonies, unity candles and more. You can choose include as many as you wish within your ceremony.


It's worth noting also, that you don't have to include any rituals at all, or feel like you need to shoehorn one in.

 

What do rituals symbolise?


Rituals are elements that are included in wedding ceremonies symbolise your union as a couple / family / blended family. They are a beautiful keepsake for you to treasure and remind you of your special day.


I usually recommend to my couples to include no more than 2 or 3 rituals, depending on the length they would like the ceremony to be. The most popular option is for a handtying after vows.


If choosing more than 1 ritual, I would recommend them to be spread out between your introduction love story, vows, rings and in between any readings.


For example, ring warming is a great ritual to include within the introduction and you could end with jumping of the broom leaving space for a handtying in the middle.

 

Popular rituals for wedding ceremonies


Handfasting


Handfasting or handtying becomes more popular each wedding season. There are different ways of doing both with a Handfasting typically being more spiritual as the Celebrant will call upon the elements and likely have an alter to accompany and support the ritual.


Handfasting is of Celtic origin and people would often be handfasted instead of exchanging gold rings. Handtying is adapted from this and you can discuss with your Celebrant which way of tying and knotting suits you best.


You can choose fabrics, ribbons, charms and photo lockets to decorate and create your braid, or you can have key guests drape ribbons over your hands.


Extended from this is the tying of the knot which is a lovely visual way to communicate your nuptials in photographs. Typically this is done after your vows and you can kiss and showcase your knot at the same time!


Tree Planting


In 2022, 18 of my couples chose to plant trees as part of wedding, naming and vow renewal ceremonies.


With tree planting, you can choose to plant this at home if you're having the ceremony in your garden. If you are getting married at a venue, you may wish to do a "tree transfer" instead.


Choosing or decorating a pot that means something to you, you can then transfer the rose, lemon or olive tree into this as a blessing piece is read.


Unity Candles


Another beautiful way of showcasing your marriage union is to include a unity candle ritual within your ceremony. Two candles are lit symbolising your individual lives and you come together within your ceremony space to light a centre or pillar candle.


There are so many beautiful painted candles to choose from or maybe you could create your own!


Sand Ceremonies


Sand ceremonies are really fun for families wanting their children to participate within their ceremony. You can choose sand from your favourite beach, colour sand or glitter and create something magical together.


As a couple, you could showcase this in a frame or vase to display in your home and you could even add to it as you continue your travels in your future adventures together.

 

Alternative rituals for wedding ceremonies


Jumping of the broom


This is a great ritual to include just before you walk out of your ceremony. Traditionally used to seal you wedding vows and declare them publicly, you both cross the threshold into marriage by jumping into your new life together.


Around the world, brooms symbolise good luck as they are used to sweep evil away.


Smudging


Cleansing the ceremony area before saying your vows to rid any negative energy can be achieved by smudging. By lighting a sage stick followed by a smudging prayer, symbolically and physically clear the air as you enter your new life together.


Fire Building


If you have a firepit at your disposal for your ceremony, a fire building ritual is a great one to include if you'd like to call on your guests for their support.


As you build your first fire together, a blessing piece is shared as friends and family share their promises for support in keeping your fire lit both symbolically and physically.


If you're struggling for favours, Smores' are great if you'd like to include this ritual. Then your guests can toast their marshmallows upon your fire and help keep it burning all night long!

 

How do I create my own ritual?


Rituals can be made up of anything that symbolises your union in either marriage or as a family unit. If you'd like to create your own ritual, sit down together and list through activities and interests you both enjoy.


This could be something like running, where within your ceremony you could gift a pair of trainers to each other. Perhaps you both love photography? You could take a photo of each other on an instant camera and frame it within your ceremony space.


If you're a tea lover, you might look to create your own tea blends for each other and enjoy a cup of tea during your ceremony. This can also apply to spirits such as a gin or rum as we discuss the elements and their symbolisation. The possibilities are endless!

 

How do we book you as our Celebrant?


I'm so pleased you asked! You can book me by emailing hello@ceremoniesbylaurabell.com or WhatsApp/call me: 07701050693.


I'd love nothing more than create a magical ceremony for you, laced with visual elements as they absolutely are "my thing!"


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