Often times in the midst of all the plans that make the day special and beautiful, couples need to be reminded that it is the "Ceremony" that makes you married - it is what unites you as husband and wife. There many unique ways to create memories that will leave a lasting impression for you and your guests. I call these ceremony enhancements, "A Ceremony within a Ceremony". Many of them may include children and family members while others will bring a tear or two.
This Ceremony is deeply moving and promises to be part of your ceremony that you and your guests will be talking about for years to come. Promising not to leave a dry eye, you will find this is the defining moment in your ceremony and it will truly be the moment that you will be 100% sure the hands that you are holding during the Blessing, are the hands you want to hold for the rest of your life.
Here is an Excerpt of this Beautiful Ceremony:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he/she promises to love you all the days of his/her life . . . These are the hands that will give you support as he/she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized. God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another."
Blending family vows, are appropriate, even encouraged when the marriage will create a new family with children. It is most important to welcome the children as a part of the new family that will be created by the union. When you compose your vows to them, include an introduction and acknowledgement of the children, a warm welcome to the family, your commitment as a parent, and your pride in having each individual child a part of your now larger family. In fact, right after both bride and groom bestow the children with their vows, is a perfect time to present every child with a special jewelry gift such as a ring, a pendant, a tie pin etc.
This Blessing Stone Ceremony is designed to take place at the end of the wedding ceremony, usually after the pronouncement. When your guests arrive at the ceremony, they are each given a polished stone. As your guests hold them during the ceremony, they are infused with the love, good wishes and heartfelt blessings that each of them are experiencing. At the end of the ceremony, your guests are invited to move to the waters edge for the casting of the blessing stones. The ripples that are made represent the love and good wishes for not only the couple, but for all the world... as our ripples cross and re-cross one another's, so do our love and good wishes touch and retouch all around us and those with whom we come into contact. This Ceremony is a great addition to any ceremony and a wonderful way to include everybody in attendance; the Bride and Groom, the entire wedding party, your families, friends and invited guests. There are variations of the this ceremony using a vase to gather the stones instead of tossing them and also substituting shells instead of stones.
The Unity Candle Ceremony is a popular wedding tradition that symbolizes the bride and groom blending into one family. The two outer candles represent your individual lives before today. They represent all that you are from your vast experiences, and they represent your individual families. As you each take a single candle and light the center candle, you will extinguish your individual candles. Although this ceremony is traditional in nature, you can customize it to become a unique and creative part of your wedding. The Unity Candle Ceremony is a popular choice for both religious and non-religious ceremonies because it is non-denominational and has no religious significance. If you are creating a new family you may want to include the children in the lighting of the Unity Candle. Often this is done by having the bride and groom light the candle for the children and then everyone lighting the center candle together. This is an excellent way to involve children from a previous marriage.
The candle lighting ceremony is also often used to remember and honor loved ones unable to attend your wedding ceremony but, who remain present in your hearts (called a memorial candle). It is important to note that how you choose to incorporate this touching unity candle tradition is entirely up to you.
This Ceremony is an alternative to the Unity Candle Ceremony and is similar in its symbolism. The relationship of the bride and groom is symbolized through the pouring of two individual containers of sand (representing their individuality) into one container representing their union. As the sand from the two containers is poured into the third container, the individual sands no longer exist, but now is a combination of the two. If you are having a beach wedding, this ceremony is MUST!! It is also an excellent ceremony to include children and/or family members as it not only symbolizes two individuals coming together as one but many times a family becoming one.
The butterfly symbolizes a new beginning and also symbolizes rebirth and transformation. What better way to celebrate the beginning of a new life together than with the releasing of butterflies at your wedding. Every release is unique and special just as every wedding and every moment of our life is unique and special. The beauty and grace of these butterflies taking flight is a wonder to behold. The Release is usually at the conclusion of their ceremony, after the pronouncement of marriage. It can be done in different ways, including the guests and/or just the bridal party – the choice is yours. A special poem or reading can also be incorporated into the ceremony. No matter how you choose to release your butterflies, this ceremony is a beautiful, unusual, and exciting way to celebrate the beginning of your new life together. For more information on a Butterfly Release and how to purchase them, please follow this link: http://www.swallowtailfarms.com/pages/welcome.html
There are both silent and verbal ways to remember those loved ones who are unable to attend your wedding due either death or circumstances that prevent them from coming. You may leave a flower or memento on an empty chair in honor of a deceased parent or grandparent. You may want to have a poem, reading of prayer said.
Keep your loved ones close to your heart on your Wedding Day and have them quietly but respectfully dangling from your bouquet with these stunning handmade memorial bouquet charms. Personalized sentiments will be printed on the back. To order, follow this link: http://yumyumpendants.com/personalized-keepsakes/1015-bouquet-charms-custom-photo-memorial-charms.html.
You may also purchase them at a craft store like Michael's or Joann's. Please visit my "Resource"page to see a Memorail Floating Candle that may also be used to commemorate the Remembrance.
The result would be something like this photo from hystudio.com.
In essence, the remembrance provides an opportunity to publicly recognize your loved ones who are not present.
Photo courtesy of: HyStudio, California
A Civil ceremony is a ceremony that doesn't reference God or any other spiritual deity. Civil ceremonies may have traditional or contemporary readings and there are no prayers or blessings.
A Non-denominational ceremony is typically Christian, without adhering to any particular denomination (Catholic, Baptist, etc) A non-denominational ceremony may have traditional, Christian and/or contemporary readings.
Spanish-Speaking ceremony is a beautiful ceremony that can be Civil, Christian, Non-denominational, Spiritual, or Interfaith. Ceremony may be in all Spanish or part Spanish and part English.
A Spiritual ceremony is a beautiful ceremony that often incorporates traditions, blessings, and/or prayers of non-Christian faiths. May incorporate nature.
Interfaith/intercultural ceremonies incorporate traditions, blessing, and/or prayers from more than one faith or culture. ie. Buddhist and Christian elements, African and Hispanic cultures.
A Christian ceremony is a ceremony with emphasis as Christ at the center of your marriage; an expression of worship, reflecting joy, celebration, community, respect, dignity and love; a testimony of your life before God, demonstrating your Christian values. May include prayers and scripture readings.