Wedding Ceremony Rituals (or add-ons)

Wedding Rituals are like the special features of the Ceremony.

Below are brief descriptions of the more popular features.

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Weddings of the Heart
Unity Candle: Actually involves 3 candles. One or more people from the bride’s family and the groom’s family come up and light two side candles. Later, the bride and groom use these two candles to light a larger, center candle. Symbolizes the uniting of the two families through this marriage. Sand Ceremony: Very similar to Unity Candle (sometimes preferred for windy outdoor weddings). Families pour colored sand into two separate glass containers. Bride and groom then pour these into a center glass container which is later sealed and given to them to take home as a symbol of the mixing together of their families and their lives. Rose Ceremony: Officiant gives bride and groom each a rose and talks about rose as symbol of love and nature’s beauty. Bride and groom are then asked to give their roses to each other as their very first gift in marriage. Officiant then explains that while each is still holding a rose and looks the same, they know they have given something very precious to each other, just as in their vows. Honoring the Parents: Bride and groom honor their parents by telling them how much they mean to them and how they have nurtured and cared for them and helped them to become the people they are today. They may wish to present a rose (rose ceremony to parents) to them as they do this.



Opening Ritual or Song (Optional) (Examples: Lighting alter candles or side Unity candles by family members, unrolling aisle runner, ringing of bells, scattering of flower petals, etc.) Procession Includes "Presentation of the bride".) Opening Reading, Prayer, or Song (Optional) (Something general to set a respectful, spiritual tone.) Opening Words/Officiant's Welcome (Officiant welcomes guests and thanks them for coming. The Officiant may stress importance of community support to a marriage or for a "community vow of support".) Honoring of Important People Who Are Not Present (Optional) (Mention them, give a moment of silence, or present a flower near their framed photo, etc.) Honoring of Parents (Optional) Parents, grandparents, godparents or other close relatives are honored for their love and support by each partner during the ceremony. These special people can each be recognized with the gift of a flower, a corsage, a special poem or a simple hug and kiss. This is a touching ritual for the beginning of the wedding ceremony, and is usually deeply appreciated and remembered by all. Reading, Prayer, Song or Blessing About Love and/or Marriage (Optional) (In a Christian wedding, this is a very common place to insert 1st Corinthians 13.) Marriage Address (Officiant speaks about significance of marriage and about the couple he/she is marrying. In a religious ceremony, the Officiant may deliver a sermon/homily.) Declaration of Intent to Marry / Traditional Vows (Officiant asks if the couple comes to be married spiritual and legally free, and without reservation. Traditional vows may be exchanged at this point.) Family Vows (Optional) (For marriages involving children, family vows may be exchanged). Blessing of Rings (Optional) (Officiant explains symbolism and significance of rings and blesses them.) Exchange of Rings (Vows are said with exchange of rings, for example, “With this ring, I thee wed.”) Ritual (Optional) (Lighting of the Unity candle, Unity bouquet or Rose Ceremony, Sand Ceremony, Blessing of the Hands, Signing of the Marriage License, etc.) Pronouncement (This is the Official pronouncement of Husband and Wife to the guests/ community) Kiss: (“You may Kiss the bride” or “You may share a Kiss” or some version similar to this.) Closing Blessing (Optional) (The Apache Wedding Blessing or a personal blessing by Officiant, are common). Presentation of Couple (Optional) (Be sure to tell your Officiant how you would like to be presented as the newly married couple, for example: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith, or Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Sasha Smith, or Mr. Robert Smith and Ms.Sasha Harper, etc.) Recession
Mothers Lighting Unity Candles
Rose Ceremony-