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Rituals

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Ring Exchange

Performed at nearly every wedding, the rings exchanged represent the unending love between the couple.  They also act as a symbol of the promises you make to each other through your vows.

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Lighting a Unity Candle

Symbolising the couple becoming one, a representative of each partner light the individual candles.  The couple uses these to light their Unity Candle and join their lives.

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Sand Ceremony

Much like the Unity Candle, the combining of different colored sand represents the couple blending themselves together.  This Hawaiian ceremony can be used for couples and for family oriented ceremonies.

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Ceremony of the Rose

This symbolizes the joining of the two families.  The couple each have a rose which they present to their partner's parents.  Each express their gratitude, usually with a hug and a few loving words, for being allowed to join the family.


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Handfasting

A Celtic tradition, Handfasting (the ancient word for 'wedding') spawned the term "tying the knot".  After the vows and rings are exchanged, the couples' hands are tied in a love knot by their personalized cord.  This signifies the joining of the couple and the desire that their lives and destinies be bound together.

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Breaking the Glass

The Breaking of the Glass has many meanings and typically concludes Jewish ceremonies.  Religiously, the broken glass represents the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.  In general, the fragments remind the couple of the fragility of relationships and that marriage changes their lives forever.  My personal favorite, however, is...  the groom stepping on the glass is the LAST time he gets to put his foot down about anything!

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Jumping the Broom

The Broom Jump concludes many Pagan ceremonies.  At the beginning of the ceremony, someone of importance to the couple sweeps the aisle directly behind the couple then lays the broom on the swept floor space.  This clears the path for the couple to begin their life together.  The broom represents the threshold between past and present and the jump is the first step to be taken by the couple together as husband and wife.


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Love Letter Wine Box 
 

A few weeks before the wedding, the couple should spend some time apart, each writing their partner a letter.  This letter should reflect their innermost feelings during this time of build-up to the big day and their hopes for their future together.  Both letters are to be sealed, unread by the person for whom they are destined.  

 

There are so many options for this ritual: a wine cask can be used, or there are many personalized box options available online.  Some boxes come with small padlocks (as pictured) and some boxes will require being nailed closed (because who doesn't want to break out a hammer in the middle of a wedding??).  A bottle of wine or another beverage of the couples' choosing should be procured.  Some couples include a CD their favorite songs or photographs of them together throughout their relationship thus far.  There is no wrong thing to put in the box.

 

All of these items are laid out on a table before the ceremony and the box sits open and empty.  During the ceremony, the ritual is explained and the couple places their beverage, their unopened letters, and anything else they would like to include into the box.  Then the box is closed and sealed or locked.  Consider this the making of a wedding time capsule.  The box is not to be opened until an anniversary of the couples' choosing when both may read the letters written for them, and share their favorite beverage.  There is, however, an exception to this rule.  The box may be opened early only if the couple is experiencing marital problems.  Then it is suggested they open the box to read their letters, relive their pre-wedding emotions, and rekindle the relationship that brought them together in the first place.

 

 

 

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