Alternative Wedding Ceremony Traditions
If you have chosen a celebrant-led wedding ceremony, then you can make your wedding ceremony completely personal and unique to you and your partner. However, this freedom may be a bit overwhelming! Here we have some beautiful alternative wedding ceremony traditions that could be included in your personalised ceremony.
Handfasting is an ancient tradition derived from pagan roots. It involves tying cords around the joined hands of the bride and groom. This could be where we get “tying the knot” from! This alternative wedding ceremony tradition often takes place at the end of the wedding ceremony as a final promise from one person to the other to bind their lives together.
This beautiful symbolic gesture provides a wonderful keepsake of your wedding day. You can have your own handfasting cords with your choice of colours and fabrics such as string, ribbon or even jewellery. However, the material should probably be significant to you. Don’t be afraid to get creative and be unique!
Also, you can choose the kind of knot you wish to tie your hands into. Knots can carry a different symbolic meaning, for example, Infinity Knots, Fisherman’s Knots, and Trinity Knots. So, see which of these fits you and your partner best!
Jumping the broom
Jumping the broom is an old wedding tradition in which the bride and groom jump over a broom during the ceremony. This tradition originated as an elopement or informal union. The act symbolises a new beginning and a sweeping away of the past. Modern wedding brooms are still made with a wooden handle and natural bristles, but they’re kept as treasured keepsakes. So, these brooms are beautifully decorated with ribbons, flowers, bows, beads and more.
The broom can even be used to include guests in the ceremony. A couple can have guests write their names on pieces of decorative paper attached to ribbons, and then the ribbons are tied to the broom before it is jumped. This symbolises that the guests — and their associated well wishes — go into the marriage with the couple.
A popular alternative wedding ceremony tradition is a flower ceremony. The couple each has a flower, as do every family member they wish to take part in the ceremony. It could be that the couple have one colour or type of colour and the family members have another. The bride and groom then swap their flowers as the first gift to each other as a married couple, placing them into a vase. Then all of the family members add their flowers. The most common flower choice is, of course, roses as the traditional symbol of love. However, you don’t have to use roses for your ceremony—use any flower that has a special meaning to you! You could even use fabric or preserved flowers so your bouquet remains a keepsake for a long time!
A sand ceremony is a really creative alternative wedding ceremony tradition. Its meaning is simple and beautiful: two becoming one. The bride and groom mix two different colours of sand into one container, thereby symbolising their lives and hearts entwined. Once combined, it would be difficult to separate the sand out again; just as the couple are joined together. You can choose your favourite colours for your sand for a unique touch. Also, many couples with children choose to include them, symbolising the joining of their family. Plus, you can keep the sand-filled jar as a stunning keepsake!
The water ceremony is similar to the sand ceremony, blending two colours into one. You should experiment with colours before the wedding so that the mixing gives a colour you really like. Also, consider water density. Think carefully about how you want to colour your water and get creative, as certain liquids can give a layered effect.
A candle ceremony involves the main candle being lit, often by the parents of the couple, to symbolise your separate lives. After the couple has exchanged their vows, the couple each light a candle from the main candle. Then the rest of the family can light their candles from it as well. Alternatively, the couple could light each other’s candles, and together they light the main one. The merging flames will show their unity and shared lives going forward. This ceremony is very flexible, so you can adapt it so it is symbolic to you. Just be wary if you are planning an outdoor ceremony, as it won’t work well in windy conditions!
The wine ceremony also shows the merging of two into one. In this tradition, two wines are blended into one, possibly red wine and white wine. Then the couple drinks from a shared container. You could choose different liquids other than wine. The importance is the sharing of a cup as a symbol of togetherness.
If you want to include some alternative wedding ceremony traditions on your special day, discover the perfect celebrant to help shape your dream ceremony.
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