There are many traditions ane rites, a few examples are :
The Sand Ceremony The couple each have a vial of sand of different color and repeat a small vow as they merge them. If there are children from a previous relationship included in the ceremony they too can add their colors of sand to make a symbolic family merger and a keepsake for years to come.
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Nuptual Toast Honoring the life they have promised to share, acknowledging that their life will fill their cup with joys as well as sorrows which they will share.
Parents Flowers Honoring those who have given life to their beloved, the groom gives a rose to the bride?s mother and the bride gives one to the groom?s mother with a kiss. In the event they are deceased, a flower is set in a vase calling their name out in remembrance and giving thanks for them.
Special Honoring for a friend or family member, Song, Poem or
Reading, or a time for your favorite love song, poem or a special person to honor. A Special family tradition or a time for any special cultural, religious or family tradition that you want Children,s vows & gifts Children are invited into the new family circle with parents vows to the children and children?s vows to the parents of this new family unit, followed by giving each of the children a token of ring/pendant/pin symbolic of their unity with the new family, followed by the family?s circle prayer.
Samples Ancient & New Age Marriage Rites Burning Bridges The bride and groom make a list of all those things that have happened to them in their life to make them who they are to day. This list is rolled up and tied with a cord. During this small ceremony the list is touched to the flame of a candle and burned Releasing the Past and Emptying the Cup of Life so that it can be filled to overflowing again together so they can Love and Trust as though they have never been betrayed.
The Profit & The First Bride Song Symbolic References *A reference to the life long mating of Doves with my antique lace cage of Doves at the alter *A reference to the life long mating of Swans with a Swan Vase Statue at the alter holding flowers *A reference to either the brass 7 candle floor candelabras or the 15 candle floor candleabras and the meaning of the numbers of candles, as dialoged by Minister Love Feather & Sage Smudge An ancient native tradition of cleansing the ceremonial space & spirit of Bride and Groom symbolically, with ceremonial sage before uniting in sacred matrimony, dialoged by Minister. 1st Corinthians 13 An excerpt from the Bible on the definition of Love, read by Minister.
Exchange of Nuptial Gifts An old custom where the Groom declares what he has to give to the bride fortheir life together and she declares to him what she has to give for their married life together, symbolically represented by shawl, basket or blankets. Nuptial Candle & Heart Flame Vows The couple each take a taper (previously set by their mothers or handed to them during the ceremony by a close relative or friend) representing their individual life and light their Wedding Candle together signifying that they will now be a light unto each other?s path and they blow out their individual candles. They then each waft their hands through the flame and place their hand on each others heart with their heart flame vows of body, mind & spirit.
CHILDREN IN FAMILY WEDDING
Blessing Stones A ceremony near water will accommodate this tradition of either the bride & groom, the wedding party (during the wedding) (or the entire audience following the recessional) take a stone that has previously been gathered either by the bride and groom or children that are attending, and either painted with pictures or left plain, or tossed into the water making symbolic ripples of love that will go out into infinity touching everyone within their paths as the extend out, changing the world we live in. dialoged by the minister.
Seedlings An honoring to the trees and our ecological dependence on them, giving each of the guests a seedling to plant in honor of the new life the couple is starting to day, (either during the ceremony or after the recessional) (the USFS will provide these free) Tying the Knot The last tradition before the pronouncement of the husband and wife. This is an ancient Celtic tradition and from whence the saying comes. In the times of our ancestors weddings were not conducted indoors, nor with wedding rings. The town gathered and the signal that the rites were completed was when their officiate tied the cord about their wrist and raise their hands into the air, showing they had Tied the Knot in the Cord of Days and would not slip backward from here but walk forward together, hand in hand and side by side. This is a light hearted tying of the knot at the end of the ceremony, everyone enjoys this old tradition that has actually come to meangetting married "Tying the Knot"
THE KNOT IN THE CORD OF DAYS
The Celtic Wheel of Life or The Native Sacred Hoop
These two traditions are very similar even though they emerged on different continents. An honoring of the basic four directions and their symbolic meaning in our lives for learning through experience and honoring or elders/ancestors for personal growth, relationship, introspection and wisdom to share our talents/gifts. Using the basic elements which can be carried by bride?s attendants, ie candle for fire, crystal or stone for earth, shell for water and feathers forair; special items reflecting these honorings carried and placed by the bride and groom themselves; Or they can already be arranged on pillars/stands at the ceremony site and referred to by their presence or honored by the bride and groom.
The minister can dialogue the inclusion of the meaning of the 4 directions, or they may have a special person at each of the directions to give the meaning for each. North is the place of wisdom and teaching. East is the place of new beginnings and seeing the ?whole picture? before diving in. South is the place of growth and nurturing love. West is the place of quietness and introspection into ones self.
The Honoring of Earth This is basically the same as the Wheel, Hoop or Circle ceremony however it doesn't have to be a circle or include the 4 directions.
After the Wine toast ceremony of the bride and groom, the remainder of the wine from the nuptial toast is poured out upon the earth as an honoring.
The planting of a seedling tree by the bride and groom, (which is also done by couples during their ceremony in the Amazon Jungle) Both honor Mother Earth. There are many other lovely old traditions that I haven't included here but that we can visit about if you are interested, like jumping the broom, presentation of swords, cutting the apron strings, key exchange, pinning the tartan, etc.
All is dialoged by the minister as to the symbolism of the ceremony and its heartfelt intentions, so the guests understand what and why.