LOVE – it’s amazing isn’t it and definitely worth celebrating!
I have the privilege of spending time and seeing couples in love and it’s honestly just fabulous!
As part of my job as a celebrant I craft bespoke ceremonies based on the information I gather about you as a couple and also individuals. Its all good stuff but when it comes down to the actual ceremony itself there are lots of choices about what to include as elements.
Some couples choose to have a very traditional ceremony with no elements at all, and put the focus on their promises, readings, poems and vows, but other couples want that extra bit of something added to their special day. There are literally so many different ingredients that can be added to a ceremony, so I thought it would be interesting and hopefully useful, to write a brief description of my top 5, some of which you may have heard of, and some of which you many not!
There are unlimited possibilities when you have a celebrant led ceremony, and it’s really about finding what’s right for you, and enjoying your special day, creating those special lasting memories.
Whatever you choose – remember….
you chose each other!
Handfasting is a really popular and well recognised element that lots of couples choose to add to their ceremony.
It has its roots in ancient Celtic tradition dating back possibly as far as 7000BC. In the days of old, cords were made from decorated pieces of rope which were then wrapped around the couples joined hands by a priest, and tied in a knot. This signified the binding of their lives from that moment forward, and indeed its where the saying ‘Tying The Knot’ actually originates from.
Couples today often choose to make their own cords, and attach pictures to the cord, maybe of their pets or children. The cord can be made of ribbons, twine, beads, silk and in colours to compliment your special day.
Another option is that key family members all have a piece of ribbon, and come forward placing it over the couples hands before the knot is tied by the celebrant, again a way of involving family and showing their support and love.
The Tying Of The Knot is still very significant, and represents your joining and binding of lives from this moment forward. The Handfasting cord is a lovely keepsake of your special day, and can be placed in your memory box after the knot has been tied.
If you are Pagan or Wiccan the Handfasting would be done slightly differently but as an element in most modern day ceremonies, it’s a beautiful, meaningful, and memorable element to add to you special day.
Love Letters & Memory Box
You are almost at the time when you are ready for your special day…. its been an incredibly busy and exciting time with months and even years of careful planning and preparation.
Take a quite moment, sit on your own… think about how you feel about your partner, about your future together, your hopes, dreams, plans, wishes, put pen to paper and write them a letter. Your partner will be doing the very same, and if you want to include lyrics from a song, a poem, a scribble of a heart etc, then do just that. Once you have your letter, you both seal your envelopes.
During your ceremony your envelopes will be placed in a memory box with a few other items, it could be your favourite chocolate, ticket from the first time you went to the cinema etc. A year later, on your first anniversary, you open the box together, and read each others letters, celebrating your first years anniversary and the memories you created together.
Gathering Of Stones
This is a fabulous element that can involve a number of your guests.
Choose 10 guests
They all find a stone and write their chosen word for you on their stone.
During your ceremony they come forward and place their stone in a bowl and say the word on their stone and their message for you relating to that word.
It can be a myriad of quirky, emotional, and personal thoughts that people who mean the world to you want to offer into your ceremony. They may write laughter and want to say something funny… or choose courage, and share with you a few words relating to that
A few there for starters but there are so many and the key is making it personal to you to make your ceremony.
Wedding Ring Warming
A beautiful way of involving everyone at your ceremony!
Everyone is at your special day because they have been invited by you… they want to help you celebrate your love. Most of them will have memories of you, as individuals and also as a couple, and here’s a super way you can involve them!
Choose a person who will be responsible for the rings for a brief while. They will come forward and it will be announced that the rings will be passed around (in the box) to everyone to put love and good intent into before they are exchanged.
The boxed rings will then be passed around…
Some people will hold the box to their hearts, some people will close their eyes and remember a significant moment with you, children may giggle into it, some may cry…
By the time its been brought back to the front that box is full of amazing memories, love and special magic, all ready for when the rings are taken out of the box and exchanged.
Plant A Tree!
This element is a lovely way to involve your family and remember them in the future as your life grows and moves on together through time!
Choose a sapling tree
Take some soil from each of your parent’s gardens, or places of significance…. it could be where you met etc and place in separate bags.
During your ceremony, you will add a little soil from each of the separate pots to the main pot with the sapling in. The soil represents both your families coming together, and the roots from the plant represent strength and a solid foundation, which will continue to grow. Your sapling over time will grow into a tree, flower, perhaps fruit, grow more branches and continue to flourish!
A lovely one to watch grow over time….
I hope you have enjoyed reading.
The Yorkshire Celebrant
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