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  • Writer's pictureVikkiharriscelebrant

What symbolic things can we include in our wedding ceremony?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

There are loads of different symbolic things you can include in your wedding ceremony. Here are some of the ones I have been asked to include recently. It’s by no means and exhaustive list.

What Is A Unity Candle?

A Unity Candle Ceremony is a really lovely way of involving other significant individuals in a ceremony. As with all of this there are no hard and fast rules about this, but it typically involves three candles, two of which are lit at the start of the ceremony. These candles then are used as kindling for the larger candle by the couple to symbolise the union of you both and / or your families coming together to create a new light.

What Is Hand Fasting?

Hand fasting is where the phrase ‘tying the knot’ comes from. It is a beautifully symbolic way of joining a couple together. Couples can be tied together with anything. It might be something that has a symbolic meaning for them, or simply something that ties in with the colour scheme of the wedding. Lots of couples want to have hand fasting because of the visual as opposed to the origins. It could also be really nice way of bringing children or other family members into a ceremony. Each person could lay a different colour ribbon over the hands to symbolize the union.

Typical meaning behind the ribbon colours:

  • Red - for strength and courage, good health, prosperity, and longevity

  • Orange – for open hearts, sensitivity and understanding

  • Yellow – for enthusiasm, spontaneity and equality

  • Green – for compassion, affection and caring

  • Light Blue – for sincerity, and honest communication

  • Purple – for clear vision and wisdom, for peace and harmony in all ways

  • Gold - for unity – divine blessing and presence in your lives

What Is Jumping The Broom?

In the UK, jumping the broom has origins in Wales where the idea of living together was well established as a practical option in rural communities. Couples would place a broom stick in the doorway of their house, hold hands and jump over the broom into their new home and new life together – literally swept off their feet. Jumping the broom is a symbol of a new beginning, sweeping away the old and welcoming the new, typically incorporated into a ceremony at the end when walking back down the aisle.

What Is A Ring Warming?

A ring warming is when you give your loved ones the opportunity to hold the couple’s wedding bands with a wish for your marriage. Believed to be an Irish wedding ceremony tradition, the warming of the rings takes place when the couple's wedding bands are passed around by guests during the ceremony. It is a nice way of putting some content into the ceremony if there are some religious people coming as they can have a moment of quiet contemplation and bless the couple. By the time your rings make it on to your fingers they will be saturated with the love of your friends and family.

What Is A Sand Ceremony?

A sand ceremony is a very visual way for a couple to come together. It is a fun way to bring other members of the wedding party into it too. You could for example get other members of your family or friends to take it in turns to add sand to the bottle. The wedding sand ceremony represents the coming together of two people or two families into one new family. It is a very simple idea that can be incredibly powerful, each person has different coloured sand (or simply sand from different beaches) and takes turns pouring it into one clear vessel, forming a layered effect. If you have been married abroad you could collect sand from the beach where that took place to be the foundation for it. You could use sand from different significant places or different colours - there are lots of choices, both for the sand and what kind of vessel you pour it into.

Once in the same vessel, the sand will shift and blend in new ways, but they are virtually impossible to be separate demonstrating your unbreakable bonds.

What Is A Cocktail Ceremony?

Using the cocktail ingredients to create something that is a blend for both of you / your families / your friends, like the sand ceremony once mixed they are blended in new ways and impossible to separate, which not only demonstrates something beautiful you have created together but also something which is impossible to separate. Go one step further and have this as the reception drink waiting for your guests as they leave the ceremony or as a toast during the ceremony – a shot to tie the knot perhaps?

Vikki Harris is a Lancashire Wedding Celebrant.

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