Post # 1
My Fiance and are are beginning to work on our ceremony, and since a friend just got ordained for the purpose of marrying us, we are pretty much doing the entire ceremony ourselves. Empowering…but a little scary.
We’ve been trying to come up with some kind of visual element around which to center the ceremony, but nothing seems quite right. I would love to hear all of your unique ceremony ideas, especially those appropriate for secular/non-religious/outdoor weddings! Please feel free to use this as a forum to discuss unique ceremony ideas.
Here are the ceremony ideas I’ve heard so far:
Wine lock box (adorable, but this would make my mother frown, and I’m terrible with a hammer in my hand)
Ring warming (the most serious contender–I think this is a great interactive element for a small wedding)
Hand fastening, covering the bride and groom with the veil, or tying them with a lasso
Write notes on balloons for lost loved ones and release them at the end
Signing the paperwork as part of the ceremony (I would actually do this if we weren’t outdoors with no viable surface to write on)
Jumping the broom
German wedding cup
Release of doves/butterflies
And for religious brides, I’ve also heard about blessings, roses for Mary, foot washing, glass breaking, unity crosses, and group communion.
Anyone else have anything they’d like to add to the list?
Post # 3
We did our handfasting with a flexible wreath of flowers that was twisted into an infinity symbol. We each put a hand through one side. Our officiant used the Victorian flower language and made the wreath herself using different flowers and herbs that all meant something.
Post # 4
posting so i can find this again!
Post # 5
Your wedding ceremony sounds very very similar to ours! A friend got ordained, and I’ve been working on incorporating and building a non-denom ceremony for a while now. I like the idea of the ring warming, but I think sand/unity candle/etc. are all kind of overdone In My Humble Opinion. I was thinking about having a group consent at some point in the ceremony and maybe using sparklers or candles passing a flame on from one person to the next to create a “circle of light, support, and love” (our wedding is smallish–76 people or so). I think doing something that would incorporate the attendees is very cool. Maybe modifiying one of the traditional things to be more meaningful, like family brings you dirt from all their homes to be combined and you two plant something in it? I’m interested to see what you come up with!
Post # 6
@zippylef: That’s a beautiful way to make the hand fastening something very meaningul and personal. I always think of it as rope for tying the knot, but I’d never thought to use flowers.
@seprice7: I agree about the unity elements being a bit overdone, though I understand why a lot of people incorporate them into their ceremonies because of the visual symbolism. Plus, with my ceremony being outside, we’ve heard some horror stories of wind knocking over hurricanes and sand vases, things like that. The dirt idea is interesting…I really like the thought of bringing plants into the ceremony. We’re using acorns in our decor because of all the oak trees at our venue and our fall date. Maybe we could plant some acorns in the dirt and grow some oak saplings to plant at our first house.
Post # 7
Rose ceremony — another unity thing, can also honor your mothers with it, there are a few versions if you poke around.
Also heard of salt ceremony (unity ceremony, pretty much like sand I think) and of planting a tree.
I really like ring warming though. If my wedding were smaller, I would want to do it for sure!
And I vetoed wine box from my wedding for your exact reasons.
Post # 8
It’s been a bit since I posted this, but another idea occurred to me today. I have seen weddings where people ceremoniously release doves, butterflies, or balloons at the end of their ceremony. I have also seen people releasing wish lanterns based on a Thai festival (and the movie Tangled), which are waxed paper and hold a candle, the heat from which causes them to float off into the sky.
I loved the images of people’s wish lanterns but thought it would be too messy and too expensive, someone tipsy might burn the venue down, it produces a lot of trash, plus we don’t have easy access to a balcony or roof from our reception space.
Finally, I put two and two together and realized that just the groom and I could light and release wish lanterns at the end of the (outdoor) ceremony. I think it would also be really cute to put them out for people to sign or write their wishes on during arrivals before the start of the processional. There is a kind that dissolves after they get wet after a rain, so it wouldn’t just land and create trash somewhere. I also have to double-check if our venue will consider letting us do this.
Plan B if it rains or we decide we want to wait until it’s darker to release them is to have people write their wishes for us on the lanterns, then send them off at the reception or at our home at a later date (our anniversary?).
Post # 9
We will be doing the wine box ceremony thing. But like you I dont trust myself with a hammer! So I ordered a box with 2 latches on it to seal it instead.
These are all awesome and unique ideas. I wish we could to the Thai Lanterns! it always looks so beautiful