(Closed) Personalizing Ceremony?

posted 9 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

We did a hand fasting (based on an old Celtic tradition).  If you’d like details, PM me

Post # 4
Member
405 posts
Helper bee

We’re doing handfasting as well. No real reason other than I thought it sounded cool and different. We’re also having a custom ceremony written for us by our super awesome celebrant.
You could add readings or "steal" traditions that you like from other cultures. Anything goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 5
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

There are a lot of non-religious wedding traditions you can use.  Our officiant suggested a rose exchange, a wine ceremony, giving roses to our mothers, reading letters to each other.

In the end we’re doing a hand-fasting (FI’s ancestry is Irish) but with each binding changed to reflect lthe seven steps of a Hindu wedding (my background).  I’ve seen a secular hand-fasting that worked really well also.

We’re having a couple readings:

Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore

There are several other threads with reading suggestions…and plenty of traditions you can borrow/steal and turn into your own ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
Member
405 posts
Helper bee

We’re also doing a rose ceremony for our Moms and our celebrant is reading "Union" too! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 9
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Although we were married in a church, any of these could also be used in a more non-religious ceremony.

How we personalized our ceremony…

  • Instead of my father giving me away, we had a parents’ blessing and a congregational blessing.

 

  • We had a unity candle and tapers custom made.  The tapers had our names on them, (well, mine on one and his on one).  Our parents lit our candle while the pastor read:

<span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>"The two outside candles that have been placed here are lit by members of both families to represent the lives of – Name – and – Name – to this moment. Their lights, representing the faith, wisdom, and love they have received from their parents are distinct, each burning alone. After the exchange of vows, – Name – and – Name – will light the center candle, representing the union of their lives."

<span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>When we lit the unity candles, he read:

<span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>"The Bride and Groom will now light the Unity Candle to symbolize the union of their lives. From now on their thoughts shall be for each other, and joys and sorrows shall be shared alike. By allowing the flame of the two smaller candles to remain lit, they also accept the individuality of each other as a means of fulfilling their oneness."

  • <span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>We then gave our mothers roses (that they didn’t know we were giving them, since we wanted them to be a surprise).  IF YOU ARE DOING THIS, discuss with your fiance HOW to do it!  LOL.  I have always seen it done where we present a rose to one mother together, each hug her, then present the rose to the other mother and hug her.  That’s what I intended, and what I THOUGHT he understood, too.  Instead, he walked away and gave the rose to him mother while I gave my rose to my mom.  So I walked over after hugging my mom and hugged his, and he stood there like a boob, (and didn’t hug my mom).  LOL.  I don’t think my mom was offended or anything, it’s just one of those little things that can/will go wrong. 

<span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>

  • <span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>This one was something our pastor does at his services, but that I thought was really neat and really personal.  He had us write down five things we love about the other person and then read them to the congregation.  He warned us when he gave us the "assignment" that he really does read them, so not to write down anything you wouldn’t want everyone hearing.  One gentleman wrote down he loved his wife because of her sexy legs. ๐Ÿ™‚

<span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>

  • <span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”>Also something our pastor suggested:  Decide together on two stories to share about your life together.  It could be how you met, how you got engaged, something the other person did that made you realize they were "the one", or just something funny, (but not embarrassing!) that happened in the course of your relationship.  We chose the story about how Mr. Apricot proposed as one of ours, since we figured that way we wouldn’t have to tell the story over and over at the reception.  Hehehe.

<span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”><span style=”font-size: 10pt; font-family: ‘Times New Roman'”> We got a LOT of compliments on how personal our service was, which was in part due to the fact that I have known our officiant since I was about ten years old.  Since your offciant is a friend, you’ll have that personal feel too, I’m sure.  Good luck!  I’m sure you’ll find lots of great ideas from the Bees!  Hope you let us know what you decide to do!

Post # 10
Member
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

We’re incorporating several traditions into our (secular) ceremony! =D We’re actually kind of afraid that it’s going to be too long with all the readings and vows and traditions and readings and did I mention readings? XD

We’re doing the rose exchange ceremony (http://www.usabride.com/wedplan/a_rose_ceremony.html) because we saw it done at his cousin’s wedding and I cried it was so sweet. We’re "tasting the elements" (http://www.weddingbee.com/2009/05/14/afrocentric-weddings-tasting-of-the-four-elements/) even though neither of us are African-American (we’re actually going to be altering the tradition slightly by combining all the elements (cocoa for bitter, sugar for sweet, cayenne for hot, lemon for sour) in a goblet and then each drinking half. I wanted to do a handfasting but my fiance has a very very conservative mother and thought she might be offended by the Pagan symbolism (to be honest, he was a little skittish about this, too). We’re exchanging basil as a promise to be faithful to each other (can’t find a link, but in Jodi Picoult’s book Mercy she talks about how if a woman gets a man (or vice-versa) to accept a sprig of basil from her hand, that he’ll be faithful to her forever). We’re doing the unity candle ceremony. And we’re also having a "tradition" of our very own to demonstrate strength in unity: we’ll each break a twig in half, then put them together, and tie them, and demonstrate that they don’t break held together; our officiant will do a voice-over explanation for the guests.

We are also doing LOTS of readings. LOTS. As in…more than five, definitely. Some of them are just replacements for a traditional ceremony (instead of having a "does anyone object?" moment, we’ll have everyone read a blessing for us, printed in the program).

For readings, I DEFINITELY loved http://www.indiebride.com. Under their "kvetch" section they have a SWEET repository for unique, inspiring readings, most of which are secular, a lot of which are poetry. (Can’t get you a direct link ’cause the site’s too busy, but here’s the OffbeatBride post that references it: http://offbeatbride.com/2008/07/wedding-readings.)

Post # 11
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

We are honoring the four directions which will take a few minutes.

Post # 12
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Our ceremony was short, and I loved it.

We had two readings, so that took up some time, as well as two separate vows. First, we read our personal vows to each other, then we did a traditional ring exchange so that we could each say, "I do." 

We also had our families stand up with us before we exchanged vows. The officiant said something about how the family is a representaiton of where we come from and asked if our parents and siblings willingly and gladly support the marriage, then they greeted each other and each of us, so that was special for them and took a little time.  The text of this portion was short, but with all the moving and hugging it took a few minutes. Since I didn’t have my parents walk me in, it was nice to include them in this way. 

Post # 13
Member
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Oh! We’re also doing the "hands ceremony" that Mrs. Apple and Mrs. Cherry Pie did. =) We’re going to do this when we exchange rings. (We’re also doing separate vows during the ring exchange, but short ones.)

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