Thanks to one of my newest brides I decided to blog about this post. She had asked me for some ideas for alternatives to the unity candle or sand ceremony. So I did some digging and here are some ideas I thought might be a cool alternative to the traditional ceremony rituals.
1. Love Letters- The couple write love letters to each other beforehand (but don’t show them) and, during the ceremony, seal them in a box with a bottle of wine and two glasses, to be opened on a certain anniversary or when there’s a rough patch in the marriage and they just need a reminder of why they fell in love.
2. Passing of The Rings-Wedding bands are passed thru the hands of each of the guests and they are asked to put all the love, best wishes, sweetness, hope and joy into the warmth of their hands. They are then passed back to the bride and groom to exchange. Perfect for more intimate weddings.
3. Plant A Tree- A potted tree around 4 ft tall and mixed soils from both of the parents homes are placed on top. The tree is later planted in the newlyweds yard.
4. Bridal Bouquet- The guests are all given small bunches of flowers. When the bride came in, they all stand and formed an aisle. As she walks in, she collects all of the flowers from everyone and they formed her bouquet. The last bunch is from the groom.
5. Stone Ceremony. As each guest enters the ceremony site they’re given a small polished stone. During the ceremony the officiant asks them to place a blessing on the stone for the couple. Someone collects the stones, they’re all combined at the altar and then the bride and groom add their own stones. Voila! Box of rocks! It’s nice because it involves our community in our marriage commitment.
6. Hand Ceremony- In the hand ceremony, the bride takes the groom’s hands in hers, palms up. The wedding officiant invites her to view his hands as a gift, and says: “These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as together you laugh and cry, and together you share your innermost secrets and dreams.” The groom then takes the bride’s hands, palm side up. The officiant says, “They are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness, as she promises her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.”
7.Knot Ceremony- In the knot ceremony, the mothers of the bridal couple are given a cord, which the officiant later asks them to give to the bridal couple. The couple ties a lover’s knot, which they may save to look back on later.
8. Arras (coin exchange) Ceremony- The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins as a symbol of his unquestionable trust and confidence. He pledges that he places all of his goods into her care and safekeeping. Acceptance by the bride means taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence. The custom of the coins originated in Spain. Often presented in ornate boxes or gift trays, the coins hold good wishes for prosperity. These coins become a part of their family heirloom.
9. Wine Ceremony- Each of our families fill a goblet with wine when they first enter, then when it gets to that part of the ceremony, the bride and groom will each pour part of their families wine into a third goblet and both drink from it. the wine they share represents the joining of their two families while the wine left in the first goblets represents their individuality and the unbreakable bond between them and our families.
10.Ribbon Wrap- With your left hands in front of you at the level of your heart the pastor takes an 1″wide x 3′ long white satin ribbon and places a few inches between your palms with the long end hanging out the bottom… you and the groom wind the rest of the ribbon around your left hands with your right hands while the song or passage is read. When the song/passage is complete the pastor holds both hands in his and says a quick prayer and unwraps them.