Including Rituals in Your Wedding Ceremony

R I T U A L S 💞
If you’re looking for unique ways to personalise your wedding ceremony, a ritual can be a wonderful way to do this, and easily incorporated into your ceremony. There are many ideas out there, and choosing which one will depend on what you would like the ritual to signify. Here are a few, with links to my website stories if you want to explore further:
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SAND UNITY CEREMONY- this is a wonderful way to involve children of all ages as it is visual and easily created. Each person pours sand into a central vessel, creating a beautiful pattern, and signifying the union of family, or the couple.
https://wendyhendrycelebrant.com/…/a-family-centred-ceremo…/
Ideas on how to create one – https://wendyhendrycelebrant.com/…/…/07/sand-unity-ceremony/

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Sand Unity Ceremony – photo by Kendra Benson Photography

RIVER STONE CEREMONY – this ritual inspired by Celtic traditions, is said to be used by early settlers and convicts in Australia, where instead of exchanging rings, as they were far too expensive, the couple would cast a stone into the river as a symbol of the wedding promises made, ever strong and steady as the river of the water ebbs and flows around them.
https://wendyhendrycelebrant.com/…/07/22/river-stone-cerem…/

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Exchanging Stones – photo by April Loves Arnold.

HANDFASTING – ‘Handfasting’ is the ancient word for a wedding and was traditionally recognized as a binding contract of marriage between a couple before weddings became a legal function of the government or the church. Today, it is more of a symbolic ceremony to honour a couple’s desire for commitment to each other, and to acknowledge that their lives and their destinies are now bound together.
https://wendyhendrycelebrant.com/…/31/handfasting-elopement/
https://wendyhendrycelebrant.com/…/…/donnelly-river-wedding/

Erin and Greg Handfasting Wendy Grace Hendry Celebrant
Erin and Greg’s Handfasting Ceremony at Donnelly River – photo by Henderson Photographics

WINE BOX & LOVE LETTER CEREMONY – a good bottle of wine is selected by the couple and placed in a box along with a sealed letter written by each of the couple.  The letter describes why they love their partner, and reasons they have chosen to marry them.  During the ceremony the box is sealed, either with wax, or with nails, with the box to be opened on their fifth wedding anniversary (or other chosen timeframe).  If the couple comes across hard times in their marriage they can choose to open the box earlier, share the wine and read the letters, remembering why they chose each other as life partners and with the view of beginning a conversation of healing.  There are variations on the words used, but the symbolism remains similar.  It is like a plan for the future, recognizing that life and love isn’t always smooth sailing.

Rachel and Brady Wine Box
Wine Box and Love Letter Ceremony

If you want a few more ideas you can go to my Wedding Ceremony Rituals page – https://wendyhendrycelebrant.com/…/ceremony-rituals-symbol…/

Or chat to me about the many more ideas that are available.
Happy planning!
Wendy x

River Stone Ceremony

There is a ritual inspired by Celtic traditions, said to be used by early settlers and convicts in Australia, where instead of exchanging rings, as they were far too expensive, the couple would cast a stone into the river as a symbol of the wedding promises made, ever strong and steady as the river of the water ebbs and flows around them.

Tiffany and Corinne were married in February 2018, in the beautiful natural setting of Nanga Bush Camp in Dwellingup, WA.  The chosen location for their ceremony was in a clearing alongside the Murray River.

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Tiff and Corinne’s Wedding Ceremony – photo by April Loves Arnold

There were many personalised elements to Tiff and Corinne’s ceremony, as they stood together, with their siblings by their side, ready to take the steps to marriage.  And although they were exchanging rings, a river stone ritual seemed like a natural choice for such a location, and was a perfect way to complete their wedding ceremony.

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Stone and Rings – photo by April Loves Arnold

After the main part of the ceremony had taken place, and the couple and witnesses had signed the marriage register, the bridal party made their way across the rocks alongside the water.  Their attendants, Brie and Daniel handed Tiffany and Corinne a special stone each, chosen for the occasion.

Tiffany and Corrine were asked to hold the stones in their hands to warm them, and feel the smooth, solid weight of them, before exchanging stones with each other.  They then turned, and cast them into the river water below, followed by these words of good wishes:

“From this day forward, may your relationship stay strong and solid, as life, like the river, ebbs and flows around you.”

They were then presented for the first time as ‘Mrs and Mrs’ to cheers and applause from friends and family – such a wonderful moment to celebrate!!

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Final Presentation to Family and Friends – Photo by April Loves Arnold

I love helping couples find new ways to express their relationship and personalities, and to include creative elements to their ceremony.  The river stone ritual worked so well in this setting by the Murray River, and could be adapted by to other locations as inspired. There are ideas for other rituals here.

The photos are by the talented Amy of April Loves Arnold. Many thanks to Tiffany and Corinne for sharing these photos, and their fabulous wedding day with me!

Wendy x