For those couples not having a church wedding
and having a spiritual or humanist ceremony instead, you can design your
ceremony so that it reflects you as a couple, honouring your beliefs and
values. You can say how long you wish the ceremony to be and the content
design. You can choose your music, readings or poems that convey a message
about you and your partner. The ceremonies always focus on you as a couple.
What type of ceremonies can you have?
You have the handfasting ceremony which is a
beautiful ceremony attribute. The couple clasps their hands together, holding
opposite hands so their arms make the figure eight, representing infinity.
Their hands are then fastened together using a ribbon and you can use any
colour ribbon and get a close friend or relative to place a ribbon around your
hands. This symbolises your commitment to spend their lives together. The
officiant would be the one to tie the ribbon at the ceremony and the key is to
try and slip out of the knot with as much of it preserved as possible. It can
be kept in a keepsake box afterwards.
The sand ceremony
In lieu of the unity candle, you can opt for a
sand ceremony or in some cases you can have both. The couple fills sand into a
glass container first individually using different colours of sand. If the
couple have any children, you can also include different colour sand for the children
or child to fill also. At the end, the couple fill the sand together. This
symbolizes their combined lives and how they are joined together in a way that
cannot be easily separated.
What is the Fisherman’s knot?
This is a tradition of tying the fisherman’s
knot symbolizing the union of two families. During the ceremony, after the vows
are said, the bride ties the ends of her chords into a fisherman knot and the
groom does the same. When the cords are pulled, the two knots move together and
form one knot. The reason behind the fisherman’s knot is, it is the strongest
knot known, representing the resilient bond of your marriage.
Tree planting ceremony is another option you
can choose to have. This is very symbolic and something you can enjoy every day
at your home. The couple uses a potted tree at the ceremony and you can use any
type of plant from an apple tree to an ash tree. The bride and groom both add
soil to the tree and can transplant this to their home afterwards. This
tradition symbolises building roots together.
What is jumping the broom?
This would be an African-American tradition
and broom jumping is a wonderful way to sweep the past away and start your new
life together. The broom is traditionally handmade, made of natural bristles
and decorated with ribbons and flowers. During the wedding ceremony, the couple
jump over the broom to celebrate their union.
There is another African-American tradition,
called Tasting of Four Elements. This ritual captures the essence of “for
better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health” through a
taste of elements that embody exactly that.
Lemon represents sour, vinegar as bitter, cayenne pepper as hot and honey as
sweet. These four elements together represent the times of marriage.
Finally, the Lasso ceremony would be of
Mexican, Filipino and Spanish heritage whereby an officiant or family member
places a lasso in a figure eight around the bride and groom. The couple wears
the lasso until the same person takes the lasso off them and gives it to them
as a symbol of their commitment to each other.
Tip of the week
For spiritual ceremonies, you can have religious elements in
the ceremony if you wish and it is legally binding. Just ensure you get a
solemnise who is legal and the best place to get those are on www.spiritualceremonies.ie
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