Parents Blessing or Blessing of the Gathering – This involves the parents of both the couple asking for their consent and acceptance of the new family member or the asking for the consent of the gathering, as a whole, for their blessings on the marriage. Usually performed at the beginning of the ceremony after the welcome.
Release of Balloons or Placing of Stones – Usually at or near the end of the ceremony. Balloons (THINK GREEN AND USING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY) are released by guests or stones are placed into a basket or vessel by each guest. A nice addition to have guest participation.
Unity Candle Ceremony – There are many traditions commonly included in marriage ceremonies, one of the most beautiful & expressive is the Unity Candle & can symbolize the joining of two lives and two families . The Unity Candle Ceremony consists of the lighting of one candle from two separate candles held by the couple and can have other candles held by parents, children or any significant loved ones. Creative variations can be added to the ceremony, such as the mothers of the bride and groom, or any designated member of the wedding party, lighting the candles after they walk down the isle or during the ceremony. The couple may keep the candle (some re-light the candle each year on their anniversary).
Sands of Unity - An alternative to the Unity Candle, 3 containers (or more) and colored sand are poured into one vessel by the couple and whomever they choose to join them. Symbolism is that as the grains of sand are poured together and cannot be separated, so too are the couple joined together inseparably.is all that is needed. This vessel is then saved by the couple.
The Blessing of the Rings- The wedding ring is the visible sign of an inward bond which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows made to one another. It symbolizes living together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their lives.
Breaking of the Glass- The breaking of the glass at the end of a wedding ceremony usually is reserved for Jewish ceremonies. However, it is a beautiful ending to any wedding. “Breaking the glass serves to remind us of two very important aspects of a marriage. The bride and groom – and everyone – should consider these marriage vows as an IRREVOCABLE ACT – just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable. But the breaking of the glass also is a warning of the FRAILTY of a marriage. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or infidelity can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo – just as it would be so difficult to undo the breaking of this glass. Knowing that this marriage is permanent, the bride and groom should strive to show each other the love and respect befitting their spouse and love of their life.”
Flower Ceremony- This can be a family and/or friends ceremony. Each designated person comes up and places a different flower in a vase to create a “garden of love”. Every flower has its own meaning and as the designated person places their particular flower in the vase, they explain the meaning of the flower.
Honoring the Mothers- A brief reading is done and then the bride and/or groom present their mother(s) with a small gift (flowers usually). It is a lovely token given to the mothers thanking the parents for their love and sacrifice.
Silent Blessing and Moment of Remembrance- Both are small blessings/readings honoring the deceased. They may include specific names or a general statement. This can also be in reflection for family or friends too far away to attend the wedding (especially members of the armed forces).
Ribbon Ceremony or Hands joining- The ancient Celts tied the hands of the bride and groom. The officiant loosely binds the hands together. Usually done toward the end of the ceremony, the hands remain bound for the rest of the ceremony.
Rose Ceremony- A symbolic ceremony using roses, the symbol of love. The couples who have chosen this have described it as an extremely beautiful and moving ceremony. In the elegant language of flowers, red roses are a symbol of love & the giving of a single red rose is a clear & unmistakable way of saying the words “I Love You”. For this reason it is fitting that the first gift as Husband and Wife be the gift of a single red rose.
Rose Gift Ceremony - Bride and Groom get to honor the blending of families by presenting a rose to their mothers. Usually performed at the beginning of the ceremony, after the welcome.
Shell Blessing (Beach Weddings) – This lets newly wed couples get their wedding guests involved in the ceremony. This involves giving each guest a seashell after the ceremony. Everyone walks down to the water’s edge, says a personal blessing or a prayer for the new couple, and then each person tosses their shell into the ocean. With a Special Seashell Blessing from the Officiant.
Support from Families Service- Parents become part of the introduction to the vows. The officiant asks who brings this couple to be wed.
Wine or Water Ceremony- The cup of wine is symbolic of the pledges you make to one another to share together the fullness of life. The couple shares a cup of wine or water while the officiant says a blessing and a reading. Red wine and white wine in a small carafe is placed next to an empty carafe with a wineglass on a small table near the couple. The center carafe, called the Marriage Carafe is sometimes a bit larger than the two outside “individual” carafes. Alternatively there would be 2 carafes and one empty glass. If the ï¿½individual carafesï¿½ are carried in the Wedding Processional the Marriage Carafe or Wine Glass is already sitting on the table and only the two individual filled carafes are carried forth.
When the Wine Ceremony is done music can be played or there can be no music at all.
The Wine Ceremony can be divided into two parts. The presenting of the two individual carafes filled with red and white wine to be placed on the table near the larger empty carafe during the processional. Then part two the pouring of the two separate wines into the empty carafe and drinking the combined wine by the wedding couple. Part two follows the exchange of vows. The ceremony can be one part with the wine already sitting on the table and the couple just combining the wines before drinking them.
Part One can take place during the Wedding Processional with one of the attendants on both sides carrying the red or white carafe and placing it on the table. Or a bit earlier the parents of the couples come forward with a bottle of wine and fill the smaller carafes already on the table just before they are seated and then the wedding processional starts.
Blessing of the Hands – The hands you are going to be holding on your wedding day are the hands you know you want to be holding for the rest of your life. The Blessing of the Hands is a beautiful way to make your ceremony truly unique.
Blended Family Presentation (If B&G have children from another marriage) -Studies show that children accept a parent’s remarriage more readily when they feel included in the wedding plans & are given a tangible symbol of being embraced by a new family. Presentation of the Family Medallion or any other gift provides this message of love & affirmation. Many couples are remarrying and want to include their children in the ceremony. There are numerous ways this may be done. i.e. having a family unity candle including the children.
Note from Reverend : I believe it is very important to include children from a former marriage in the wedding ceremony. Children need to know that they are still important to you, that nothing is going to change in their life again. They have already been through a divorce and now they are wondering what’s going to happen now. The Family Blending of the Sand Ceremony is a great way for them to know that they are going to be a part of the new family.
Clergy: Marriage is the public and legal union of two souls who have found one another, who love one another and who have already been united and joined together as one in their hearts. Your marriage is all of that but it is so much bigger than this and your marriage is also blending together your two families and that includes (names of children).
If B&G Have Children Together or Bride is Pregnant- Clergy: Marriage is the public and legal union of two souls who have found one another, who love one another and who have already been united and joined together as one in their hearts. Your marriage is all of that but you are also legally establishing your family. Your love has already manifested in the highest form possible in the birth of _______or as you look forward to the birth of:______________ (name(s) of the children).
Clergy: Now marriage is going to give all of you a new way to share your lives together, standing together to face life and the world, hand-in-hand, as a family. As you create a loving family home, make your home a place of peace and safety where your children know that there are two people who really care about them.
Family Blending of the Sands Ceremony- Clergy will supply a Keepsake Sand Container, and each family member will choose a color of sand to pour into the container. Clergy will give appropriate explanations for the colors as each person pours in their sand, based upon personal discussions with the family.
Blessing to the Four Directions – A long time ago, people believed the human soul shared characteristics with all things celestial. This prayer service designates the four points on a compass with human virtues. In many ancient religious traditions, it is customary to bring a service of worship or celebration by calling on the four directions. This is a way of symbolically inviting all of creation to be present and take part in the festivities.
Honoring the Mothers (Parents) – If you feel that you have had a good mother, this is a lovely way to honor her and say Thanks! Mom! for all of your love and understanding in my life. You can present her with a long-stemmed rose or a lei or just give her a kiss. Clergy will call for the mothers to come and stand beside their child.
Jumping the Broom – An African & Celtic ritual, this signifies the couples entrance into a new life with the creation of a new family and the sweeping away of their former single lives. There are many different versions of this ritual which involves the couple jumping over the broom. Essentially, the jumping of the broom is a symbol of sweeping away of the old and welcoming the new, or a symbol of a new beginning.
Wrapping of the Hands - This is an ancient Celtic tradition, as you might have seen in Braveheart. Because the hands convey the warmth of the heart and the infinity symbol conveys “forever”…wrapping of the hands also symbolizes the bringing together of your two hearts in a marriage of strength and unity.
. ********** Give me your ideas and I will make them happen. Do you have your own wedding ideas? We will incorporate anything you want into the ceremony so that it is the most magical event of your life.
Funeral Ceremonies – When death is near or has just occurred, there is a temptation to stand still and to put life on ‘hold.’ To ease into the grief process there are some steps that must be taken, including the thoughtful planning of a funeral or memorial service.
I can give guidance and offer emotional support, helping individuals and families arrange funeral and memorial services. People of all faiths and no faith at all have found comfort in my focused, individual approach and presentation.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die” by Thomas Cambell
We take our time, asking relevant questions about your loved one’s life. You can be confident that the right words will be expressed for a fitting tribute to his or her life. Ceremonies range from deeply spiritual to entirely humanistic, based on what you think is most appropriate.
“The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops, and yet it echoes on in sweet refrain, for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.” – Anonymous