Symbolic gestures are a great way to personalise your wedding ceremony or naming ceremony and a fantastic opportunity to get everyone involved. By definition it is a small act but, I promise you, will be one of the most memorable parts of your ceremony.
And each gesture can be personalised to suit you! As an example, a couple wanted to have a handfasting as part of their wedding ceremony. Handfasting is an ancient Celtic marriage ritual which involves tying a knot to symbolise the joining of two people. This particular couple were really into climbing so they used climbing rope to ‘tie the knot’ – a fitting way to start their marital life together!
And things like this can be used with naming ceremonies too, not just wedding ceremonies. Here are just a few more examples:
Wedding Band Warming
Your wedding bands are passed around your guests until they make their way back to whoever is in charge of the rings. When each guest briefly holds your wedding bands they can give a silent well-wishing for your marriage. I assure you, the bands will not go missing during this!
This is an old Scottish tradition where the Bride and Groom place their hands upon a stone while saying their wedding vows. An engraving on the stone can make this even more special too.
The pouring of two individual containers of sand into a third container symbolises your two separate lives coming together. In one ceremony a couple from New Zealand and France poured black Kiwi sand and golden French sand together, a really beautiful moment.
This has the same kind of flavour as the sand ceremony – two smaller candles represent the bride and groom and the flames from these candles are then used to light a third candle symbolising their union in marriage.
This might be one of my favourites because it will have such a fabulous pay-off in a few years time! It can be done a few different ways:
– Guests put something in a time capsule to be opened in the future (like you might have done in primary school!)
– I delivered a naming ceremony where all the grandparents placed a letter into a box for the child to read on their 18th Birthday.
– A modern take on it is asking all the guests to record a message for the baby to listen to on their 18th birthday. This is a lovely, low-key way to include everyone and you could easily do it after a wedding ceremony too.
Those are just a few examples and there are loads more – you could even create your own! I’m happy to discuss any ideas you have to make ceremony as unique and personal as you want it to be!