Additional Ceremony Enhancements
These Ceremony Enhancements can be incorporated into a Ceremony for any occasion. They are each accompanied by beautiful wording created by Reverend Brenda which enhances the particular Ceremony.
1. The Rose Ceremony;
In the Rose Ceremony, the Bride and Groom give each other a red rosebud, if you have children involved in the ceremony, you may have a rose for each of them too.
The Rose Ceremony is placed near the end of the ceremony just “after” being pronounced husband and wife.
In the old language of flowers, a single red rose has always meant “I love you”. This ceremony originates in a classic rose ceremony from a lost and elegant age. This is a unique and meaningful addition to any marriage ceremony.
For a Twist … The couple will often walk to their mothers and present the rosebuds to them immediately following the ceremony. The groom hands the mother of the bride his rose, and the bride hands her rosebud to the groom’s mother, whispering “I’m happy to be a part of the family,” (perhaps a brief hug would be nice) before proceeding with their exit – knowing that love is not loving until you give it away!
This is a nice way of involving the mothers in the ceremony but let it be a surprise!
2. Broom Jumping;
Typically, at the end of the Ceremony, the Celebrant places the broom on the ground, and the bride and groom jump over it together. The broom can then decorate a place of honour in their home.
Traditionally Brooms were waved over the heads of marrying couples to ward off spirits. Then the couple would often but not always jump over the broom at the end of the ceremony.
Today jumping the broom symbolizes the couple’s entrance into a new life of their own creation by symbolically “sweeping away their former lives, issues, and concerns.
3. Oathing Stone / Oathing Crystal;
The couple holds or puts their hands on the Celebrants blessed Oathing Stone during their vows to “set them in stone”
4. Wine Ceremony;
Wine is a universal symbol – of the richness of life and sweetness of love.
The Bride and Groom seal a bottle of wine in a wooden box and agree to open the bottle when they have their first disagreement and that the matter will be settled before the bottle of wine is finished.
5. Coin Ceremony;
Originally, there was an understanding of husband as “breadwinner” and wife as “homemaker” so the coins were given and received not in a spirit of reciprocity but in a give / take relationship.
Today the coins are a reminder of good stewardship for all couples; that they will mutually support each other, their children and the world around them.
6. The Chuppa;
Over the generations, different ideas have developed about the meaning of the chuppa, including that the velvet canopy with which a chuppa is traditionally covered is seen as representing the parochet (or curtain) that covers the ark of the Torah inside a synagogue, and that the poles that hold up the canopy are said to represent the pillars of trust and faith on which the marriage must stand.
A chuppa incorporates the symbols we hold as important and uses the sacred pillar designs of Egyptian temples. It is a symbol of the home we’re building together and the shelter we give each other – both fragile and needing nurturing to make it strong, and open to welcome friends and loved ones with hospitality and care.
7. The Truce Bell;
The Truce bell originates from west Ireland peasant traditions, believed to be derived from St. Patrick’s Bell of Will. St. Patrick believed that bells helped him in performing miracles. He is said to have been buried with the iron Bell of Will he carried. Today, it stands on exhibit in Ireland’s National Museum.
The Bell is blessed by the officiant of the ceremony and then presented to the bride and groom. After taking their Vows the couple gives the bell a good hardy ring, while thinking lovely thoughts of each other and, most importantly, of their future together. After the wedding the bell is kept at home as a reminder of the couple’s wedding day. When arguments arise, the bell is put to its intended use. One of the quarrelling couple should ring the bell to call a truce in the argument. This signifies the end of the disagreement – all conflict is over!
The sound of the bell is meant to remind the couple of their wedding vows and conjure up the happiest memories from their wedding day as an end to strife.
8. Shattering of the Glass;
The Shattering of the Glass is probably the best-known part of the Jewish wedding. It comes right at the end of the ceremony and is followed by festive shouts of “Mazel-Tov” and the couple’s first married kiss.
The custom of breaking a glass under the chuppa is derived from the Talmud. There are many explanations for this time-honoured tradition, and it has been defined and redefined over the years to represent different aspects of solemnity and endings. Some of the more popular explanations are: (a) Even in times of great joy, reserve a moment to mourn destruction, without which life is incomplete.
(b) Always remember the fragility of relationships.
(c) The loud noise frightens away evil spirits that threaten to steal the souls of the joyous couple.
(d) The breaking of the glass is a warning of the FRAILTY of a marriage. That sometimes a single thoughtless act,
breach 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.
(e) It represents shattering the bonds of your old life, leaving the broken and irreparable behind us, and to symbolize
the beginning of your new life together without the ties of a broken past holding us back, as well as having a reminder that all life and relationships are fragile and need care and nourishment to survive.
9. Dedication Wreaths;
The spirit of those gone is very important. A hoop or wreath of twigs is decorated with flowers and ribbons with a candle for each person departed.
10. Salt Ceremony;
Indian weddings often include a salt ceremony, where the bride passes a handful of salt to her groom without spilling any. He then passes it back to her and the exchange is repeated three times. She then performs the salt exchange with all the members of the groom’s family, symbolizing her blending in with her new family.
11. Breaking Bread Ceremony;
The bride and groom tear off pieces of bread, and then each eats a piece. Sometimes the bread is also shared with family and friends. It symbolizes their future as a family together.
12. Garland Ceremony
The bride and groom exchange garlands of flowers. This is a common part of Indian weddings, where the ceremony is called varmala or jaimala, and represents a proposal by the bride and acceptance by the groom. It also represents their new unity, blessed by nature.
13. In Hawaiian weddings,
the bride and groom typically exchange leis. The families may also exchange leis with the couple. Leis represent the love and respect you have for the person you are giving it to and the unity of the new family.
In Eastern European ceremonies, the bride and groom circle the altar three times, which are their first steps together as husband and wife.
15. In Hindu ceremonies,
couples circle the fire seven times, sealing their bond. The unbroken circle represents the unbroken commitment to each other