Throughout centuries, different rituals were performed at wedding ceremonies to symbolise the unity of two people. Nowadays you can personalise your ceremony by writing your own vows, making special decorations or even including ancient rituals. From a unity sand ceremony to a handfasting ritual, we have picked some of the most beautiful customs from around the world.
Pouring two different coloured sands into a single vessel symbolises blending of two souls and two lives into one. Once you mix them together, it becomes impossible to separate different coloured grains of sand, just like the two beings. Some couples use more than two colours of sand to include their children or parents in the ceremony.
An hourglass ceremony is similar to a unity sand ceremony, but the couple pours the sand in two different colours into an hourglass which is considered as a symbol of the passage of time. In the beginning, the grains of sand are not entwined, but as time passes they become completely inseparable. You can repeat the ritual for every anniversary and the hourglass is a beautiful memento to keep in your home.
A butterfly release is a beautiful ritual perfect for outdoor weddings and it will provide stunning photo opportunities. The custom originates from an old American Indian legend which says that if you capture a butterfly, whisper a wish and release it, your desire will come true. Releasing butterflies during your wedding ceremony means that your wishes will come true!
The unity candle is another beautiful addition to your wedding ceremony. The traditional way to perform this ritual is to light a large candle with flames from two smaller candles lit by each of your mothers. Some couples prefer a reverse unity candle ritual instead. Rather than uniting two flames in one, you should spread the flame from your large candle to those of your bridal party who should then pass the flame to the rest of the guests. This is a wonderful ritual for evening ceremonies.
As you are standing side by side, saying your vows and promising to love each other forever, you can tie your hands together with a pretty silk ribbon which symbolises the joining of two lives. According to an old Celtic tradition, your wrists should be touching each other, and the knot tied that day should never be broken.
Another fun way to personalise your wedding ceremony is to plant a tree together! This wonderful ritual represents a love that grows as years go by. Take a beautiful pot and plant your tree in it at your ceremony, and then transplant it in the garden of your new home.
If you are tying the knot in one of Australia's gorgeous vineyards, then this symbolic ritual will make your wedding ceremony even more special. The two of you would take two bottles of wine and pour them into a glass which you drink from. By drinking from the same cup you are showing that you are willing to share everything in life, be it bitter or sweet.
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