Wedding Ceremonies and Customs

Wedding Ceremonies and Customs Blog Post
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Your wedding day is a special moment that represents the union of two people and the start of a beautiful journey together. While traditional weddings are timeless and beautiful, many couples nowadays are choosing to infuse their ceremonies with unique and meaningful customs from various cultures and traditions. In this blog post, we’ll explore some captivating and unconventional ceremonies you can incorporate into your wedding, making it a day to remember for both you and your guests.

If you incorporate any of these ceremonies into your wedding, be sure your officiant is aware and has a script ready.

Ceremony List


Originating from ancient Celtic traditions, handfasting is a beautifully symbolic ritual that involves binding the couple’s hands together with ribbons or cords. Each ribbon represents different aspects of the couple’s life, such as love, trust, and unity. The couple’s hands are then tied together, symbolizing their commitment to each other. Incorporating handfasting into your wedding ceremony not only adds a unique visual element but also serves as a powerful symbol of your bond.

Preserve your handfasting ceremony by putting the knotted cords into a shadow box or special storage box with other wedding memories. Amazon offers many unique cords in a wide variety of colors from which to choose. 

handfasting ceremony
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Unity Candle Ceremony

The unity candle ceremony is a popular addition to modern weddings. It involves the lighting of two individual candles by the couple’s parents or by the couple themselves. The couple then uses their individual flames to light a single, larger candle, symbolizing their union as a married couple. This simple yet powerful ritual is a beautiful way to represent the joining of two families and the creation of a new one.

You can create your own set or buy a set adorned for wedding use

A bride and groom light the center unity candle during their wedding ceremony
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Sand Ceremony

The sand ceremony is another symbolic ritual that signifies the blending of two lives into one. The couple pours different colored sands into a single container, often a glass vase, creating a layered effect. This artwork represents the unique qualities and individual histories of the couple, which, when combined, create something beautiful and inseparable. It’s a wonderful way to visually demonstrate the coming together of two people in marriage.

The resulting art can be displayed in the home as a constant memory of your joyous day. If you prefer something more custom, there are many sand vessels that double as picture frames, such as this one:

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Unity Glass Ceremony

Full disclosure – this is what we did, and we loved it!

The Unity Glass ceremony is a hybrid of the unity candle and the sand ceremonies. The parents and the two partners each have their own set of glass chips to pour into a vessel (minimum of 4 colors), symbolizing the blending of two families. After the wedding, you send the combination of glass chips to the glass blower and they create a beautiful piece of art to display in your home. Each piece of glass art is unique and the colors are a reflection of the couple. Choose colors that coordinate with your home decor or are meaningful to you.

We used Unity in Glass for this and they were wonderful to work with (this is not an affiliate link, just a positive experience I’m sharing). If you don’t want the piece of art, you can opt for a vase for an extra fee. They also offer parent gifts such as Christmas ornaments and paper weights, all out of the same mixture of glass from your wedding. We even have leftover glass that they sent back to us, so if we ever want something else created in the future, we can send it back to them.

unity glass artwork
Our unity glass artwork on display in our home!

Ring Warming Ceremony

Incorporating your guests into the ceremony can be a wonderful experience. In a ring warming ceremony, the couple’s wedding rings are passed from guest to guest, with each person briefly holding and bestowing good wishes upon them. By the time the rings make it back to the couple, they are infused with the love and blessings of their friends and family, making the exchange even more meaningful. Many couples tie the rings together with string or pass them in a small dish. 

Sometimes, the rings are taken in advance to close family members who may not be able to attend the actual wedding, ensuring that their best wishes are bestowed upon the ring.

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Tree Planting Ceremony

In this eco-friendly ceremony, the couple plants a tree together during the wedding. The act of nurturing the tree as it grows serves as a symbol of their love and the growth of their relationship. It’s a beautiful way to represent the longevity and deep roots of their commitment.

Choose a tree that has significance to you, whether it’s a favorite type or one with personal meaning. Consider the climate and location of the venue to ensure the tree can thrive in that environment. Prepare the tree in the days leading up to the wedding to ensure it’s properly potted or wrapped for easy planting. Make sure you have selected a spot ahead of time!

As a symbolic gesture, couples can exchange small containers of soil to represent their individual lives and histories. 

Care for the tree together and revisit it on your anniversary every year. You can water it, exchange notes or messages, and reflect on your journey as a couple.

An alternative is planting a tree inside a large container and taking the container home with you.

Image Source: (LCG Photography)

Your wedding day should be a reflection of your unique love story, and including meaningful traditions and ceremonies is a beautiful way to achieve this. Whether you’re inspired by ancient rituals or want to create something entirely new, the ceremonies mentioned in this blog post can add depth and meaning to your wedding day. Remember that the most important thing is to make your wedding a representation of your love and commitment to each other, and these ceremonies can help you achieve that in a distinctive and memorable way. Embrace the beauty of tradition and the uniqueness of your own love story to create a wedding that will be cherished for a lifetime.

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