When selecting a container for the sand choose one with a wide mouth and a cork stopper so it can be kept as a keepsake
GROOM/BRIDE and GROOM/BRIDE you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and this is a pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives.
Today, this relationship is also symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, GROOM/BRIDE and One Representing you GROOM/BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.
As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one.
Just as these grains of sand can never be separated, our prayer for you today is that your lives together would be blended like the seven seas and may your love swirl around each other like the changing tides.
Today you have decided to share the rest of your lives with each other.
This beautiful union is now symbolized by the lighting of the Unity Candle.
The candle you are about to light is a candle of Marriage.
The individual candles represent all that you are and all that you have been until this moment
It is a candle of Unity because both candles must come together to create the new light.
Its fire is miraculous because it represents the light of two people in love.
This candle is also a candle of Commitment because it takes two people working together to keep it ablaze.
Love is like a flame; it has the heat of passion, it is constantly changing, its radiance is there for all to see and together you must protect it for being extinguished.
GROOM/BRIDE and GROOM/BRIDE please light the center candle to symbolize the union of your lives.
Today, as you have lit this candle, may the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives together. May the twinkle of this one light be a testimony of your union. May this candle burn brightly as a symbol of your love and commitment to each other.
The life that each of you experienced now, individually, will hereafter be united, for the two shall become one.
Lighting a Unity Candle during your wedding ceremony is a special way to symbolize your two lives joining together as one.
Unity Candle Ceremony 1
BRIDE and GROOM, together as you light this candle of unity, you symbolize the flame of your own individual selves joining to ignite the partnership of marriage.
You also bring the warmth, strength and wisdom of your family’s fire as kindling for your own.
As BRIDE and GROOM, your flames are separate, yet they feed the same fire.
From this day onward, may you bask in the beauty of the light of your love, may its light shine bright and steady upon your path together and may its heat keep you warm through all the days of your lives and beyond.
Unity Candle Ceremony 2
This candle you are about to light is a candle of Marriage.
Its fire is magical because it represents the light of two people in love.
This candle before you is a candle of Commitment because it takes two people working together to keep it aflame.
This candle is also a candle of Unity because both must come together, giving a spark of themselves, to create the new light.
As you light this candle today, may the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives.
May it give you courage and reassurance in darkness; warmth and safety in the cold; and strength and joy in your bodies, minds, and spirits.
May your union be forever blessed.
Unity Candle Ceremony 3
It is a well-known phrase that actions speak louder than words.
Actions, such as the rituals performed today for your wedding ceremony – holding hands, carrying flowers, and exchanging rings — convey deep symbolic meaning.
They show that you are committed to taking action with regard to your promises.
At this time, I’d like each of you to take a candle and together ignite the larger one to flame.
This is a glowing reminder that in a true marriage, your lives are both individual and together as one.
This is also a symbolic reminder that while we are all one with God, as you are now within your marriage, you still maintain your own sparks of the divine.
Unity Candle Ceremony 4
BRIDE and GROOM, the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends, in other words, your lives before today.
Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now being joined together as one.
Please pick up the lighted candles and together light the center candle.
Unity Candle Ceremony 5
BRIDE and GROOM have chosen to affirm their love by the lighting of a unity candle.
They have also asked their families to participate in the lighting ceremony. In so doing,
they signal their desire to not only join as one in their union but to also unite two families together as one.
From every human being there rises a light and when two souls that are destined for each other find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single, brighter light goes forth from their united being.
Marriage is the celebration of coming together of two lives and it is a celebration of two people in love.
The love that Groom/Bride and Groom/Bride feel for one another is a seed that their parents planted in their hearts years ago and today it has blossomed.
Today, as they embrace each other in their love, they also embrace the families, which have come together on this happy occasion.
As a sign of their love for their families, GROOM/BRIDE and GROOM/BRIDE would like to offer these roses, to their mothers/handshakes to Dad as symbols of their eternal love.
These Roses/handshakes are a promise that no matter how far away you are that you are not forgotten and that you are always in their hearts.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love, and a single rose always meant one thing…”I love you.” So it is fitting that for your first gift – as husband/wife and husband/wife – it would be a single rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband/wife and husband/wife.
(Groom/Bride and Groom/Bride pass a single rose to each other)
Groom/Bride and Groom/Bride I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It can be difficult some time to say the words “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says the words: “I still love you.”
The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
Groom/Bride and Groom/Bride if there is anything you remember of today, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”
GROOM/BRIDE, please face GROOM/BRIDE, and hold his/her hands,
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he/she promises to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.
These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family
These are that hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy
These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it is time to let go
These are the hands that will massage tension from you neck and back in the evenings after you’ve both had a long hard day.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times
These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.
May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love.
Both Hand Facing Up
Help these hands to continue building a relationship rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May Groom/Bride and Groom/Bride see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide.
Jumping the Broom
Broom Jumping has become one of the most popular African traditions at weddings
Some say broom jumping comes from an African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple’s new home.
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.
It’s a time for their friends, family and community to support the couple by forming a circle of support.
Have guests or bridal party form a circle around the couple as they stand in front of the broom on the floor….
Meanwhile have the couple hold the broom handle together and sweep around in a circle until the host or designated person is finished talking
The groom/bride should then place the broom on the floor and hold the groom’s/bride’s hand.
Have everyone count 1, 2, 3… Jump!
“Box, Wine & Love Letter Ceremony”
Officiant: _____ and _____ have chosen as a couple to perform a Love Letter & Wine Box ceremony.
This box contains a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a love letter from each to the other. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written. You have created your very own “romantic” time capsule to be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary.
I recommend that you keep the box in a place of honour prominently displayed in your home as a constant reminder of your commitment to each other.
Officiant: _____ and _____ should you ever find your marriage enduring insurmountable hardships, you are to as a couple, open this box, sit and drink the wine together, then separate and read the letters you wrote to one another when you were united as a couple in marriage. By reading these love letters you will reflect upon the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry each other here today.
The hope is, however, that you will never have a reason to open this box. And if this is the case, you are to open this box to share and enjoy on your 5th year wedding anniversary!
Officiant: _____ and _____, you may now seal the box.
Breaking of the Glass
The traditional breaking of the glass marks the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the celebration. As (groom) breaks the glass, I invite everyone to shout “Mazel Tov,” which means “Congratulations” and “Good Luck.”
We end the ceremony with the traditional breaking of the glass. Breaking this glass symbolizes the permanent change this marriage covenant makes in ____ and ____ lives.
It is a Jewish custom to end the wedding ceremony with the breaking of a glass. We do not know the exact origin of the custom. Some people say that the breaking of the glass symbolizes the irrevocable change in the lives of the couple standing before us; other say it has its roots in superstition when people broke glasses to scare away evil spirits from such lucky people as the bride and groom. Whatever its beginnings, the breaking of the glass now has many interpretations, one of which says that even in the moment of our greatest joy, we should have a responsibility to help relieve some of that pain and suffering. And, of course, the breaking of the glass marks the beginning of the celebration.
We conclude this ceremony with the breaking of the glass. It is a joyous ceremony. The fragility of the glass suggests the frailty of human relationships. The glass is broken to protect this marriage with the implied prayer:
May your bond of love be as difficult to break as it would be to put together the pieces of this glass.
May the breaking of this glass remind you of the fragility of human relationships. A broken glass cannot be mended, and likewise marriage is irrevocable. As this glass shatters, so may your marriage never break.
BRIDE and GROOM, I ask SPONSOR and SPONSOR to join us and to lay a veil over you to clothe you together.
Let this be a symbol of the faithful love you have for each other.
Through the passing of the years, let the veil remind you that you belong to each other and to no one else.
(Instruction: SPONSOR will pin the veil on GROOM’s right shoulder, while SPONSOR will drape the veil over BRIDES head and pin it on the left side of her veil.)
BRIDE and GROOM, I invite SPONSOR and SPONSOR to place a cord over you.
This cord symbolizes an infinite bond of love you share that keeps your relationship strong in the face of adversity, as well as that you both are no longer two, but one in marriage.
May this cord remind you to face your life together courageously and to be mutual in support of each other in carrying out your duties and responsibilities as a couple.
And, may your love grow stronger and bind you closer together through the years.
(Instruction: SPONSOR will place the cord over BRIDE head and rest it on her shoulders, while SPONSOR will place the cord over GROOM’s head and rest it on his shoulders.)
Removal of Veil and Cord
I would like to call on the secondary sponsors to remove the cord and veil.
Now let us do an exchange of the Arras, or coins.
Instruction: SPONSOR will present the pillow with the coins to the Officiant.
Originally, there was an understanding of husband as “bread winner” and wife as “home maker” so the coins were given and received not in a spirit of reciprocity but in a give/take relationship.
Nowadays 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.
May God bless these coins that symbolize mutual support and responsibility.
Officiant/GROOM: Instruction: The officiant drops the coins into GROOM’s waiting hands. GROOM then drops the coins into BRIDE hands. BRIDE then puts her hand above GROOM’s then drops the coins back into his hands. Finally, GROOM gives the coins to Tuan (Best Man) for safe-keeping.
GROOM, repeat after me.
BRIDE, I give you this as a pledge of my dedication to your welfare.
BRIDE, repeat after me
I accept them and in the same way pledge my dedication to you, the care of our home, and the welfare of our children.
A fun alternative to the traditional unity candle ceremony or sand ceremony, the Unity Canvas Painting Ceremony lets the couple celebrate their unity ceremony in an artistic way that truly represents themselves.
Unity Canvas Painting Ceremony 1
Every marriage starts out as a blank canvas and every day is a splash of colour.
This blank canvas represents the day of the wedding, and a new beginning.
The paint colours signify the experiences that lie ahead; colours of joys and sorrows, blessings and heartache.
The colours represent BRIDE and GROOM’s milestones, their celebrations, tribulations, passions and dreams.
They are the moments that become the days that make-up the years.
There will be places on the canvas when the colours blend and mix, flowing together, creating a new color of experiences shared.
There will be places when the colours stay separate and stand out alone and independent… yet, still a compliment to the bold colour by it’s side.
And there may be places of contrast.
Parts of the canvas that look dark or messy and not at all to the couples liking.
While another spot remains blank and bare.
However, when you step back and look at the canvas in its entirety, you will see that it clearly is “An Original Masterpiece” unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Each colour, contrast, shadow, blend as unique and beautiful as BRIDE and GROOM.
Unity Canvas Painting Ceremony 2
We will now participate in another symbolic act of love and unity.
BRIDE and GROOM, this blank canvas symbolizes the start of this new journey together, the new family that you are now forming and are dedicated to build together.
Your canvas represents the passion, love and tenderness at the core of this new family, and which will be the building block of your new life as one.
May you remember the commitment of love that lies at the foundation of your new life together.
Unity Canvas Painting Ceremony 3
On this special day as two become one, your faith and love and hope and joy will be yours forevermore.
What’s in your minds and hearts will be yours to share so at this time I ask you to paint together as one with the love in both of your hearts.
We will now participate in another symbolic act of love and unity.
Memorial Ceremony Idea
If you’ve lost a parent beloved grandparent, or friend, a brief memorial of them at your wedding is a fitting way to acknowledge their presence with you spiritually, and in your hearts. In the ceremony you can honor one or two specific people, or you can ask us to structure part of the ceremony to include a general acknowledgment of loved ones who are not able to join you for your wedding.
The most common Wedding Memorials are candles, which can be lit at the beginning of your ceremony after you have walked up the aisle or if this is someone your fiance has lost, it can be just after you join him. You could also choose to light the memorial candle right before your unity candle ceremony or sand ceremony. You can do this any way you want. You may also display a single rose or flower arrangement in a vase and we can ask for a moment of silence or prayer. These are a few suggestions possible. We will be happy to help you with this.
Here are some ceremony ideas that can be modified to fit your own situation.
Before Your Unity Candle Ceremony
“Before [Name] and [Name] light a candle to symbolize their union, they will light a candle in honor of [Loved One], whom they dearly miss, and who they know is present with them here today.”
“Our community is shared, if in a different way, by those who have passed beyond this life. Their roles in the lives of [Name] and [Name] are no less remembered and honored as we savor today’s joyous moments. Join with us, then, in remembering and honoring all these people, and in particular [Names of deceased family and friends]. In their memory, let us pray silently together for just a moment.” There are many variations that have been used in prior wedding ceremonies in remembrance.
How to Acknowledge & Honor Deceased Family Members in a Wedding.
There are many ways to honour a deceased family member or loved one in a wedding. Below are a few suggestions.
- Set up a small table at the wedding reception with a flower arrangement and a card saying “In memory of those loved ones who are not with us today” or more specifically, “In memory of Martina Jensen, mother of the bride.” You could also put a picture of the bride or groom with the deceased person you are honoring.
- Place a flower on a seat in the front row, and/or a picture of the deceased family member. It can remain unmentioned or the minister can refer to it at a certain point in the ceremony.
- Place a photo of the deceased family member on the altar or near the unity candle table or sand ceremony table.
- Place a memorial candle which the bride or groom (or both) will light at the start of the ceremony. A picture of the deceased family member can also be placed next to it. Include in the program that the memorial candle is being lit in memory of ___________.
- In response to the question, “Who presents this Bride in marriage?” the response might be, “In memory of her Father ____full name of Father here____ I do.”
- After welcoming the guests, the minister can say, “Before we begin our celebration today, the Bride and Groom would like us all to take a moment to remember those family members who can be with them today solely in spirit, especially mother of the bride ________. Bride appreciates all of the love and support _______ has given her throughout the years and would like to take a moment to remember her today. There is then a 10 second pause.
- Before the vows the minister says, before we continue, the Bride and Groom would like us all to take a moment to remember those family members who can be with them today solely in spirit, especially mother of the bride ___________________. There is then a 10 second pause.
- Compile a floral centerpiece. Have a vase on the altar, or at the back of the ceremony site. Give each guest a white flower as they enter and have them place it in the vase at a certain point in the ceremony. When you get to the last flower it is announced that it will be placed in the vase in memory of the deceased family member. As a final symbolic gesture, the bride and groom can each insert a red rose into the center of the arrangement, signifying the couple being surrounded by the love and support of their family and friends. The arrangement can be used to decorate the head table or in another location at the reception.
- Incorporate butterflies into your ceremony which are released at a certain time.
- If you are considering using candles to honor a deceased family member click here sample memorial accessories.
- If you will be having a wedding program you can have a page or paragraph dedicated to the deceased family member (preferably a picture with the bride and or groom). You can write something like: Today, we keep in our hearts those who celebrate with us in spirit. Then write all of the names of family member who are deceased along with their relationship to the bride or groom. Or just write the name of one deceased family member.
- Light a memorial candle during a special song or poem. In the program you can have the song / poem printed in memory of your deceased loved one or in loving memory of ________________.
Emergency First Argument Box
Before the big day, write a letter to each other explaining why you fell in love and seal it in an envelope. During the wedding ceremony, the letters are placed into a box along with a bottle of your favourite wine.
This box will be opened in the event of your first serious disagreement. Open the bottle, pour two glasses and take the letters to separate rooms, and read whilst having a drink. These letters will remind you both of why you fell in love and the vows you have exchanged. The Emergency First Argument Box is a light-hearted element for the ceremony and will, one day, be needed.
First Kiss ~ Last Kiss
A heartwarming way to get your mums involved in the ceremony especially if they would prefer not to do a reading. At the beginning of the ceremony, both mums come to the front, and kiss their own child… a lovely symbolic transition from mum’s first kiss to her newborn to her last kiss to her adult child.
The most famous colloquial wedding term “Tying the Knot” comes from the age-old Celtic tradition of hand-fasting. It is a simple and traditional ceremony element which involves the tying of hands together with personalised ribbons or cords which symbolise betrothal.
Memorial Service compliments of: