One of the most beautiful aspects of a wedding ceremony is the symbolic blending of two families, two unique individuals into one. Cultures from all over the globe celebrate this symbol of unity in distinctive and momentous ways. We love to see how our couples use cultural wedding traditions, include family members, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Traditionally brides and grooms celebrate their union through the giving of rings and the profession of vows in front of family and friends during the ceremony. Many couples also want to celebrate the union of the two families all while honoring their heritage and family traditions. To do this, newlyweds often search for a special way to mark the joining of not only two lives, but of two families as well. Here are some powerful traditions that you may want to use during your ceremony.
The Unity Candle Ceremony
One of the oldest Judeo-Christian traditions that celebrates the union of two into one is the unity candle ceremony. During this part of the ceremony, both the bride and groom light a candle symbolizing themselves. Then they join the flames together to light a third candle that symbolizes how they have become one. Often brides and grooms have family members take part in this ceremony by helping light the initial candle. Another variation on this tradition is to have guests light candles while passing the flame from one person to the next and then the bride and groom join the flames together into one larger candle.
A Sand Ceremony
On the same idea of the unity candle, the sand ceremony starts with two separate glasses of different colored sand. The bride and groom take their individual glasses and pour the sand into a larger vase or glass container. The action of the mixing sand quite literally shows the blending of the couple together. This makes for a nice keepsake of the day. We have seen this type of ceremony work well with a maritime themed wedding and ones that have a ceremony site along the waterfront, like at Danversport!
Placing the Pieces of a Puzzle
This ceremony, where couples place pieces of a puzzle bearing their names together, is commonly used when a couple has children who will be involved in the ceremony. It is a nice way for children from a previous marriage to become a part of the union and see that they literally “fit” into this relationship. The puzzle is usually later framed and displayed in the family home.
Wrapping in Blankets
This Native American tradition has the couple wrapped in a quilt made by family members. This symbolizes, even if just for a moment, that the family is wrapping them in warmth and love as they set off on their journey together.
Involving the Family in the Ceremony
While these special unity ceremonies can be steeped in tradition, many couples choose to show the blending of families by simply involving loved ones in the actual ceremony. For example, we often see family members give a reading, sing a song for the couple, hand out programs, light candles, or even play the music at the ceremony. All of these little touches are ways that couples can not only include family members, but also show in tangible ways how the families are also coming together as one.
At Danversport, brides and grooms often choose to have both the ceremony and the reception at our venues. We have several locations, indoors and out along the water, where couples can have their ceremony. We can help you make your vision for your ceremony, whether it includes one of these traditions or something completely different, come true. Talk to our wedding coordinators about what special touches you would like and we will assist in the planning down to the smallest detail.