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In addition to favorite readings and poems, what else can you include in your wedding ceremony to give it substance and personality?

Wedding ceremonies based in traditional religions have rituals that weave the ceremony together and help the couple feel anchored in the message.

For example the smashing of the glass in the Jewish faith suggests, as a modern interpretation, the fragility of the relationship and importance of tending to it daily.
The Unity Candle in the Catholic faith represents two families and two individuals uniting as one.
In the Chinese heritage the tea ceremony performed on an auspicious date is an intimate ritual to honor family.

So, if you don’t practice a religion that provides these ‘anchors’ of timeless ritual, you can create your own! During the ceremony it’s a moment to do something together, to create together as a couple.

Questions to ask yourself when deciding what to include:

~What is important about including this?
~How can we make this ritual meaningful for our unique relationship?
~Is it timeless? Ten years from now will the meaning still hold true for us?

A few ideas:

Unity Ceremonies are designed for exactly that – uniting two together. Two individuals uniting into one couple. Two families joining as one extended family. One partner with children combining with another partner, to create their new family.

Jen and Jon loved sailing, so "tying the knot" as their unity ceremony made perfect sense. Photo by Philip DeFalco

Jen and Jon loved sailing, so “tying the knot” as their unity ceremony made perfect sense. Photo by Philip DeFalco

Anything that symbolizes this experience is a great ritual to include. Think of things that are important to you and your relationship, experiences you enjoy, and find a way to incorporate that as your unity ceremony.

Start Something New. Planting a tree is an elegant and organic ritual, and supports the environment as well! The roots can grow deep, symbolizing strength and stability. The branches will grow tall and wide, symbolizing your reach and growth. The leaves bud and blossom – potential for new beginnings within your relationship.

Just enough room for a bottle of wine, opener, two letters. And I love the well-used old hammer - what a great touch! Photo by Anika London.

A wedding time capsule can include whatever you want. This one has just enough room for a bottle of wine, opener, two love letters. And seal it up with a well-used old hammer – what a great touch! Photo by Anika London.

Design a Wedding Time Capsule. This can be a promise for the future, and an opportunity, when you open it, to look back on how far you’ve come. To bring that ceremony day along with you into the future. To let the ceremony itself be your anchor in your marriage.

Just as you might create new traditions in your new marriage and family, you can start with your wedding ceremony.

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