Rituals aren’t just for ‘hippies’

I often ask couples if they want to include any rituals as part of their ceremony, and I usually get a questionable stink face in return. You know the one where you lift one side of your top lip towards your nose and frown a little. (if you are sitting there practicing your stink face, excellent)

But most people don’t realise that a wedding IS a ritual. Human beings have been developing traditions and customs for centuries, it is the essence of a wedding ceremony, and the legal side of it is the most recent addition to the process. So it’s worth considering what is out there, and what fits you as a couple when considering what to include in your wedding ceremony.

I’m not religious, but marriage is a ritual performed by nearly all religions. Yes there is the legal meaning of marriage, but it is in its essence about love, promise, commitment and the joining of two people. Who ever they may be or whatever they may believe.

The brilliance of booking a civil celebrant is that you can pick and choose what you want to include, so I’ve compiled a bit of a list of some of the rituals out there.

Handfastening
This is an ancient Celtic tradition where the two parties hands are fastened together with ribbon or rope. It is designed to symbolise the joining of the two people as one in marriage.
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Broom Jumping
An African tradition, the jumping of the broom is to symbolise sweeping the old negativity away and starting as a new beginning. Sweep, then jump.
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Smudging
This is an ancient Shamanic/Native American wedding ritual where the officiant burns a smudging stick for the purpose of cleansing and purifying the marriage.
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Sand pouring
This is getting more more popularity in Australia, essentially the bride and groom each pour sand of different colours into one primary vase. The grains of sand symbolise the blending of two people’s lives and as the grains of sand can never be separated, it also is a symbol of unity.

Below is available from Etsy
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Hand/foot washing
More formally known as a Purification ritual, the mothers come forward and wash their child’s hands (or feet) as a symbol of a fresh start for their marriage.
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Planting a tree
In love this idea, even though with our track record we would probably have killed one by now! As part of your ceremony you plant a little tree and it will grow with you as time passes.
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Tieing a knot
I’ve had a couple do this and it was super cute, depending on the knot used (typically a fishermans knot) as it is tied it strengthens under pressure, which is a lovely sentiment about Marriage.
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Fight box
No, it’s not a secret club (rule #1 we do not talk about fight box) it’s where together you place items into a box that you know will represent how you feel for eachother the day of your wedding, should you ever experience hardship, you open the box.

This box is also available from Etsy
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This is just a selection of rituals out there, if you’re thinking about adding something in that is a little off beat, let me know as I love researching this stuff.

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One thought on “Rituals aren’t just for ‘hippies’

  1. I love rituals, they show more than words can and can mean so much! I plan on having a handfasting ritual. P.S Totally practiced my stink eye.

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