“Let’s just get to the wedding reception!”
Sometimes guests and even you as a couple may be thinking this very statement.
After all, you spent all your money and time looking at wedding venues, wedding flowers, the photographer and more in preparation for the wedding reception. It may feel like to hire an officiant is the least important part of the ceremony.
Your love story told by someone who would place very mundane transactional segments with no true meaning could bore both you and your guests. This does not have to be the case at all. Imagine your journey with your lifetime partner being an inspiring love story so that your guests can’t wait to hear it. The commitment you are making, no matter your beliefs is truly nothing less than miraculous. It could be the love story that changes someone’s heart and makes them believe in love again or simply spreads hope for a better world. The effect of sharing your love story in a way that is personal and meaningful to you, is priceless. It creates a connection with people on the most basic level of shared humanity.
Maybe your love story incorporates a poem from Rumi or Shakespeare, maybe a very traditional Christian verse from the Bible or hand tying ritual symbolizing unity. Maybe you have a Chinese, Celtic, Persian or Italian cultural tradition you like or a part of the story of how you met by the beach with sand and seashells incorporated. The more you can own your love story and bring it to life, the more you empower others to do the same.
Together, we can spread the power of love just by sharing how you and your partner came to be. This impact becomes the heart of your celebration – and the cake? It can wait!
What’s a Ritual in Modern Day Real Weddings?
According to the dictionary, a ritual is a formal ceremony or series of acts performed a certain way celebrating a religion or culture. My personal definition adds the fact that there are tangible objects, words and actions that have very deep, intangible meanings and lasting effects on both the people in the ritual and those present. Rituals can be creatively customized to incorporate anything richly significant to the people involved. The objects used, words exchanged and actions have a lot more meaning than what can be taken at face value. For example, the physical act of exchanging a kiss means the exchange of souls between the bride and groom fulfilling that “two shall become one flesh,” in Christian rituals. In a traditional Celtic hand-fasting ritual, the hands of the couple are clasped and fastened together with a cord before, after or during their vows forming an infinity symbol. The knot tied is a symbol of the oneness of the couple. In a show of unity, they become bound to one another. In Persian rituals, the couple holds right hands and with their free hand, tastes honey to symbolize the sweetness of a long life together. In each example, the beauty of the meaning of the objects and acts is what truly lasts and makes the ritual a symbol of love.
Customizing Your Ritual Process/Wedding Ceremony Ideas for Real Weddings
Once we sit down face to face and get to know one another, I will begin to suggest different ways to customize your ceremony based on your beliefs, cultural traditions, how you met and more. A few creative ideas on how I could customize your love story ritual are listed below but really the options are endless. We can make it as traditional and simplistic as you wish, more creative or a combination. Your input is very important along the way. The goal is to make the ceremony to be the heart of your wedding, richly meaningful and fun!
- Hand-fasting ritual using ribbons with wedding colors, cultural colors and/or elements from the wedding theme
- Sharing the story of any obstacles & overcoming challenges as a couple
- Sharing the story of how the couple came together: incorporating a favorite song in vows or touching parts of the story in the wedding speech
- If it’s a 2nd marriage, speaking about destiny
- Involving wedding guests to share inspirational words within a meaningful context using special elements of nature like stones and seashells as symbols to go along with the words
- Infusing humor shared by the couple
- Taking objects from the couple’s favorite shared hobby or from part of the story of how the couple fell in love, anything which is significant to the couple, and including it
- Reading from previously written love letters
- Storytelling: relive the first date, the couple’s upbringing, struggles, anything deeply touching is shared in storytelling
- Intercultural marriage: using both languages in prayers or a poem, including customs and traditions from different cultures and any translated copies of the ceremony for guests who speak English as a second language