These are special ceremonies that are inserted into the regular ceremony and will enhance any wedding. They are short yet have very powerful symbolic meanings and will contribute to beautiful memories.

If you want to include one of these special ceremonies, bring the candles, glass, crowns, sand, etc. of your choosing with you.  These items can be something you already own or easily found at Michael’s or similar craft stores.  


 

1) Candle Ceremony:    Bring 3 candles, one for the bride, one for the groom and a bigger one which will be lit to represent the union of the couple.  For each additional participant, such as children, add a candle.  

________________________and _____________________,  you have given each other rings of gold, symbols of the perfection, the beauty, the value, and the strength that, with God’s help, you will discover within yourselves and within each other as you demonstrate the commitment you have made for each other today.

Now I ask that you turn toward the candles. You can see that the one in the middle is unlit.   The two lighted candles represent that essence of you which is already burning brightly.  Now I ask that each of you take the candle closest to you, and together, use your lighted candle to light the middle candle. As you hold your individual candles, listen to the words of a poem which is apropos of this ceremony you have just performed:

ONE CANDLE

A candle is a small thing, but one candle can light another. And as it gives it’s flame to the other, see how its own light increases! Light is the power to dispel darkness. You have the power to move the darkness in yourself and in others with the birth of light created when one mind illuminates another, when one heart kindles another, when one person strengthens another. And its flame also enlarges within you as you pass it on. The candle you have lighted symbolizes the creation of your union. On the anniversaries of this day, and on other tender occasions, you may want to light other candles together as a reminder of the joy of this day and of the sacred beauty of the commitment you have made to each other this day. Candles last for a time. They give their light and then flicker away. The inner flame of love however, is everlasting. Love ‘s light grows stronger with the passing years. Now I want the two of you to look into each other’s eyes and behold the light you see shining there. Know that the light, and the power that the light represents, is within each of you. You have the power to bring love into this world through your thoughts and words.   Let your light so shine that it will not only richly bless your marriage, but also bless your family, your friends, those you work with, those whom you have even the most casual contact with during your days. This is the reason you have come into the world. Knowing, now, that the light is within you, you may blow out the candles, and hear this marriage blessing: end with Marriage Blessing or prayer.


 

1A) UNITY CROSS CEREMONY:

The Unity Cross is a unique way to celebrate the joining of a bride and groom together as one.

This multi-piece sculpture is to be assembled during the unity service of the Christian wedding ceremony, representing the joining of two into one. The groom places the outer cross in the wood base.  The bride then places the sculpted cross inside the outer cross. The Unity Cross can be displayed in the couple’s home after the wedding ceremony as a reminder of their wedding day and the union they share.

Here is some religious wording:

The Groom places the outer Cross in the beautiful wood base as the Pastor explains how God created man- Bold, Strong, the Defender of the Family yet how he is empty and incomplete without the woman. The Bride then places the more delicate cross inside of the Grooms cross as the Pastor explains how God created Woman- Delicate, multi-faceted, taking care of all of the little things that completes the man, and the -Two become One. The Bride and Groom then use the 3 golden pegs to lock the union(cross) together in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the pastor exclaims that: What God has brought together let no man take apart. 

One of my couples wanted the children involved: The bride and groom assembled their portion, and then the bride’s two children each put in a post, and the groom’s son put in the third post to complete the cross.  They had the children come up in order of oldest to youngest.  I had wording that said they were a new family and part of the union.


 

Unity Cross Ceremony 2:

Unity Cross Wedding Ceremony Guide (more of a personal chat with the Bride and Groom)(Bride first name) and (Grooms first name), Having recited your vows and exchanging rings you have chosen to enter into the Covenant of marriage. The Lord is passionate about the sanctity of marriage and this covenant is based on the covenant that God has made with all of us.Today, your journey begins anew…The covenant that you are making today is a three part covenant.  (Bride first name), (Grooms first name) and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through this covenant,  from this moment forward you will both be together on your journey through life and you will never be alone.In Hebrews the Lord tells us that he will never leave you nor will He forsake you. In this passage His words are meant to be a comfort for us. In this verse He is talking about going thru life and keeping ourselves focused on what is really important.Things like the real – True Meaning of Love.

As we quoted earlier,

1 Corinthians defines love as, being Patient, Kind, not jealous, not bragging nor arrogant, not seeking our own way. Love is not being provoked, not keeping track of the wrongs that you suffer, not rejoicing in unrighteousness but love is rejoicing when the truth wins.  Bearing all things,  believing all things, hoping all things, and enduring all things. The Lord goes on to tell us that Love never dies and our knowledge of God and His love will be incomplete until He arrives in His total completeness. Then and only then will our incompletes and imperfections be cancelled.

But until that moment happens we have 3 things to lead us as we journey through life. We should Trust steadily in God, Hope unswervingly and Love extravagantly. And the greatest of these 3 is Love.

Summing this up,  Through love….He freely gives us all of these things so we will know that He is always with us, He keeps us grounded,   and that in Him we have all that we will ever need no matter what we experience or what we face.

(Bride first name) and (Grooms first name), throughout life you will experience really exciting victories, many joyous events, and mountain top moments.  During these times, remember that the Lord is there to celebrate with you.

Also, throughout life you will go through times of tough decisions, heart breaking moments, and it may seem  like you are walking through the deepest of valleys.    It is at these times that you will need to remember that the Lord is also with you then. It is during these moments that, He will be your Strength, He will be your rock, and He will be your refuge. He will be there to carry you both through and He will never break covenant with you. You will be able to turn to His word, for He freely gives wisdom to those who ask. His word is true and it never changes. His word is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Now walk with me —In Jeremiah 1 verse 5 He says that He knew you both before you born and Jeremiah 29 verse 11 He says that he has plans for your lives, Plans for you both to prosper, Plans that are amazing and unimaginable. More than that His word tells us that He created you for His purposes.

Now this is the really interesting part.

Since He knew you before you were born, and He knew exactly what and who you would need to help you on your life’s journey …… He created you both, one for the other.

Let’s Stop for a moment and think about that…

He created you both with  plans for your lives that were planned out before you were born.  Knowing that you would need each other to accomplish all that He has planned for you;  you both were born, you grew up, you lived life and then you met each other  and here you both stand uniting your lives together as one.

He created you for this very moment in time…… Can you see how amazing that is?

To demonstrate your becoming one in this 3 part covenant, You both have chosen to assemble The Unity Cross. One piece of the cross Representing You (Grooms first name),  and one piece of the cross representing you – (Bride first name). When assembled together completing the Cross it represents the Two of you becoming one with Christ creating a memory of this day that will last a lifetime.

(The officiate now holds up the OUTER piece of the cross so everyone can see it and states the following)

(Grooms first name),  the outer piece of the cross represents you. It is strong and bold. It represents your roll as the leader and protector of your family. As referenced in the book of Ephesians you are reminded to love (Bride first name)  as Christ Loved the Church, totally and completely giving yourself for her. (Officiate will hand the outer piece of the cross to the groom and the groom will insert it into the base.)

(The officiate now holds up the CENTER piece of the cross so everyone can see it and states the following)

In Genesis 2 the scripture tells us that Woman was created from one of the ribs of man.

(Bride first name), the inside piece of the cross represents you. It is delicate and it is beautiful… it represents your many capabilities and how God created you with such intricate detail and how you fit perfectly inside the protection of (Grooms first name).

(Bride now inserts the center cross into the center of the Groom’s cross.)

(The officiate now holds up the THREE PEGS so everyone can see them and states the following)

These three pegs represent the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. They represent how the Lord holds together this covenant with His security and the Completeness that only our Heavenly Father can give. We will insert the pegs completing the sculpture showing God’s place in (Bride first name),  and (Grooms first name), covenant.

(The Officiate will now insert the pegs.)

Matthew 19 5-6 says “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,  and the two shall become one flesh, So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Let us Pray…..

The LORD bless you and keep you;

The LORD make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,

And give you peace.

May He bless all the days of your life.

We pray this in the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen

 

2) Glass breaking ceremony at the end of a ceremony before pronouncing the couple:

Breaking a glass summons the Jewish culture’s notion that sweetness can only exist alongside bitterness—breaking the glass reminds us that although this wedding has provided joy, the world is still in turmoil, and requires our care and love. Its breaking is not only a reminder of sorrow, but also an expression of hope for a future free from all violence. Frailty of the glass also suggests the frailty of human Relationships. The glass, then is broken to “protect” the marriage with the implied prayer, “As this glass shatters, so may your marriage never break.”

Minister holds covered glass while reading the following:

Minister: There have been many stories explaining the breaking of the glass.  For those of us here today, it serves to remind us of several very important aspects of a marriage.  (Bride) and (Groom) and everyone should consider these marriage vows as an irrevocable act, just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable. The shattered glass reminds us how fragile life and love can be. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or marital misstep can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo, just as it would be difficult to undo the breaking of the glass. It serves as a reminder of the sanctity of marriage, and that the love of the bride and groom should last for as long as it would take to make the glass perfectly whole again. It also symbolizes the transforming experience that marriage creates, leaving the bride and groom, forever changed.

Other wording: 

Breaking a glass summons the Jewish culture’s notion that sweetness can only exist alongside bitterness—breaking the glass reminds us that although this wedding has provided joy, the world is still in turmoil, and requires our care and love.  Its breaking is not only a reminder of sorrow, but also an expression of hope for a future free from all violence.  Frailty of the glass also suggests the frailty of human relationships. The glass is broken to “protect” the marriage with the implied prayer, “As this glass shatters, so may your marriage never break.”


 

3) The Greek Crown Ceremony: this comes after the part of “Now who gives the Bride to be married to the Groom”:

Minister crowns Bride and Groom with the gold crowns. Minister then exchanges the crowns between the heads of the couple, three times ~~~then the Parent swaps the ring three times (Swap the rings over between the bride and groom’s fingers three times).

After the ring ceremony The Ceremonial Walk

Minister then leads the couple, who are still wearing their crowns 3times around the altar on their first steps as a married couple.

The Removal of the Crowns When the Ceremonial Walk has ended, the crowns are removed.


 

4) Family Blessing:

Children are off to the side during the ceremony:

Child 1, Child 2 and Child 3, will you all please step forward?

The children step between the couples.  Would you now all form a circle and join hands?

Bride and Groom, you have come full cycle in your union of love, will you now also include in this union, child 1, child 2 and child 3? If so please answer: WE DO!

Child 1, Child 2 and Child 3, will you also accept and celebrate with your parents, this union and become a family?   If so, please answer: We do! ( A small gift can be given to the girls as Minister continues)

Congratulations.  We celebrate with you in the joy of your new-formed family union, and wish you a happy and full life.


5) Flower Ceremony:  A flower is exchanged by the couple so bring a flower for each other.  Another option is that the Mothers present a flower to either their own son or daughter or to the new son or daughter in law.    

 Bride and Groom, you have given each other rings of gold, symbols of the perfection, beauty, value,  and strength that, with God’s help, you will discover within yourselves and within each other as you demonstrate the commitment you have made to each other today. Now I ask that you place in each other’s hands these flowers, which are also symbols of the relationship and commitment we bless here today. (The flowers are exchanged here.)

A flower, like a love relationship, is more than it at first appears to be. Every flower, like every individual expression of love, is a unique, never to be repeated manifestation of God.  As we take time to experience the beauty and fragrance of a flower, the flower’s beauty and fragrance seems to increase.  Of course, the real increase is not in the flower’s beauty and fragrance, but in ourselves, in our own appreciation of the flower’s uniqueness. So often, the one we love most in all the world seems to become even more beautiful, more wonderful, more thrilling than we first realized as we grow in awareness of the unique expression of the beauty and love of God that he or she is.  The real growth is in awareness, both our own and our loved one’s awareness as we, together, discover the marvelous wonder of our own and each other’s being.

I ask you to treasure this simple gift of a single flower as a symbol of your love for each other and of the beauty of this day.  The flower, of course, will fade with time, but your love for each other need never lose its freshness.  A love relationship, like a flower, is a living thing.  As we nourish the relationship with our attention, our affection, and your commitment to be a living part of it, the relationship develops roots.  It becomes a strong, healthy organism that will produce many beautiful flowers, many occasions for rejoicing.

On your anniversaries, and perhaps on other tender occasions, you may want to let the simple gift of a single flower given in love remind you of the joy and the sacred beauty that your commitment to each other and your appreciation of each other’s uniqueness has brought to every area of your lives.

(This can be finished with a Prayer or Blessing)


 

 

6) The Hand Ceremony:

The hands are a connection to the heart, and a hand blessing symbolically brings two hearts together as one. This is a blessing of the bride and groom’s hands and their role in the past, present and future of the relationship. In any tradition, a hand blessing is a ritual that is meant to draw you closer to one another. It can be done at any point in your ceremony yet fits in perfectly right after the exchange of the rings.  When You Give Your Hands, You Give Your Hearts!

A) Hand Ceremony Option #1:

Bride and Groom: You and your beloved face each other. First join your right palms, and then your left palms. This forms an infinity symbol with your hands, which symbolizes a love that will go on forever.

These are the hands of your best friend. They are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

May these hands always reach out with love, tenderness and respect. May these hands continue to build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime. With eyes locked, and hands linked, this ritual is a beautiful symbol of the union of two hearts, two lives, and two souls. 

B) The Hand Ceremony Option #2: 

Bride and Groom, Please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way. 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 tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.


 

C) Hand Fasting Ceremony

(This ceremony will come before the wedding vows)  

Minister:  (Groom), please hold (Bride’s) hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend; smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you, all the days of her life. 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 the tension from your neck after you have 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, and console you when you are grieving. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will hold you in joy, excitement and hope when she tells you that together you have created a child. These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.

Minister:  (Bride), please hold (Grooms) hands palms up so you may see the gift that they are to you. 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 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 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 comfort you in illness and hold you when you fear. These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you. These are the hands of your soul mate and friend! May you build a beautiful life together!

 


7) Jumping the Broom:

This an African American Tradition dating back to the 1600’s.  It is  usually done on the end of the ceremony or as the couple enter the room for the reception.

The ancestral roots of this ritual began deep in the heart of Africa.  It represents the joining of two families.  It shows respect and homage to those who came before and paved the way, honoring our ancestors and the beauty of our rich heritage.
During slavery,  our ancestors sought the legitimacy of marriage by jumping over the broom and into the bonds of domesticity. For our ancestors, this small ritual was a legal and bonding act connecting them with the heritage of the home land and giving legitimacy, dignity and strength to their unions. In their eyes this union was now sanctioned by the Almighty.

 8A) Wine Ceremony

 

Wine Ceremony, as with the other unification ceremonies, the bride and the groom each have an individual vessel and blend their contents into a third. In a wine ceremony, the couple may each have the same wine or they may opt for one to pour red wine while the other pours white.

The effect is aesthetically pleasing, but I am not sure I would serve the results at the reception. The officiant guides the couple through the wine ceremony ritual and explains the symbolism to the guests.

Alternately, a wine ceremony can be used to symbolize the marriage bond that persists in times and joy and in sorrow.

Wine Ceremony Example:

It is the goal of marriage to achieve a blending of hearts and lives—but let there be spaces in your new life together, so that each may encourage and nurture the individual growth of the other. Even so, your separate lives will become one life; your separate homes, one home, your separate fortunes, one fortune.

Over the horizon of the future, there comes toward you even now, hours of brightness and hours of shadow, for such is the nature of life.

(Pick up the goblet of sweet wine.)

Life has, indeed, many bright and happy experiences, of which this sweet wine is a token. As you drink of it together, may it serve as a symbol of the joy that comes with loving and sharing, and may your happiness be tempered with gratitude and modesty and a bountiful sympathy for those who are less fortunate than you.

(Pass goblet to partner #1, who drinks and passes it to partner #2, who drinks and passes it back to you. Return goblet to table and pick up goblet of bitter wine.)

But when hardship and sorrow and disappointment come, of which this bitter wine is a token, may you care enough to help one another with courage and compassion, neither one blaming the other for folly or failure, or regretting the obligation of marriage to share and bear together the chances and changes of a life deeply lived.

(Goblet is passed as above.)


 

8B)  Love Letter and Wine Box Ceremony: 

Here’s an addition to your wedding ceremony that will grab the attention of the guests, add some pizzazz to your ceremony and incorporate a new twist into your celebration. Here is what you will need:

  • A wooden wine box
  • A bottle of your favority wine
  • Two love letters sealed and in separate envelopes
  • A small hammer and several nails

Wine Box Options:

A few weeks before the wedding, take some time to each write a letter to one another, expressing your thoughts about the good qualities that you found in your future partner, the reasons for falling in love with them and your hopes and dreams for the future. Place it in a sealed envelope with the name of your partner on the outside. Do not read what the other has written. Be creative with the box by putting foam inside to support the wine bottle. Line the inside with satin material. You can also include CDs of your favorite music, favorite pictures of you together, and other mementos making it your own romantic time capsule. Keep the box in a place of honor as a constant visual reminder of your love and commitment to each other. The box can be a life preserver in years to come.

The Wine Box should be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary. There is only one other reason the box should be opened before your anniversary. If there should come a time when you hit a bumpy road in your relationship, before you give up or make any irrational decisions, open the Wine Box. The hope is that there will never be a reason to have to open the box except on your anniversary!

Hit a rough spot in your relationship? Sit down together, open the box, uncork the wine and unseal the envelopes that you wrote for one another before your wedding, go to separate rooms and quietly read the love letter. Even if you are not seeing eye-to-eye at that very moment, it will remind you of all the reasons you choose this person as your partner and all the things that helped shape the life they’ve created together. Never take your blessings of being together for granted. The romantic sentiments you wrote, the declaration of love, the clear thoughts about why you chose this person as your life partner will help put you back on even ground. This is the perfect ritual to remind you of your wedding day and your intention to love and cherish each other in good times and bad for as long as you both shall live.

Toward the end of your ceremony this specific ceremony will proceed as follows:   

To the Audience:   _____ 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.

To the Bride and Groom:  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 honor prominently displayed in your home as a constant reminder of your commitment to each other.

_____ 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!

_____ and _____, you may now seal the box.

The minister drives the first nail, then the bride and groom nail the box shut. You can also have each member of your wedding party step up, drive in one nail to help nail the box shut.  If you use a custom made wine box with two keys, the bride and groom each use a key and lock the box.


 

8) Sand or Sand Vessel ceremonies
Vessel-Sand Ceremony

For sand ceremonies, bring a minimum of 3 different sands and 3 vases.  One vase and color for the bride, one for the groom and one vase that has neutral color sand into which the couple will each pour their sand.  If children or other family are involved, bring a vase and colored sand for each.

Option #1 Bride and Groom only performing the sand ceremony:  Bride and Groom, you have given each other rings of gold, symbols of the perfection, the beauty, the value, and the strength that, with God’s help you will discover within yourselves and within each other as you demonstrate the commitment you have made to each other today.  

Now I ask that you turn toward the sand vessels.  The two full vessels represent the elements of your souls as individuals.  I ask that each of you take your own, and together fill the empty center vessel of your union.  Notice that some of the color changes and blends into one, just as you are blending your lives.  Yet Bride and Groom, some of the color remains untouched, symbolizing your independence within your union. The outer vessel forever shield the delicate grain of sand, which earthly elements can wash away.  The strength of your love through eternity is the armor protecting both of you as one.

Now that you have completed your union-vessel that stands as your life before you, you may both take a handful of this mixed sand and throw it into the ocean (over your shoulders) assuring and dedicating your love together with each other.

Knowing, now, that your lives are filled with each other~hear this message. (Wording could be altered if not near an ocean. And it could be ended just with a prayer or Marriage Blessings!)

Option #2 Bride, Groom, and Officiate Unity Sand Ceremony Wording

Love is the eternal force of life.  Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage. But although you will be sharing one life, never forget that you are two separate people. Cherish and affirm your differences. Love each other. Keep your commitment primary. Together you will laugh and cry, be sick and well, be happy and angry, share and grow. Grow sometimes together, sometimes separately.

To symbolize the importance of the individuals within the marriage and the joining of two live into one entity, three colors of sand will now be layered into a base. We begin with a layer of neutral sand which symbolizes that the marriage is grounded (officiate pours all of their neutral sand into large vase) Then we layer the individual colors. This symbolizes that the marriage is based on the strength of the individuals (Groom pours some of his sand in, followed by bride pouring about the same amount).

Officiate: And now we combine the color, which symbolized two lives joined as on together forever. (Bride and Groom put sand into large vase so that the colors combine until their jars are empty)

Option #3: Family Sand Vessel Ceremony

A) Adding Children:  (Bride) and (Groom), today you join your lives together. These bottles of sands of various colors symbolize your individual spirits of you and that of Bride or Groom’s (Daughter’s name) or (Son’s Name).

Each container is unique, representing who you are. As these containers of sand are poured into a third larger container, the different colors will join together to form something quite beautiful. You are joined together today, not only in marriage, but as family.

As a group all children, bride, and groom pour their sand in together.

Option #1  We are all members of one family, Gods family. (this line is optional). Today as (Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name) have sealed their commitment to each other with the exchange of rings, they also make a commitment to their children. We recognize the significant role that (all of children’s names) play in this marriage celebrated today. They will now join (Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name) in this commitment to each other by contributing a part of each individual person into one blended family. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of this sand, each representing a member. As each individual’s sand is poured into the family’s one united 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 and poured again into the individual containers, so will become the bond with your family

Option #2: Adding Parent or Sibling to the Ceremony:  

After bride and groom add combine their sand together. (don’t pour it all, save some to pour with the family), use the same wording as in Option 1 or 2 above, but replace words “children” with “family”.

Option #3: Bride, Groom and Children Unity Sand Ceremony Wording

Today, (Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name), you are making a commitment of your eternal love for one another as well as to your children (Name all Children of Bride and Groom). As you each hold your sand the separate containers of sand represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you now combine your sand together, your lives also join together as one, as a family. (Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name) you come here today from two different families. From these two families a new family will be created today. At this time, I would invite the parents of (Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name) to come forward. These two vials of sand represent each family. Now the parents will take their sand and simultaneously pour the sand into the unity bowl symbolizing the uniting of the two families into one.


 

Beach Unity Sand Ceremony:  For sand ceremonies, bring a minimum of 3 different sands and 3 vases.  One vase and color for the bride, one for the groom and one vase that has neutral color sand into which the couple will each pour their sand.  If children or other family are involved, bring a vase and colored sand for each.

Option A:  Beach Unity Sand Ceremony Wording 

As you stand beside the ocean tide, may your love always be as constant as these never-ending waves that pour near your feet, flowing endlessly from the depths f the sea; Your love came softly upon each others heart, just as the foam comes softly upon the sand, and just as there will never be a morning without the ocean’s flow, so there will never be a day without love for each other. You have pledged yourselves on this day your love will be as dependable as the tide; as these waters nourish the earth and sustain life, may your constant devotion nourish and sustain you until the end of time. (Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name) , you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings, and this covenant is a relationship agreement between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example f this partnership is the marriage relationship. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other This relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand one representing you, (Bride name) and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, (Groom’s Name), and all that you are were and 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 and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be. Far more important than your individuality in now the reality that you are no longer two but one, never to be separated one from another. (bride and groom then pour their sands into one container).

Option B:  

(Bride Name) and (Groom’s Name) may your love always be as constant as the never-ending waves, flowing endlessly from the depths of the sea. Just as the waters touch and nourish the many shores of the earth, may your love be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Just as there will never be a morning without the ocean’s flow, there will never be a day without your love for each other. You have just sealed your relationship by giving and receiving of rings. This beautiful union is symbolized through the combining of these two individual shells of sand The first shell represents you , (Bride name) and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, (Groom’s name), and all that you are where and all that you are, and all that you will ever be.  Each one holds its own unique beauty, strength, and character They can stand on their own and be whole, without need of anything else. However when these two are blended together they create and entirely new and extraordinarily more intricate entity. Each grain of sand brings to the mixture a lasting beauty that forever enriches the combination. Please pour the sand into this common container to symbolize the union of your tow lives. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual container, so will your marriage be a molding of two individual personalities, bonded together forming one heart, one love. The life that each of you experienced now, individually, will hereafter be inseparably untied, for the two shall become one.


 

9) Seashell or Rock (Pebble or Stone) Ceremony:   Each guest is given a small seashell upon arriving.  A container big enough to hold all the shells is needed too. Also  an ink pen

MINISTER:  Before you met, your lives were on different paths with different destinations. But love has brought you together and joined these separate paths into one.  Each one of your friends and family here today have been given a small seashell that represents their unique individuality and their presence at your wedding today. You also each have a shell of your own that symbolizes your previous separate lives, separate sets of friends, separate families and the different life’s journeys you once traveled.

I will now ask that everyone please take out the shell you have been given and pause to make a wish or blessing for happiness and good will for the couple for the future of their marriage. Everyone pauses to make their wish.

MINISTER: We will collect the shells by your coming forth and placing your shells into this container and the couple will then add their individual shells to the container as well.

Wedding guests stand up & add shells to the container & return to seats. The couple adds their shells to the container.

MINISTER:  With the combining of these shells, you have now symbolically joined your once separate lives. As the shells have been blessed with love and placed into one container, so now are your friends and family joined, through you, into one.  And your once solitary life’s paths are also now one.  All that was once separate is now shared, and in this sharing you both will find new strength and joy as together you forge a new life’s path and destination.

STONE (Pebble or Rock)CEREMONY:

The Stone Ceremony is a great way of involving all your wedding guests at your wedding ceremony.

Small, sometimes polished stones or pebbles are handed to the wedding guests and wedding party as they arrive at the ceremony.

During the wedding ceremony the wedding guests and bridal party hold these stones and make a loving wish for the couple’s life and future together.

Each stone represents a special wish that the couple can take with them to reflect on during their married life together.

A good idea is to ask your wedding guests to write their name and a word signifying their wish on the stone, such as love, happiness, health, strength, wealth, success, family, luck, friendship, patience etc.

Just make sure that the pens you hand the guests to use are permanent and easy to write with.

The stones are then collected during the wedding ceremony by a family or bridal party member and placed in a jar or vase as a memento.

A good time to collect the stones is during the Signing of the Register or as everyone files out of the wedding ceremony venue.

If you have a hundreds of stones to collect ask a few people to collect the stones to fill a few jars, keeping in mind a jar full of stones can quickly become very heavy.


 

10) Wedding Water Ceremony: The Water Ceremony represents creating a new color together from mixing the two colors of the Bride and Groom into the new union. Bring 2 small glasses and one larger glass and colored water.  For each child or other participant, add 1 small glass and colored water.  

Experiment with the colored water long before the wedding to find the combination that creates a color you really like. You may even be able to use colors from your wedding theme.

If the bride and groom have children, each child may be included and given a smaller glass of the same color water as the parent pour into the container.

The groom begins by pouring the water from his glass into the central container.

The bride follows by pouring the water from her glass into the same container.

Minister:

__________ holds the container of (yellow) water. (Yellow) is the color of (sunshine). The color (yellow represents joy and happiness. It also stands for wisdom).

__________ holds the container of (blue) water. (First prize gets the blue ribbon. Blue represents confidence and trust. A “true blue” friend is faithful and trustworthy).

__________ and __________, this empty vessel between you represents your marriage. It is a new beginning in your relationship with each other.

__________ as you pour your (yellow) water into the container you bring (sunshine and wisdom) to your marriage. And __________ as you pour your (blue) water into the marriage vessel, you bring (confidence, trust and loyalty) to your marriage.

The blending of the (yellow and blue) water creates (green), representing the blending of your lives together as one. The color (green) represents (stability, endurance, growth and harmony).

May your marriage reflect these qualities. May your energies in this marriage blend just as equally as your give freely of yourself while honoring the greatness of each other.


 

11) Unity Tree Planting Ceremony

 

Unity Tree & Tree Planting Ceremony

Looking for something different and unique to symbolize the joining of two lives into one, or two families joining together on this special day?  Here’s a “green” version of a unity ceremony – the tree planting ceremony.

Set up at the altar to include potted tree (you can get one from a location special to the couple), two small buckets of dirt (each can be collected at the bride and groom’s respective homes or from each set of parents’ homes), and two gardening trowels.  A small watering can be placed up front if desired as well.

Unity Tree Planting ceremony:

Bride and Groom, will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each other’s family today. Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love richens our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change. Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment. As they provide the sun, soil, and water for this tree, they will provide the encouragement, trust, and love needed on a daily basis to consciously nurture and nourish their connection to each other!

Name and Name will water the tree now gently!

Upon the entrance, each of the couple’s parents can front and scoop in a small amount of dirt from their small bucket before returning to their seat. On a specified time in the wedding, the bride and groom each add the remainder of the dirt to the large potted tree and water the plant together.

After the  ceremony, take the potted plant, and transplant it at the newlywed’s home to symbolize putting down roots and longevity and strength within this marriage!

There’s more than one way to perform a wedding tree planting ceremony. The couple can start with a sapling with a root ball and actually plant it in a pot or in the ground. Brides and grooms can also plant the tree symbolically, starting with an already-planted sapling and adding soil to its container. Or a couple might simply simultaneously water a little tree that’s been previously potted.

No matter what way you choose, it’s a great way to have a “keepsake” from your marriage ceremony that will last a lifetime!

FYI… There is this awesome non-profit organization-Arbor Day Foundation. They are dedicated to planting, re-planting and educating the world of the great importance of trees. They have real tree wedding favors. You can give trees to your guests as a special reminder of your big day or plant 10 trees in their honor.