Customized Ceremonies Begin With You

Recently, I was asked how I customize and make my ceremonies special and if I had any unique ways of representing the unity being created. I thought about the question and all the ceremonies I have drafted before I could begin this explanation.

It took me awhile to realize the most important part of preparing a wedding ceremony usually occurs during the initial meeting. Many years ago, when I first started, I asked the couples what I perceived as all the appropriate questions. I must credit one of those early couples for my awakening and my later successes.

Photo credit: Tati & Grant by Affordable Pro Photo

The couple helped me understand that every couple wants to tell their story. Therefore, I began incorporating questions that would help them relate their joy and excitement. I took time to listen and copious notes (had I done that in school, my GPA would have been considerably higher). Later, from my notes, I would compose a paragraph or two that I would incorporate into their ceremony following the welcoming of the guests. This practice makes every ceremony more personal and meaningful. It also gives a tidbit of the couple’s journey to the guests who may not be as close to the couple. I found the value of this extra effort in the comments I receive from the couple and the guests after the ceremony.

There are a number of wedding options on The Celebrants' website,, which I have used to relate the unity created by the wedding ceremony. Certainly, the more common options are the candle and sand ceremony. However, I have also used a wine ceremony; by blending two different colors of wine, describing how each represents the families, into a single glass and the bride and groom each take a sip of the blended wine.

Photo credit: Tati & Grant by Affordable Pro Photo

Another option is my take on a hand blessing ceremony. I ask the groom to take the bride's right hand into his right hand and then her left into his left. I describe how the hands are pathways to the heart. I go on to explain how the infinity symbol they have made with their hands binds them heart-to-heart and I use this as a lead-in to the traditional hand blessing.

In another take on this ceremony, I use a cord with multicolored ribbons tied in the middle. I incorporate this into the above ceremony right before proceeding to the traditional hand blessing. This is similar to the Celtic binding of the hands. I wrap the hands of the couple while describing the historical meaning behind the colors of the ribbons and advising them it is not the cord that will bind them, each to the other, but rather the promises they have made with their vows. These are just simple elaborations on some very old traditions and I am sure with some imagination you can be just as creative.

By listening and keeping your mind and your heart open, you can make every ceremony very special, original and meaningful.

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Posted by Reverend Ted Church, The Celebrants on 05/28/2013

Category Articles: All In 1 Event Spaces Provider: The Celebrants
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