Additional Ceremony Add Ons (Extra)
- Officiant welcomes family and friends to the wedding
- A time to remember those who could not attend the wedding and/or those who have passed. Can name individuals or use a more general statement.
Expression of intent
- Legal requirement. Can be worded many ways, but is meant to ensure that both parties consent to the marriage.
- The officiant or person that the couples chooses may read a poem, an excerpt from a poem or book, etc.
- Verbal exchange between the couple solidifying the marriage promises. each party may write their own vow, or use a shared set of vows.
Exchanging of the Rings
- Rings are often given as a physical symbol of the vows.
- Some couples do this silently, while others incorporate a short set of ring vows.
- The officiant may say something about the meaning of the rings, especially the unbroken circle.
Pronouncement of Marriage
- Legal requirement. Officiant states that the couple are married and introduces the newly married couple.
- The couple shares a kiss to symbolize the sealing of the vows.
- The wedding party exits the ceremony space, typically in the reverse order in which they entered, i.e., bridesmaids/groomsmen first, followed by maid of honor/best man, flower girl/ring bearer, and lastly, the bride and groom).
Warming of the Rings
- Rings are passed around and guests are asked to say a silent wish/prayer for the couple while the ceremony takes place
Family Support (aka giving the bride away)
- Formerly known as the “approval blessing,” this is a modern interpretation of the giving away of the bride, typically occurring before or during the Greeting. Sometimes the person accompanying the bride gives her a hug and silently takes their seat, while other times the officiant asks “who supports the bride in her marriage to the groom.”
Family and Friends Response
- Provides an opportunity for guests to participate in the ceremony by giving their verbal support
- The officiant concludes the ceremony by communicating hopes and wishes for the couple. This need not be religious.
- Can take place at various points in ceremony; during the remembrance, vows, or as a unity symbol at end of ceremony
- In traditional Scottish weddings, cords are used to tie the couple’s hands together, symbolizing the union of husband and wife. Wedding rings are a modern interpretation of “tying the knot.” This can be done during the Intention or Vows.
- Symbolizes two individual lives joining to take one path.
Breaking of the Glass
- Just just for Jewish ceremonies, a glass is broken at the end of the ceremony before the kiss to symbolize permanence of vows
Wine Ceremony/Wine Box Ceremony
- Drinking wine from the same glass during ceremony as a unity symbol
- At the end of the wedding, locking love letters in a box with a bottle of wine to open on an anniversary
- The oathing tradition goes far back into the Celtic spirit. A physical object, such as a stone or piece of wood, was used to help transfer the wedding oaths to the spirit energies present in a sacred location. In the modern version of this ritual, the officiant will invite the bride and groom to lay hands onto the stone while sharing their vows. After the ceremony, the couple may release the stone back to the elements by tossing it into the sea or a lake or river. Others may lay it upon a mountain or simple keep the stone in their home.
- There are many ways to include children of the bride and/or groom in the ceremony.