Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wedding Rituals...The preliminary ritual possibilities

Wedding Rituals...The preliminary ritual possibilities

Wedding at Graham Chapel
This week we're going to talk about wedding rituals. Rituals allow you to add beauty to your wedding with rituals that symbolize the events of the day in a memorable and meaningful way. There are rituals special to nationalities, ethnic groups and more.

There are religious wedding rituals which we will not discuss this week. We'll concentrate on the non religious rituals. There are a lot of rituals to cover even if I only stick to the main ones so expect this to run over the next couple of weeks

You can have as many rituals as you want in the ceremony. I generally advise that two to four should be your maximum, depending on which rituals we are talking about. You have to be careful that too many rituals could lead to the three ring circus effect.  So let's get started.

 Preliminary Possibilities
Presentation of the Bride/Blessings of the Family.
This ritual is often referred to as "giving away the Bride," which denotes the Bride as property. A more modern thinking on this ritual is that the Bride is "presented" to the Groom by a family member denoting that the Groom has the blessing of the family for the marriage.  This ritual starts with the Bride being escorted down the aisle.

The most traditional way this is generally done is the Bride being escorted by her father. But I've done weddings where the bride was presented by:
                Father and Stepfather
Wedding at Ameristar Casino
           Mother and Son
               Family Friend.

I've had the traditional walking down the aisle the most but I've done weddings where Bride and Presenter danced a simple step down the aisle, another did a dance routine and surprised everyone including the Groom....grabbed and incorporated at the end of their routing.

You can be as traditional or creative as you want.

Honor and Acknowledgements
This is generally used to honor and acknowledge families. I can talk about families in general or I can mention the names of your parents, grandparents.

I talk about the family as foundation that led to where the two are you are today. 

As an option here you can have the Bride give the Groom's mom a flower and the Groom gives the Bride's mom a flower.

Another option is to use this section to mention important folks that are deceased. This can be done without bringing down the tone of the ceremony by a quick mentioning their names and a) put a flower on the alter b)put a lighted candle the head reception table c) put photos of the deceased at the reception hall on a table set aside to honor family.
Joining of Families
We use this ritual as one of the ways to involve the children of the Bride or Groom in the ceremony. The text with this ritual talks about the fact that the ceremony of marriage involves more than just the Bride and Groom, that the marriage also is about the children.

Next week we will talk about the rituals that are symbolic of the two lives of Bride and Groom embarking on a shared path.

The Unity Candle, Sand Ritual and the Wine Ritual are just a few of these.

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