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Customs

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- Customs -

Handfasting
Uses ribbons or material of your choice to bind the hands of the couple, symbolically uniting them in marriage. Vows can be said at the same time, or just before. The ribbons are draped over the couples clasped hands by chosen guests; the celebrant ties the knot and the couple remove their hands from the handfasting knot. It becomes a pretty keepsake. Widely used in Vow Renewals

Unity Candle
Explores the notion that two individuals (represented by two candles), join together as one (a bigger candle). The flame that arises from the two single candles joining is representative of the growing love that will light their way. This can be used in the Baby Naming ceremony to include the new life, by another candle.

Sand Ceremony
Emphasizes the individuality of the couple before and after marriage. Different sands are used to express the uniqueness of each person, poured separately onto a base layer of sand. If the couple has children, the offspring may pour their own sand and the ceremony encompasses the family unit. This is suitable for a Baby Naming ceremony, to welcome in the new life to a family unit.

Ring-warming
Takes place at the start of the wedding ceremony. The wedding rings are placed on a cushion, in a bag or a box, and passed around the guests. Each guest holds the rings in their hands and makes a silent blessing or wish for the couple’s future. The rings eventually come back just before the vows take place.

Wine Box or Time Capsule
Encourages the couple to write a love letter to each other, before the wedding ceremony. Unseen by the other, the letters are presented to be sealed in a box with a bottle of wine. The box is opened on the first/fifth anniversary and the love letters are read whilst the wine is drunk, celebrating their enduring love for each other. The couple can choose to reseal the box with the original letters and new ones, with a new bottle of wine, to be re-opened in another year/five years. It is a wonderful touch to encourage the writing down of love sentiments. Suitable also for a Vow Renewal and there may still be original love letters to re-read.

Bell Ringing
Was traditionally done in Ireland after the vows and exchange of rings at a wedding ceremony, to ward off the fairies and any bad spirits. It is a delicate chime if done with little bells, or one or two persons could ring larger handbells. This can also be used in a Baby Naming ceremony.

Jumping the Broom
Adds a touch of fun to the end of a wedding ceremony. The couple jump from their old live into a new one, over a newly swept piece of ground.
Water Ceremony
Is widely used for Baby Naming. A large bowl of water is dipped into by the parents and guide-parents to bless the various parts of the child’s body. It is a solemn moment as water represents the life force.
Tree Planting
Marks the new life in the family and the potential growth of the child. It focuses on the ground ( the family) and the sky ( the world). If the weather permits, the tree can be planted into the ground or else in a pot.

Dream Tree or Wishing Tree
Is suitable for any ceremony. The guests tie their written wishes or blessings to a tree ( a branch can be used if the ceremony is indoors) and they flutter throughout the ceremony and are then removed as keepsakes later.

There are many more traditions, customs, rituals and we can explore any that you would like included in your ceremony.