Wedding Ceremony Traditions

wedding ceremony traditions

Here are some beautiful ways to add something special to your wedding ceremony.

Breaking the Glass Ceremony

The breaking of the glass at the end of a wedding ceremony serves to remind of two very important aspects of a marriage. The 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.  But the breaking of the glass also is a warning of the FRAILTY of a marriage. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or infidelity can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo – just as it would be so difficult to undo the breaking of this glass.

Knowing that this marriage is permanent, the bride and groom should strive to show each other the love and respect befitting their spouse and love of their life.

Questions of Intention / Wedding Vows

Will you please, as an expression that your hearts are joined together in love, now join your hands.

[Groom’s name], do you take [Bride’s name] to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage.
Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her
For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health
And forsaking all others, be faithful only to her.
So long as you both shall live?
[Groom’s name]: “I do”

[Bride’s name], do you take [Groom’s name] to be your wedded husband to live together in marriage
Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him
For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health
And forsaking all others, be faithful only to him
So long as you both shall live?
[Bride’s name]: “ I do”

Hands of the Bride and Groom

[Bride’s name], please face [Groom’s name], and hold his 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 you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within you.
These are the hands that look so large and strong, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family
These are that 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 fear or grief wrack your mind.
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.
Groom’s name], please hold [Bride’s name]’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 tension from you neck and back in the evenings after you’ve both 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, or console you when you are grieving.
They 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 and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child, that together you have created a new life.
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:
God, bless these hands that you see before you this day.  May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May [Groom’s name] and [Bride’s name] see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide.

We ask this in your name, Amen.

Rose Ceremony

In the Rose Ceremony, the Bride and Groom give each other a Rose. Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is held at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife. In the old language of flowers, a single red rose always meant “I love you”. The Rose ceremony gives recognition to the new and most honorable title of “Husband and Wife”.

Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife.” For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.

In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.

Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife. In someways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose.  In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

_________ and _____________, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future – whether it be a large and elegant home – or a small and graceful one – that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words.  It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.

That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.

__________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.”

Celebration Of Marriage

Marriage is a supreme sharing of experience, and an adventure in the most intimate of human relationships. It is the joyous union of two people whose comradeship and mutual understanding have flowered in romance.

Today  ___________ and__________ proclaim their love and commitment to the world, and we gather here to rejoice, with and for them, in the new life they now undertake together. The joy we feel now is a solemn joy, because the act of marriage has many consequences, both social and personal. Marriage requires “love,” a word we often use with vagueness and sentimentality. We may assume that love is some rare and mystical event, when in fact it is our natural state of being.

So what do we mean by love?  When we love, we see things other people do not see. We see beneath the surface, to the qualities which make our beloved special and unique. To see with loving eyes, is to know inner beauty. And to be loved is to be seen, and known, as we are known to no other. One who loves us, gives us a unique gift: a piece of ourselves, but a piece that only they could give us.

We who love, can look at each other’s life and say, “I touched his life,” or, “I touched her life,” just as an artist might say, “I touched this canvas.” “Those brushstrokes in the comer of this magnificent mural, those are mine. I was a part of this life, and it is a part of me.” Marriage is to belong to each other through a unique and diverse collaboration, like two threads crossing in different directions, yet weaving one tapestry together.

The secret of love and marriage is similar to that of religion itself. It is the emergence of the larger self. It is the finding of one’s life by losing it. Such is the privilege of husband and wife – to be each himself, herself and yet another; to face the world strong, with the courage of two. To make this relationship work, therefore, takes more than love. It takes trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication, to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And it takes faith, to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both. While love is our natural state of being, these other qualities are not as easy to come by.

They are not a destination, but a journey. The true art of married life is in this an inner spiritual journey. It is a mutual enrichment, a give and take between two personalities, a mingling of two endowments which diminishes neither, but enhances both.

Unity Candle Ceremony

___________________ and ________________ the two lighted candies symbolize your separate lives, your separate families and your separate sets of friends.  I ask that you each take one candle and that together you light the center candle. The individual candies represent your individual lives before today.  Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.”

If Children Are Involved

“The lighting of the center candle represents not only the union of ____________ and ___________ in marriage, but the unity formed in this new family in which your lives will now shine as one family.

Pastor:
And now, let us participate in another symbolic act. Life is full of many such actions that speak to us of a deeper meaning that we cannot always put into words. You have used ancient symbols in this wedding service—the exchange of rings, the clasping of hands, the bearing of flowers. By such things you act instead of speak in regard to your promises. Now each of you will take a candle. And together you will light one larger candle. This is a vivid reminder that in true Christian marriage our lives are merged, even as we remain individuals.This is a symbolic prayer that God will enhance your own personhood and bless your uniqueness as individuals: but that God will also make of your hands ONE hand…of your hearts ONE heart…and of your lives ONE life.

Wedding Speeches

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