Ceremony Traditions Your Guests Haven’t Seen

By Mehak Potdar with XOXO Weddings & Events, LLC

If you’ve been to a wedding in the past few years, you’ve probably seen a myriad of different ceremony rituals: a sand ceremony, tying of a marriage knot, etc. But what if you want to do something a little different? Listed below are ten ceremony traditions that your guests may have never seen before! Which one will be yours?

Tasting of Four Elements: This custom is based on the vow to love “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” In order to depict this promise, the couple chooses four elements. You might choose, for example, lemon, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and honey, which represent the sour, the bitter, the hot, and the sweet times of marriage.

Cord of Three Strands: The couple holds three strings and then ties them together in a braid. The cord of three strands symbolizes the joining of the couple and God into a marriage relationship.

Ring Warming Ceremony:  Some traditions involve only the couple, but some include your family and guests, too. This tradition involves getting the blessings from everyone present. The rings can be passed around the room on a pillow or in a bag. The officiant can explain further at the beginning of the ceremony. Everyone holds the rings for a few seconds and says a little blessing/prayer for the couple. An alternative is to display the rings at the ceremony entrance and have guests give their blessings before they sit down.

The Pebble Tradition: or well wishes rocks: Since this tradition will involve all attendees, it is a wonderful way of getting their blessings on your special day. Have everyone hold a rock and bless it during the ceremony. After the ceremony, they place it in a vase or other container for the newlyweds to display in their home. This is a lovely way to have a keepsake from your wedding day.

Jumping the Broom: Broom jumping involves a handmade, natural bristled broom decorated with ribbons, flowers, and mementos. The bride and groom jump over the broom as an act of sweeping away any past wrongdoings and welcoming new beginnings as husband and wife.

Hand Washing Ceremony: This is a humble tradition. The officiant pours water over the couple’s hands to purify them.  The couple then washes away each other’s past wrongdoings, cleansing each other from their faults, and starting fresh.

Branding: The couple creates their own brand to be burned into a plank of wood during the ceremony.

Plant a Tree: A tree planting ceremony represents the strong roots of your marriage. It is also an ecofriendly act: The tree can be planted at your home, and you can watch it grow as your relationship grows.

Red String of Fate: According to this myth, the gods tie a red cord around the ankles of those that are to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. It is tied around the little finger. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break.

Lock Unity: Both the bride and groom pick a lock and place their wedding bands on it to signify individual and separate lives. During the ceremony, the locks are unlocked and the rings are placed on the spouse’s ring finger. Then, the now empty locks are locked together.

Mehak Potdar is a wedding coordinator for XOXO Weddings and Events LLC, a day-of coordination firm serving all of Virginia. To learn more, please visit www.xoxoweddingsandeventsllc.com.

Photo Credit: Hayes & Fisk Photography