Including a symbolic action most definitely enhances all ceremonies,
they make everyone feel included and can make key elements really poignant.
There is no limit to the number of different types of symbolic actions that can be included in your ceremony.
Below are just a few ideas, there are many beautiful symbolic actions to choose from.
Let your creativity, vision and imagination flow and we can incorporate anything into your ceremony.
First Kiss, Last Kiss
First Kiss, Last Kiss is a beautiful way to include the Mother of the bride and let's not forget the groom's mother into a couple's wedding ceremony.
When the couple have met at the bottom of the aisle, I invite these wonderful ladies to join us.
They were the first people to kiss you, as they held you in their arms on the day you were born.
Their love for you is eternal, you have been with them every step of the way on their journey to this point.
I then ask them to give the bride or groom their last kiss before they say "I do",
and be the first to send the happy couple on their way to their new life together.
Handfasting is an ancient marriage ritual that is becoming increasingly popular with modern couples.
The ceremony involves a couple hands being placed together and bound with ribbon or cord. This symbolises their joining through marriage, and the ritual is often performed at celebrant led ceremonies.
Handfasting is so old that its origin can't be certain. It's been tradition for many thousands of years. It is said, it may be where the phrase ‘tying the knot’ and
‘bound for life’ originate.
Lighting of a candle
Lighting a unity candle during your ceremony is a special way to symbolize the unity of your marriage.
As when the main flame is lit, it cannot be divided.
A couple’s unity candle signifies your flames are separate, yet they feed the same fire. Giving a spark of yourself, to create new light as the middle candle is lit off the two separate flames.
Its fire is magical because it represents the light of two people in love, your new beginning and being joined as one.
Lighting a family unity candle is a beautiful way to include grandparents, siblings or a special person that has an important part in your child’s life.
As each chosen guest lights a small candle it represents the love, brightness, laughter, warmth and pure joy that the child has brought into your lives.
When the parents take a flame from the smaller candles and light the main candle it represents the unity of this new family and is a symbol of the parents commitment and promises they have made to their child.
A sand ceremony expresses the coming together of two people, two families joining as one or welcoming a new baby.
As the grains of sand are poured into the unity vase by the couple, their children, parents of the child, siblings or family members, it symbolizes that just as these grains of sand can now never be separated and poured again in the same way nor can the love and commitment of the couple or family.
It is a very simple idea that can be incredibly powerful and add an element of colour, individuality and uniqueness to your ceremony.
Warming of the rings
Incorporating a ring warming into your wedding, commitment ceremony or vow renewal is such a beautiful way to actively include your family and friends in your ceremony.
Before you exchange your vows and rings, the rings are passed to each guest.
They take a moment to 'warm' the rings with their wishes, a blessing or a prayer to carry you into a bright and happy marriage.
By the time your rings make it on to your fingers they will be saturated with the love of your friends and family.
This is a fantastic option for couples having a
non-religious ceremony, but want to consider their religious loved ones.
With a ring warming everyone will be welcome to take a moment to bring their own beliefs into your ceremony in a private but meaningful way.
The Wish Tree is originally a Dutch wedding custom.
This beautiful custom can be used at Naming Ceremonies, Commitment ceremonies and Vow renewals too.
At the end of your ceremony ask your guests to write their wishes, dreams and hopes for you or your child onto pretty cards and hang them from a ‘wishing tree’.
Your wishing tree can be either a real tree outside on a sunny day or inside on curvy branches of willow
arranged into a weighted vase.
After the ceremony save each card into a special keepsake box of memories to look back on in years come.
In past centuries couples could not always afford wedding rings.
So, to confirm their vows, instead of rings being given and received, the bride and groom cast a stone into a nearby river or ocean.
This symbolised their remaining together forever while tides of time ebbed and flowed over their lives.
Couples today can cast their personalised stones at their wedding, civil partnership, commitment ceremony or vow renewal.
There usually isn’t a lake or river close by, so couples cast the stones into a water filled vase.
Later the stones are retrieved and taken on honeymoon with the couple or taken to a special river, lake or sea for the couple to cast their stones together with their love into the water.
Jumping the Broom
Jumping the Broom is such a fun way to conclude a wedding ceremony, commitment ceremony or vow renewal but it's symbolic meaning is one of my favourites.
Couples jump over the broom to signify the sweeping away of the old to make way for a new beginning.
There are many beliefs to where this tradition began.
Some believe the practice comes from a tribe in Ghana, others believe it is a Pagan tradition and some believe it began in Celtic communities.
The oldest records known to include jumping the broom being used as a marriage rite dates to around 1700 in Wales.
Wherever the tradition started, centuries later it's inclusion in modern day ceremonies is just as symbolic as it always has been.