Beyond the walking up the aisle, saying your vows, exchanging rings, and being pronounced married, there is a lot you can include in your wedding ceremony. Many couples include songs, readings, or prayers, and many opt for some form of unity ceremony. Below are three of my favorite wedding ceremony traditions, both common and unique!
Tying the Knot Ceremony, or The Rope Ceremony
The Tying the Knot Ceremony involves two separate ropes which the couple will then tie during the ceremony. The Fisherman's Knot is most commonly used, as it is one of the simplest knots to tie, and results in one of the sturdiest knots. The Fisherman's Knot strengthens under pressure as the couple each pull their end of the rope, symbolizing the strength in their relationship.
Feet Washing Ceremony
A feet washing ceremony is a religious-based wedding tradition symbolizing humility and servitude. This bride and groom decided they wanted this a very private part of their wedding day and didn't include it in the wedding ceremony, but had it in a separate location immediately after the ceremony, away from their guests. It was a very intimate way for the couple to spend time together, solidifying their vows, before the festivities of the reception started.
Unity Candle Ceremony
The Unity Candle is a very popular wedding tradition in Texas involving both the wedding couple as well as their parents, typically their mothers. At the beginning of the wedding, the (traditionally) mothers of the couple will light the two individual family candles, which the couple will then later, during the ceremony, use to light the center unity candle. Not only does this ceremony symbolize the joining together of your lives, but it also reflects the support and joining of your two families.
The center Unity Candle is typically decorated or engraved with the couple's names and wedding date.
There is little information on the origin of the Unity Candle Ceremony, and while it is the most common unity ceremony at religious weddings, it doesn't specifically have religious roots.
Other common ceremony traditions include the Sand Ceremony, Hand Fastening Ceremony, and many others. Regardless of which ritual you choose to preform, the items used in it will be a strong reminder through the years of your vows to each other.
Be sure to inform your photographer what you have planned so they can plan the best way to capture this special part of your wedding ceremony, and be sure to consider your ceremony venue before committing to a specific ritual. Some churches do not allow for non-secular ceremony traditions, while others do allow it, and a windy outdoor wedding might prevent your unity candle from staying lit.