Wedding Traditions and Rituals

Did you know that many of the elements of a ‘modern’ wedding ceremony actually originated thousands of years ago?

  • Engagement – this tradition originated with the ancient Celts. Couples were betrothed for ‘a year and a day’ to decide if their union was suitable. If they decided to marry, coloured ribbons or ropes were tied around their wrists to signify ‘tying the knot’ as they exchanged vows.
  • Carrying flowers was believed to symbolise new life, fertility and to help ward off evil spirits
  • “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ – old and new items signify good luck and hope for the future, borrowed items signify good fortune and blue was traditionally used in Roman weddings to signify love and fidelity
  • Roman and Gothic grooms also used a trusted friend to protect their bride from being forcibly removed by angry family members – hence, the use of a ‘best man’!
  • Exchange of rings – in many cultures, there is an exchange of gifts during a wedding. Gifts ranged from broken coins, the bride and groom each keeping half to the exchange of jewellery.
  • Rings also symbolize a never-ending circle of life.

As we plan your wedding, you might like to consider including customs or rituals based on your cultural heritage, or perhaps use one of the rituals listed below:

  • Celtic Handfasting – this is a lovely way to include family members, each of whom can tie a coloured ribbon around your wrists
  • Candle lighting – symbolizes union of two families and is also a touching way to include a memorial tribute to a loved one during a wedding.
  • Blending of coloured sand – a popular ritual symbolizing blending of families. Once the individual grains are blended, they can never be parted.
  • Giving seashells as gifts is popular at beach weddings. This is a good way to involve young children in a wedding as they love being gift-givers!

These are so many options available – contact me for further information.

Kerry Holgate – Marriage and Funeral Celebrant – Mornington Peninsula – Ph: 0438 088 526