Ceremonies within a Ceremony

When your wedding ceremony puts your wedding day on a high, your special day will become for you, the most heavenly day on earth.

I believe that an elegant personalized well worded ceremony that reflects your values, your beliefs and your love for one another is classic, beautiful and timeless.

But in saying that, there are a number of ‘ceremonies within a ceremony’ becoming popular and work exceptionally well; some of these ideas I have listed below and following is an overview of each one.

Writing Your Love Story

This is a lovely way in which to personalize your ceremony. We incorporate/weave your ‘love story’ into the introduction and as you know; all the world ‘loves a love story’ and your guests will love yours. [TOP]

Involving your children

I have so many options, great ideas and beautiful wording for involving children whether they be ‘your’ children together or one or both of you bring children to the marriage. [TOP]

Rose Ceremony – Mum’s

This is a personal moment between the Bride and her two Mum’s, however, both the Bride and Groom can give a rose to their Mum’s as it doesn’t have to be a gender girlie thing; nor is it just for Mum’s as Stepmothers and Grandmothers, can be involved. At times when we have a much loved person recently passed, I suggested a rose be placed in a vase on the register table for remembrance.

Only you know whether the personalities and the relationships will support this public show of gratitude and affection. If the rose ceremony appeals to you, you can talk to me about my wording or you may wish to create your own ‘flower’ ceremony. [TOP]

Rose Ceremony – Bride & Groom

Two long stemmed Roses and with beautiful wording options of which I can offer, you exchange the roses as your first gift as husband and wife.

I would ask that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion; you both give the gift of a single rose to each other as a reminder of the significance of this day and a re-commitment of your vows. [TOP]

Candle Ceremony

Both the bride and groom light together a single marriage candle that burns throughout the ceremony.

A lovely touch to this part of the ceremony is to have two candles lit by two special people E.g. grandparents, children of either partner, and handed to the Bride & Groom to light the marriage candle.

Candle/s of remembrance can be lit to acknowledge the memory of a loved face missing from the family.

My thoughts from experience on candle lighting are: When the ceremony takes place in an inside venue or for cocktail hour ceremonies; candle/s can add a magic to the ambiance. But candles lit outside during the day rarely remain burning even when placed inside hurricane lamps and this is sometimes seen as being unlucky. Apart from that, the flame cannot be seen and the ‘feel good’ prettiness of the candle is lost. [TOP]

Balloon Release

Although releasing helium balloons sounds more akin to a child’s birthday party than a wedding ceremony, coloured balloons released on mass at the conclusion of a ceremony can create a stunning effect.

When considering balloons, I think a nice touch is having 2 larger balloons tied together by the bride and groom and released moments before the guests release theirs, or having balloons for the bride and groom only. I have a lovely verse that goes along with the release of the balloons by the Bride and Groom. [TOP]


Following is an overview of how the ‘handfasting’ ceremony is introduced into a ceremony. The wording for the ‘handfasting’ ceremony, like any of the ideas, can be changed to suit individual personalities/wishes. I like to start by giving your guests a brief overview of the history.

The tradition of ‘hand-fasting’ dates back to the 18 century. It was a custom that when originally practiced it was simply for marriage practiced in part due to the absence of any clergy, something between betrothal and common-law marriage. It allowed the couple to be married for a period of 1 year and 1 day – 13 moon cycles. If the marriage was successful they could then find a priest to marry them, or renew the ceremony for a further year and one day.

In some countries the ‘hand-fasting’ ceremony became legitimate, legal and binding. In fact ‘hand-fasting’ remained legal in Scotland until 1939.

The fasting cord was tied at the beginning of the ceremony, when cut, the knots were left in place and this was kept as a keep-sake and evidence of their marriage.

The cord/ribbon can be the family’s Scottish tartan or coloured ribbons woven together can have different symbolic meanings; example...

White - for purity of love, peace, sincerity and devotion
Gold - for unity, prosperity, and longevity
Lilac - for understanding, patience and the aliening of their souls
Ebony - for courage, strength and loyalty

Nice idea is to have one mum tie the cord and the other cut it. [TOP]

Hands Ceremony

Celebrants words are: Bride please face your Groom 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. These hands 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 alongside yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams. There are a number of affirmations available to be added to the examples given above and below…

Groom please hold your Bride’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.

These hands are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life. [TOP]


Apparently American Indians believed that butterflies were magical creatures that could carry wishes to heaven on their wings. As butterflies are silent, your secrets and your wishes could not be shared with, or told to anyone.

So the idea is that your vows and secret wishes are taken to heaven to be granted on the wings of the butterflies released at the conclusion of your ceremony.

How it works  - Live butterflies arrive the day before the wedding delivered in specially tailored wedding packages. You are advised to keep them in the fridge as the natural dark and cool condition keeps the butterflies in a comfortable resting state until the day of release. The butterflies come to you fed and content, so they require no special attention. Once the packages are opened at the wedding the natural heat and light will awaken these sleeping beauties and inspire them to take flight.

As the bride and groom carefully open the box they softly whisper a wish free the beautiful creature resting, inside. [TOP]


‘Wishes’ a nice way in which to involve your guests by having them write a ‘wish/thought/blessing’ (you select the wording) on a purpose designed card either given to the guests on their arrival or placed beside each table setting.

The idea is that the words of your guests can be put into your album alongside their photo thus leaving their loving words and thoughts with you. [TOP]

Sand Ceremony

The idea of the ‘sand ceremony’ is that you have a neutral coloured sand and 2 different coloured sands that represent the bride and groom as individual people. During the ceremony the sands are layered into a glass receptacle and then the sands are merged together thus representing the merging of the bride & grooms lives together. I have several different versions of the sand ceremony.

However one line from one of the of the sand ceremony versions that I particularly like is: ‘just as the grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.’

This ceremony fits appropriately for a beach wedding. [TOP]

Shell Ceremony

This is a really cool ceremony that can obviously only be incorporated into a beach wedding ceremony.

As your guests arrive they are given or chose a shell on which one word has been written. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the bride and groom and their guests make their way to the water’s edge and with their own wish, blessing, prayer, return their shells to the sea.

I have really lovely words that go along with the shells being tossed into the sea.... and photographers love it! [TOP]

Whatever you do and say and wherever you do it “remember the wedding is just that: a wedding. One small day in the grand scheme of your life and the most important part is afterwards – your marriage, and working on it together”.

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