Wedding Ceremony Tradition
When two people fall in love, they share one of the most intense and most impotant
moments in their life. Your wedding shoud reflect that love that you share - your
way. Here is a collection of wedding traditions that you may want to incorporate in
your ceremony. Rev. Pam believes there is no right or wrong way to do your
ceremony as long as it touches your heart and reflects your personality and your
Handfasting. more on handfastingwedding.com
The concept of a Handfasting originated with the ancient Celtic culture generally
thought to be a cornish or scottish engagement ceremony binding for a year and a
day. The term "tie the knot", which is still used today, originates with the practice of
handfasting. During the ceremony, the couple's hands are tied together with one
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or several colored cords symbolizing their union. A beautiful way to incorporate children and family members into the wedding ceremony,
as they can help tie the knot. Typically wrapped around the couple's hands in an infinity symbol, modern Celtic Pagan tradition would tie
three knots for the Tripple Goddess, Bridget.
Typically thought to originate from the United States in the 1960's from Christian, interfaith ceremonies. There are two taper candles with
the Unity candle in the middle. The tapers are lit by representatives from each family to symbolize their love and allegiance. Later in the
ceremony, the couple use these two flames to light the unity candle bringing the love of both families together in a united love of a new one.
Generally, the two tapers are left burning and replaced in their holders (because each family's love for their own will continue). However, in
some ceremonies they may blow out their individual candles symbolizing leaving their old life behind now being together. Adding more
tapers is a nice way to incorporate children into the ceremony having them help light the unity candle.
Throwing of Rice.
The trowing of rice, or sweets after the ceremony is a Celtic tradition symbolic
of fertility and happiness to be bestowed upon the new couple. During Rev.
Pam's ceremonies, she has replaced this tradition with bubbles symbolizing
prayers and positive energy for the couple floating up to the heavens.
The tradition of feeding eachother the first serving of cake or a sip of wine
during the toast comes from the Scottish cake toss. Cake would be trown at
the couple during their honeymoon departure to insure prosperity and good
fortune, never to go hungre, and suggesting they would always provide for
each other. Also June was the most popular month to tie the knot, as it
was names for the Goddess Juno the Roman Goddess of love and marriage.
Even today, June is the most popular month for weddings.
Ancient Roman tradition brings us the veil. It was thought brides were desired
by evil spirits andthe veil would make them unrecognizable, and trick the spirits.
Carry Over the Threshold.
Again the early Romans bring us this traditon, thinking if the bride tripped over the threshold the first time she walked over it evil spirits
would then steal her luck or fertility. Of course the groom could trip as well - but it didn't have the same significance.
Jumping the Broom (besom).
Thought to be a brough to us by the slaves from West Africa, however more investigation shows us this was a early British pagan tradition as
the besonm was long a symbol of fertility, stemming back to the pagan rituals where they would jump over the besom in the fields after
planting their crops. It was said the crops would grow as high as you could jump. The bristles of the broom were the female genitalia and the
handle represented the make phallus, together their union blessed by both the God & Goddess. The ritual transfered from "crop" to "wedding",
the couple would jump over the broom as many times as the number of children they wish to have.
In Greek pagan tradition the ring symbolizes the circle of life, the sun, the moon and the earth. Still today these are denoted by a circle, the
ring has no beginning and no end. The Greeks believed that the vein of the ring finger on the left hand is the most direct rout to the heart.
Later symbols were adopted by Christian traditions as the symbol around the head of a saint.
Throwing the Bouquet / Garter.
Another tradition dating back to ancient Greek times. The woman who catches the bouquet will be the next to wed. Modern times have
paralled by the groom throwing the brides garter in the same fashion to the unwed men.
A Mexican tradition simular to the handfasting rope, incorporated by the Christians who would tie two rosaries together near the crucifix. It
was places over the heads of the couple during the ceremony to symbolize their spiritual union.
The Bride & Groom not Seeing Each Other Before the Ceremony.
Comes to us from Jewish tradition. It was customary for the couple not to see each other for one week before the wedding, then right before
the ceremony, theywould meet and the groom would put the veil over the brides face symbolizing modesty, and that his love was more then
just physical appearance.
Wine Blessing & Breaking of the Glass.
Also a Jewish tradition, it is customary to recite seven blessings for the couple, the first made over wine. The person doing the wine blessing
would then drink from the glass first and pass it to the groom who drinks and then passes it to his future mother-in-law to drink and then she
hands it to the bride to drink. They would then wrap the glass in paper to be placed on the floor for the groom to step on and shatter
symbolizing how precious life is and how easily it can be destroyed - physically and spiritually.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe.
A sixpence is a coin that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies. So this wedding tradition is
definitely English, and many sources say that it began in the Victorian era.
Each item in this poem represents a good-luck token for the bride. If she carries all of them on her wedding day, her marriage will be happy.
"Something old" symbolizes continuity with the bride's family and the past. "Something new" means optimism and hope for the bride's new life
ahead. "Something borrowed" is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is
supposed to carry over to the new bride. The borrowed item also reminds the bride that she can depend on her friends and family.
As for blue, some say it comes from an ancient Israeli custom where the bride would whear a blue ribbon in her hair to proclain fedelity. The
tradition was also found in ancient Rome, where brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. Christianity has long dressed the
Virgin Mary in blue, so purity was associated with the color. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as
evidenced in proverbs like, "Marry in blue, lover be true."
And finally, a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom
putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. Also silver is the precious metal associated with the Goddess and carried For optimum
fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell
keepsake sixpences for weddings.
Choosing Your Wedding Date. I will be happy to do a personal reading for you to help you choose your date $45 just contact Rev Pam
for details. Below please find more details regarding wedding date traditions.
Until the 17th century, Sunday used to be the most popular day for weddings in Britain as it was the one day most people were free from
work. However, the Puritans put a stop to this, believing it was improper to be festive on the Sabbath. Nowadays most weddings take place on
a Saturday, despite the famous wedding day rhyme advising that these bring ‘no luck at all’! Monday for wealth, Tuesday for health,
Wednesday the best day of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all.
As for the time of year, Lent was thought to be an inappropriate time for a wedding as this was a time of abstinence. Similarly, the saying
'Marry in the month of May, and you'll live to rue the day' dates back to Pagan times when May (Beltane - the start of summer) was celebrated
with outdoor orgies and was therefore thought to be an unsuitable time to start married life! In Roman times the Feast of the Dead and the
festival of the goddess of chastity also both occurred in May. The advice was taken more seriously in Victorian times than it is today! Even
Queen Victoria is said to have banned her children from marrying in May. In most Churches the end of April was a busy time for weddings as
couples wanted to avoid being married in May.
However, June was considered to be a lucky month to marry in because it was named after Juno, the Roman goddess of women and love,
who was also seen as the protector of married life. The Romans believed that she blessed marriages that took place in her month.
The Summer as a whole was considered a good time to marry and this is partly to do with the sun's association with fertility. In Scotland one
popular custom was for the bride to "walk with the sun" to bring her good luck. She would walk from east to west on the south side of the
church and then continue walking around the church three times.
Advice on which month to marry in is given by the following rhymes:
Married when the year is new, he'll be loving, kind and true, When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate, If you wed when
March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know, Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden and for Man, Marry in the month of May,
and you'll live to rue the day, Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you'll go, Those who in July do wed, must labour for their daily
bread, Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see, Marry in September's shine, your living will be rich and fine, If in October
you do marry, love will come but riches tarry, If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember,m When December snows fall
fast, marry and true love will last.
Married in January's roar and rime, Widowed you'll be before your prime, Married in February's sleepy weather, Life you'll tread in time
together. Married when March winds shrill and roar, Your home will lie on a distant shore. Married 'neath April's changeful skies,
A chequered path before you lies. Married when bees o'er May blossoms flit, Strangers around your board will sit. Married in month of roses
June, Life will be one long honeymoon Married in July with flowers ablaze, Bitter-sweet memories in after days. Married in August's heat and
drowse, Lover and friend is your chosen spouse, Married in September's golden glow, Smooth and serene your life will go. Married when
leaves in October thin, Toil and hardships for you begin. Married in veils of November mist, Fortune your wedding ring has kissed. Married in
days of December's cheer, Love's star shines brighter from year to year.
Custom Made Unity Candles & braided Handfasting Cords $75
TYING THE KNOTT is as old as love itself, found in every culture on
earth. Add a handfasting to your wedding ritual. Or a unity candle
ceremony. With or without a ring ceremony, and a beautiful way to
incorprate other family members into your day. This would be an added
layer of promises and vows. Beautiful. If your intrested in heritage this is
a great way to honor that. For more information click
Rev. Pamela custom makes handfasting cords & custom
pours Unity candles, and ships all over the world.