Unity Ceremonies, Symbolic Acts & Surprise Elements on the Essex Sunshine Coast
The centuries old way of committing to each other, it was the equivalent of today's common-law marriage — a couple simply clasped hands and declared themselves ‘married’ it usually involved the tying of a cord around their wrists, hence the term ‘tying the knot’!
Handfasting was made popular in recent times through its appearance in ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Outlander’ but be assured it’s not confined to Scotland!
When you are hand fasted you can choose the colours, materials and meaningful strands that will tie you together forever. My handfasting strands are made for me by my friend and fellow celebrant Steve Morris who when he’s not jousting at the weekends or leading a Jedi funeral service is creating costumes, writing handfasting scripts and making the strands by hand - Read more about it here.
A handfasting is a visual representation of your commitment to each other, a symbolic act that pronounces your love for each other to the wider world and probably preceded couples exchanging rings!
A Sand ceremony enables you as a couple or as a family to create a unique visual reminder of your perfect day!
Each person chooses their favourite colour or colours that mean something special to them e.g., favourite football team; university where you met etc. and each takes a turn pouring their sand into a clear vessel whilst I read out what each colour represents, the combination of colours represents the joining of their loves and lives. Because sand is so fine, it's impossible to separate the colours, meaning the couple are forever joined. If the couple has children, they can include them and their chosen sand colours to add a touching element to the ceremony like this Kentish couple did with their beautiful blended family (1:58 in)
Quaich, Scotland’s loving cup ceremony
Alternatively drinking from a traditional Celtic two-handled Quaich bowl, the Scottish bowl of friendship makes for a poignant and intimate moment in the ceremony. In the 16th century when Anne of Denmark married King James VI of Scotland, he started the tradition of the Quaich bowl being part of the wedding ceremony, a symbolic act showing trust and togetherness, unity and friendship.
A simple but effective way of showing the love that burns within you for each other…
Include your favourite tipple
Wine/Gin/Whiskey/Champagne – there are various ways to include your favourite tipple!
Bottles of red, white or rose wine can be poured into a decanter - mixing together two different wines symbolizes the hard work and nurturing your new life together will need, similarly to how good wine needs years of hard work before producing a finished bottle. Take a sip and toast to your future as a married couple.
Laying down a special bottle of gin or champagne in a box with hand written love letters and sealed to be opened on a special anniversary or in the case of a marital emergency.
Pouring unaged corn whiskeys into a whiskey barrel branded with your own monogram, leaving it to mature and sharing your unique blend on a special day.
Just like the padlocks which adorn many bridges across the world, personally engraved ‘Lovelocks’ can be locked together and mounted in a frame as a constant reminder of your happy day.
Planting a tree, rose bush or your favourite flower can be a lovely element within a ceremony, there’s really no end to how you can incorporate natural and meaningful elements into your own unique ceremony.
‘Jumping the Broom’
do you want to take a ‘leap of faith’ into your marriage? Then why not incorporate the age-old tradition of ‘jumping the broom’ - it makes for a wonderful photo opportunity at the end of the service!
A kiss for a Rose
finally a role for the bride and bridegroom’s mothers! When the happy couple come forward to stand together, I talk about their first and last kiss before they celebrate their wedding. Their mothers are the first to kiss them and it’s only fitting that they should be the last to kiss them before the happy couple dedicate their lives to each other. The couple then ask their mothers to join them and give them each a rose and a kiss, it’s a heart-warming affirmation of their love for each other and their mums, there won’t be a dry eye in the house!
Want to involve everyone watching? Why not pass around your wedding rings in separate pouches or together in a ring box, so that everyone can warm and infuse them with all their love for you!
A Wedding Celebration ceremony can be held anywhere with the owner’s permission, so, the sky’s the limit!
From beaches to boho, barns to ballrooms you can have the Wedding Celebration of your dreams!
I conduct Celebration of Life (funerals) services at Weeley, Colchester and Seven Hills crematoriums and Oakfield Wood, natural burial ground at Wrabness.
Naming ceremonies are a wonderful alternative ceremony to a traditional christening or baptism and give families so much choice.
Symbolic acts enhance any ceremony!
Symbolic acts add a really personal touch and are a wonderful photo opportunity.
Get in touch.
Whether you’re a couple planning your big day, a family wanting to say goodbye to a loved one or celebrate the arrival of the newest member of their clan why not get in touch and let me help you fulfil your dreams.