I am proud to say that the "Message in a Bottle" is my very own creation.
Before the wedding I ask all of the guests to write a special message to the couple. It can be anything from best wishes to what makes them the perfect couple for each other. Afterwards all of the messages are rolled up and put inside of a decorated bottle to match their color scheme.
During the wedding ceremony the bottle is presented to the couple and are told that they should select a number of messages to remove each year on their anniversary. They may then read those messages and reflect on their wedding day and look forward to the days in the future together.
Following the presentation of the bottle, there is a poem read by the minister.
©2015 Rev. William Marcus McFarland III and The “Message in the Bottle” Wedding Addition is protected under United States copyright laws
The lighting of a unity candle is a relatively recent addition to the traditional wedding ceremony, most popular in the United States. The unity candle ceremony uses two taper candles with a large pillar candle (called the "unity candle") in the center. Typically it is to symbolize the union of two individuals, becoming one in commitment.
Often a unity candle is decorated with the wedding invitation, an inscription, a picture of the couple, or other ornamentation. The candles are almost always white. The lighting ceremony may be accompanied by special music, an explanation of the symbolism, or just some period of mutual gazing by the happy couple. In some circles, it is customary for the couple to save the unity candle and relight it on anniversaries
While the unity sand ceremony has a lot in common with the unity candle ceremony, it differs in some important ways.
At its simplest, a sand ceremony involves a symbolic blending of two different-colored sands into a single vessel. The meaning is clear: The blending of two different beings, the bride and the groom, into a single, inseparable unit that is their marriage -- the joining of their lives. Hard as it would be to separate out those grains of sand, that's how difficult it is to separate these two people.
It adds especially well to blended families, when the bride and/or groom already have children. Having each child (or special relative or friend or parents) pour his or her own colored sand into the vessel along with the couple involves them in the ceremony -- and in the finished product -- in a seamless, natural way.
The Rose Ceremony is simple yet moving. The bride and groom exchange two roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other.
You may choose to have the Officiant hand the bride and groom their roses, or the Officiant can invite the bride and grooms mothers up to give their children the roses.
The very word “handfasting” got its origin in the wedding custom of tying the bride and groom's wrists together, hence the phrase, “tying the knot”.
There are probably as many rituals for this as there are people who have joined themselves together.
The hands are generally bound with a cord or ribbon as part of the ritual. One custom is that while facing each other, the couple places their right hands together and then their left hands together to form an infinity symbol while a cord is tied around their hands in a knot. This typically is followed by words from the officiant with the symbolization of the handfasting, as well as a poem or reading.
The traditional wedding cord, also known as the wedding lasso, wedding lazo cord, or yugal is actually a representation of a loop of rosary beads made out of white satin or silk. During the wedding, this is traditionally formed into a figure-of-eight shape, and then placed around the neck areas of the bride and the groom after they have made their wedding vows.
This cord symbolizes lifetime unity or the everlasting union of the bride and groom when they officially become husband and wife, as well as a symbol of marital protection; while the loops formed signifies their love for one another. After the wedding, this marital twine is typically kept by the bride as a wedding souvenir. Use of the traditional wedding cord for weddings is common in Hispanic countries such as Mexico, the Philippines, and Spain.
Typically the wedding cord is combined with the veil and coin ceremony.
Jumping the Broom
Jumping the broom is a time-honored wedding tradition in which the bride and groom jump over a broom during the ceremony. There's no definitive answer as to where jumping the broom originated. The act symbolizes a new beginning and a sweeping away of the past, and can also signify the joining of two families or offer a respectful nod to family ancestors.
A couple can also have guests write their names on pieces of decorative paper attached to ribbons, and then the ribbons are tied to the broom before it is jumped. This symbolizes that the guests -- and their associated well wishes -- go into the marriage with the couple.
Love Letter and Wine Box Ceremony
This is by far my favorite. The box contains a bottle of wine, two glasses (optional), and a love letter from each to the other. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and you have not seen what the other has written. The box is to be opened on your 5th wedding anniversary. A beautiful romantic "time capsule".
If there should come a time when you hit a bumpy road in your relationship before your 5th anniversary, sit down together, open the box, uncork the wine and unseal the envelopes that you wrote for one another before your wedding, go to separate rooms and quietly read the love letter. Although the hope is that you will never have to open it early, it will remind you of all the reasons you choose this person as your partner and all the things that helped shape the life you've created together.
This can also be adjusted to include multiple people (which means multiple bottles of wine!)