Special Rituals / Mini Ceremonies
Handfasting is originally an ancient Celtic tradition and is taken from the term “hand-festa” meaning “to do a deal by joining hands” it is where the term “tying the knot originates”. In ancient Britain, it was traditionally the way that couples were officially married before the Church became involved in weddings.
It is now becoming increasingly popular for all couples looking for a new and spiritual way to acknowledge and celebrate their bond of love.
Today, Handfasting is a symbolic ceremony to honour a couple’s desire for commitment to each other and to acknowledge that their lives and their destinies are now bound together. During the Handfasting ceremony, the couple’s hands are tied together with one or several coloured cords or ribbons, symbolising the desire of the couple to be united. The cord is often kept by the couple in a box or ornate bag as a reminder of their vows.
Each of the cord colours has its own special symbolic meaning. The cords can either be several colours twisted into one cord and used for a single cord ceremony, or each colour can be draped individually up to six cords. Each cord should be at least 48″ (4 ft.) long, so the ends can all be tied together. For more than two or three colours, ribbon usually works better than cord or rope.
Here are some of the meanings attached to the colours:-
- Red: Love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigour, passion.
- Orange: Encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness.
- Yellow: Attraction, charm, confidence, balance, harmony.
- Green: Fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, love.
- Blue: Safe journey, longevity, strength.
- Purple: Healing, health, strength, power, progress.
- Black: Strength, empowerment, wisdom/vision, success, pure love.
- White: Spiritual purity, truth, peace, serenity and devotion.
- Pink: Love, unity, honour, truth, romance, happiness.
- Brown: Healing, skills, nurturing, home and hearth, the earth.
- Silver: Creativity, inspiration and vision, protection.
- Gold: Unity, longevity, prosperity, strength.
Handfasting can be part of a traditional Wedding Ceremony following the vows and exchange of rings, or after the service; at the beginning of celebrations before their first dance. The couple will make personalised and meaningful pledges or vows to one another, following ancient traditions.
A couple does not have to be married to have a Handfasting; it can be a stand-alone ceremony, being bound together demonstrates their commitment to one another.
Note: Handfasting is one of the complimentary mini ceremony options; cords/ribbons are provided by the couple.
The lighting of smaller candles from the Unity candle, symbolises the joining of a couple in marriage or it can also be used in a Naming Ceremony or Adoption/Welcoming/Family Union Ceremony and each family member lights their smaller candles from the Unity Candle symbolising the coming together of a family.
Note: The Unity Candle ceremony is one of the complimentary mini ceremony options; I will provide the central candle and two tapered candles, additional tapered candles will incur an additional cost..
Each participant has a separate bottle of coloured sand, symbolising their separate lives. The containers of sand are poured one by one into the glass vessel to symbolise their lives coming together as one.
Note: The Sand Ceremony is one of the complimentary mini ceremony options; I will provide the sand and vessel.
Note: The Ring Ceremony is one of the complementary mini ceremony options.
Loving Cup / Wine Ceremony
The use of the Loving Cup at a wedding is an ancient Celtic tradition, the cup is known as a Quaich, which comes from the Celtic word cuach, meaning cup. The traditional Quaich is shaped like a 2 handled bowl with a Celtic design although there are many designs available. Some couples choose to have a crystal wine glass with their names and date of the wedding engraved.
The purpose of the Loving Cup is for the couple to have their first drink together as husband and wife and symbolises the joining of two families. It is the perfect moment for the couple to toast their love, devotion, unity and friendship and usually comes towards the end of the wedding ceremony.
Note: The Wine Ceremony is one of the complimentary mini ceremony options. The wine is provided by the couple
The Cocktail Unity Ceremony
The cocktail unity ceremony symbolises the blending together of two lives. Each of the cocktail ingredients has a symbolic meaning that represents different elements in their relationship and marriage and the couple work together as a team to build the cocktail, ending with three toasts to their past, their present and their future.
Some couples choose to make a large jug of their cocktail which is shared with their guests after the ceremony, it’s a great way to get the party started!
The Rose Ceremony
The Rose Ceremony is simple yet beautiful and can be used in all marriage and civil partnership ceremonies. Some couples may like to add a personal touch to make the ceremony more meaningful to themselves and perhaps involve some family members, a Rose Ceremony is a meaningful way of making this possible. The Rose has always been the flower most associated with love and the Rose Ceremony incorporates this to symbolise the couple’s love for one another, and the joining in the love of two families.
The couple shares two roses, and choose any number of family members they wish to take part, with one rose given to each.
To perform the Rose Ceremony, the couple set up three vases – one large central one, and two smaller ones on each side. The bride and groom hold one rose each of a chosen colour, usually red, and also give a single rose to the members of the family who will take part. The family roses can be of the same colour as the couple’s, or different – for example, the couple have red roses while the family have white- or even a different coloured rose for each family member.
At an agreed point during the ceremony, the couple place their roses one in each of the smaller side vases. The family members then approach one by one and place their roses into the central vase. This symbolises the families of the bride and groom joining together. The bride and groom then take their individual roses and exchange them as their “first gift” to each other. They then place the roses in the central vase, to symbolise joining of their newly created marriage to their families.
Note: The Rose Ceremony is one of the complimentary mini ceremony options. The roses are provided by the couple.
Jumping the Broom
The jumping the broom is a time-honoured wedding tradition in which the couple jump over the broom together during the ceremony. The act symbolises a new beginning, a welcoming of the new and sweeping away the old cares and worries and creating a threshold for the couple to cross over into their new life together. The act can also signify the joining of two families. For all of these reasons, jumping the broom is an increasingly popular part of many modern wedding ceremonies.
These day’s wedding brooms are made with a wooden handle and natural bristles and are kept as treasured keepsakes and probably never actually used to sweep the floor!
Jumping the broom is held at the end of the ceremony and is a wonderful way to represent strength, love, togetherness, loyalty, and respect, essential for a successful marriage.
Note: The Jumping the Broom Ceremony is one of the complimentary mini ceremony options. I can provide the broom for the ceremony, however, should the couple wish to keep the broom as a memento, they would be required to purchase their own broom.
Rose Petals Blessing Ceremony
This is a beautiful ritual for a baby naming/welcoming ceremony.
Pink, White, Yellow and Red Roses are showered upon your baby with each carrying a meaningful and special blessing connected to the colour that it symbolises. Each colour of petals is held within a separate bowl or basket and parents, family, or guests can shower the petals upon the baby while the blessing is spoken.
Note: The Rose Petals Blessing is one of the complimentary mini ceremony options, I will provide the petals.