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Celtic Hand Fasting
Hand Fasting is an ancient Celtic ritual, used to symbolise the bond of marriage between two individuals. By binding or fasting the hands together, the couple are joined as one. It is from this tradition that we get the phrase “tying the knot”.
Hand Fastings can be as simplistic or as elaborate as you wish. As your celebrant, I will use a cord to bind your hands together and I will then recite the ceremony words. This enhancement can be adapted to suit your style and personalities in the choice of cords and colours you opt for. A Hand Fasting ceremony is also a lovely way to close your ceremony, after your vows and ring exchange. Once your hands are fastened, you will walk into your married life, hand in hand, in front of your nearest and dearest.
The Unity Candle is probably the most popular ceremony enhancement chosen by wedding couples. The ceremony symbolises the couple’s individual lives coming together in marriage.
It is a beautiful ceremony enhancement especially if wish you to include certain family members such as parents, grandparents or siblings in your ceremony. One member from each family lights a candle which represents you and your family. The couple then light the unity candle from the flames of their family candle, thus uniting both families.
As you don’t want the flames of the candles to extinguish, it is recommended that candles be used primarily for indoor ceremonies. However if you are having an outdoor ceremony and really want to have a unity candle, glass lanterns can be used to protect the flames.
With Irish suppliers offering beautiful personalized candle sets, the unity candle is a great way to symbolise your unity on your wedding day and will make a lovely keepsake to display in your home.
Ring Warming Ceremony
A Ring Warming is one of my favourite enhancements for a wedding or vow renewal ceremony.
Ring Warming Ceremonies are full of sentiment and meaning and are a beautiful way to include your guests in your ceremony. It allows your guests the opportunity to bestow their own personal blessings, hopes and wishes for your new marriage onto your wedding rings. By the time the rings are exchanged and on the couples fingers, they are filled with the love and well wishes of family and friends.
For smaller weddings, also known as micro-weddings, the rings can be passed from guest to guest during the ceremony, allowing each guest to make a wish on the rings. My advice is to always have a “ring chaperone”. A ring chaperone is someone who can keep tabs on the rings and ensures that they are ready to be handed to the couple for the ring exchange. Usually the best man or a groomsmen would take responsibility for this.
For larger weddings, it would take far too long for the rings to pass to everyone during the ceremony. Instead you can display your wedding rings on a table at the entrance to your ceremony. As your guests arrive they can “warm” the rings on their way into the ceremony space. With this option it would be a good idea to let your guests know about the ring warming before they arrive so that there’s no confusion or delay on the big day. An easy way of doing this is to include a small note with your wedding invitations explaining what the ring warming is and what the guest is to do.
There are so many beautiful ways that you can present your rings to your guests during a ring warming ceremony; from tying them on a soft white pillow to displaying them in a beautifully engraved wooden box. You can even pass the rings along a string or ribbon that weaves its way through the guests and ends at the happy couple.
Whatever style you decide to use, a ring warming ceremony is the perfect way for all your guests to feel included and an important part of your wedding day. You will look down on your wedding rings for many years to come knowing that they are filled with love and joy.
Wine Box & Love Letter
A Wine Box Ceremony is a simple but beautiful ceremony which can be personalised in so many ways.
The couple place a bottle of their favourite wine, champagne or whiskey in a specially designed box with a sealed love letter to each other inside. Both must promise not to open the box until an agreed date or anniversary. When opened not only will they have a gorgeous bottle of wine to enjoy together, they will read their love letters to eachother and be transported back to their wedding day.
Wine Box Ceremonies are a beautiful enhancement to add to your wedding day and promise that you can continue to celebrate that joyful day for years to come.
Jumping the Broom
Jumping the Broom is as old a ritual as Celtic Hand Fasting. It is a ceremony enhancement that has remained popular and widely used through generations.
A traditional Welsh ritual, couples would jump the broom if they chose to live their lives together. The couple would place a broom across the threshold of their home, join hands and literally jump into their new lives together. The union would last for one year and one day, after which time they would decide to either remain together or go their separate ways. If the latter was agreed, they would place the broom across the threshold again but this time jump outwards, literally jumping out of the marriage.
The ritual was later used by African slaves in the United States, who were forbidden from marrying by ruthless slave owners. But the slaves would use this old ritual to outwit their cruel captures. After all, nobody can stop you jumping a broom!
This ritual brings a great sense of fun, drama and excitement to a wedding ceremony and will look amazing in photographs. You can buy the most beautiful handcrafted brooms, which can be personalised with coloured cords or ribbons to make a unique keepsake of your wedding day.
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