Creative Wedding Ceremony Rituals and Traditions

by in , — Updated April 7, 2017

Looking for interesting ceremony ideas? There are many cultural and faith traditions to choose from, such as jumping the broom or shattering a glass. On the beach? Skip unity candles in favor of a sand ceremony where the couple pours individual cup-fulls into a single vase or hourglass. Celebrate the joining of families by having your combined relatives break bread, share wine, or exchange roses. Many of these traditions can take the place of unity candles in windy locations or at venues that don’t allow candles. Here are a few more fun, meaningful ideas for your ceremony:

Hand Fasting
This ritual has ancient Celtic, English, and Norse roots and is meant to represent the bond the couple has forged. There are traditional vows associated with this, or you can write your own to be said as your celebrant wraps ribbons around your hands, connecting the two of you and “tying the knot.”

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Love Letter Ritual
Before the wedding, both partners write a letter to each other and at the ceremony, seal these letters (and perhaps a bottle of wine) in a wooden box to be opened at a later time, such as an anniversary or a particularly rough marital moment. This is such a sweet thing to do, and you can make it a beautiful time capsule with a well-crafted container and pretty stationary.

love letters with wax seals
nontraditional wedding ceremony ideas

Seedling Ceremony
Get your hands dirty (or use gardening gloves) and together plant and water a tree or seedlings as part of your ceremony. Like tending a garden, this ritual represents the way you will continue to care for each other. You’ll be able to watch your tree or seedlings progress as your marriage grows and changes.

tree planting wedding ceremony

Truce Bell
An Irish wedding tradition with roots in St. Patrick’s time, the truce or “make-up” bell is blessed by the officiant and then rung merrily by the couple. Later, it is kept in their home and can be rung by either partner to end marital disputes. It was once believed that bells kept evil at bay, and some couples enjoy providing them to guests as favors to be used in lieu of glass-clinking or rice-throwing.

truce bell wedding ceremony

Water Ceremony
This is a simple ritual representing unity and the blending of two lives as both partners pour dyed water into one container. Choose colors like yellow and blue (to make green), or any hues you love – just make sure you test in advance to be sure you like the shade you get when the colors are combined.

bride and groom pouring two different colors of water into one glass
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Still searching for ideas? Why not ask your friends and family about what ceremony rituals are practiced in their cultures or faith traditions?

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Hand Fasting: Green Wedding Shoes / Love Letter Ritual: Maple Street Paper Co. + Pinterest / Seedling Ceremony: Izzy Hudgins Photography / Truce Bell: Marijanel Knight Photography / Water Ceremony: Marie Kinnaman Designs + Pinterest

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