Designing Ceremonies

Ceremony types

1.             Flame of truth (walking around 3 times)

2.             Feeding each other (symbolic of nurturing each other) Couple drinking from a marriage cup, before or after pledges, perhaps even holy water. 

3.             Having an altar, and inviting guests to bring something meaningful to place on it. Something for the benefit of the couple.

4.             Acknowledgements. People who cannot be present or who have died, and its important for them to be acknowledged.  (Could acknowledge people who have travelled a long way to be here or made an extra special effort.)

5.             Signing the back of the wedding certificate by guests.   (To remember the support from the day.)

6.             One or more readings of important or meaningful texts or poetry, either by the celebrant or close or important friends. Friends participating help to colour the ceremony and bring in audience more.    (Also duelling readers reading resonant texts -- or questions and answers etc. (involves multiple readers))

7.             Ring ceremony --- with rings being taken around to everyone by a member of the wedding party, or being held out at the front of larger groups. Rings symbolic of the pledges. (This is usually accompanied with a meditation or a visualisation by Celebrant. Seeing the rings looped with the faces of the couple inside them. Wishing them well.)

8.             Singing, by the whole audience or someone special or the Bride or Groom if game. Remember "Morning has broken" for early morning ceremony. You are so beautiful sang to groom. Could be devotional songs.

9.             Musical instruments involved. Quartets, Harp, Drums, Flute, Taped music.

10.            Involvement of Parents, children or stepchildren.

11.           Making holy water with candles and best wishes from meditation, and sprinkling couple with holy water. (Holy water can also be produced by Monks.)

12.           Using Bodhi leaves to make holy water and explaining the significance of our leaves as directly descended from the Buddha's Bo tree.

13.           Tying of thumbs and celebrant pouring holy water over and saying a blessing or chanting if someone can do it. Sri Lankan custom.

14.           Lighting the lamp Sri Lankan custom.

15.           Couple giving beetel leaves to parents, as a form of thanks.

16.           Giving gifts to the parents, as thanks.

15.           Tea ceremony Chinese custom. Children make tea and give it symbolically to parents who usually return a gift. (money) Also relations can be recipients of tea.  (Variations of this ceremony are popular, especially amongst Asian couples. A thank you ceremony with parents front and centre as part of the acknowledgements.)

16.           Symbolic planting of tree by couple (Smallish seedling in a nice pot) to symbolise their unity and potential growth. Parents can be involved to water the tree (with nice vessel) as symbolic nurturing. Tree can be planted at home as special tree for marriage.

17.           Procession at beginning and end.

18.           Father or Mother or special person to symbolically give bride away or support marriage. Could also use modern verse explaining and perhaps justifying the tradition. (See readings).

19.           Parents or friends to acknowledge couples decision in a symbolic way, or to take part in ceremony by giving something saying something, perhaps someone long married to inspire. (Like Thai tradition)

20.           Celebrant proposing a toast after the pledges, (drinks --- non-alcoholic are distributed during the signing).

21.           May like to have the story of how they met told or any trials and tribulations to get to this point.

22.           Bride and Groom lighting smaller candles and then jointly lighting a larger one to symbolise union and coming together. Can also be done by families.

23.           Remember Molly who sang a spontaneous song of feeling and celebration taken from her feeling from the ceremony.

24.           Thai twinning ceremony with crocheted wreath for each head and cord to join. Usually accompanied with a special person in couples lives long married giving advice or blessing.

25.           Thai custom of family and then guests pouring water over couples hands and giving them a blessing while they sit or kneel over a cushion for their hands and a bowl. A shell or conche is used to pour water.

26.           Tying a string from a Buddha image and looping it thru guests and wedding party as a significant part is read or chanted or practiced. 

27.           Releasing a flock of doves as a symbol of peace and faith in the marriage. Balloons could also be used

 

 

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