Looking to personalise your wedding ceremony and add a micro-ceremony within it? This blog post has got you covered. We wanted to run through a some different small ceremonies that can be included into your overall wedding ceremony itself.
Ring Warming Ceremony
You may be wondering what a ring warming ceremony is and you wouldn’t be alone in that, so let us break it down for you: A ring warming ceremony is a tradition that can be a part of your wedding ceremony where all (or most) of your guests will touch (or in other words, warm) the wedding rings using their hands as an act of blessing the wedding bands. The blessing symbolises good luck, good vibes and high hopes for your the relationship you and your partner will share as a married couple. Ring warming ceremonies are a great way to include all of your guests in a tradition at your ceremony, especially for any brides having very intimate, small weddings.
The ring warming portion of the ceremony can be carried out at different times before, or during, your ceremony. Some couples will have it during the ceremony, usually when it’s a smaller more intimate wedding. If you’re having a bigger wedding guest-list wise, the better option may be to have the rings near the entrance on a table and your guests will be able to warm the wedding bands as they enter. There are a handful of ways you can have a ring warming ceremony play out. You can have the wedding rings tied together with a piece of string to keep them together as one, representative of you and your partner joining in marriage, and the rings are passed around one by one to all of the guests at your ceremony while they’re seated. Another option would be to place both rings in a small bowl or dish of some kind and the guests would pass that around instead or the table at the entrance idea as well. It’s important to have someone there to explain the point of the ceremony to the guests and to watch over the rings, the last thing anyone wants is misplaced or lost wedding rings. For this, you’ll want to choose someone you can trust to be responsible for the rings to become your ‘ring chaperone’ for the ceremony, because once the rings have been warmed by all of the guests, they’ll still need to make it to the bride and groom’s fingers.
Including a rose ceremony at your wedding is the act of a bride and groom exchanging roses at their wedding. Giving someone a single red rose is considered symbolic of saying ‘I love you’.
There has been a number of ways rose ceremonies can play out at a wedding, some couples may choose to do their rose ceremony before they exchange vows and say ‘I do’ while others may choose to do it after the vows have been exchanged and they’re officially a married couple. It’s really just a matter of individual choice. The general idea of the rose ceremony itself though, is for the bride and groom to give each other one single red rose, usually a long stemmed one, as a romantic gesture of love & their first gift to the other as a newly married couple. Traditionally, your officiant will explain the idea behind the giving of the roses and speak about the meaning behind it for the couple and their love for the other. Additionally, some couples with children may choose to involve their children as well as other family members in the ceremony. To do this, you would have a vase for the kids or parents/other guests to place their own red roses in as a gesture of the new combined family unit that is created out of a marriage and their love & blessing for the married couple. Sometimes these family members will instead use a white or other coloured rose while the couple sticks to the long stemmed red rose.
There is also a variation to the rose ceremony where the newly married couple will designate a place in their home together to leave each other a rose on their anniversary (or in troubled times) in the future. While this isn’t always the case with rose ceremonies, it’s something you could potentially consider as many couples have done this to add that little bit of extra intimacy and sentimentality to their wedding ceremony.
First and foremost, this type of wedding ceremony shouldn’t be confused with a wine box ceremony, which we’ve covered in another blog. A wine ceremony is one of the simplest (and tastiest!) wedding ceremony ideas out there. This particular idea is pretty straightforward to carry out: the bride and groom will share a glass of wine, taking turns drinking out of the same glass to celebrate the life they’re starting together. While this happens, the officiant will speak a bit about why a wine ceremony was chosen and what it represents to the couple!
The wine ceremony has been thought of as representing the two things marriage and wine both share, bitter and sweet moments. We’ll all experience a wide range of emotions and events in life, some will be the sweet & beautiful moments we live for while others will be the harsher, bitter times in life that we’ll overcome together with our partners. The wine ceremony is intended to showcase exactly that and is a beautiful way to showcase a more grounded and realistic expectation of what life will be like as a married couple moving forward into the future.
A wine ceremony is definitely something you can personalise in many ways if you want to. For example, while the common type of wine tends to be a red, you can switch it up and use something different such as a gin, whiskey or something else, even a non-alcoholic version if that suits you better. You can also switch up your wine glasses. I’ve personally seen a couple go for a more viking style mug because they felt like it suited them better as a couple. Some couples even choose to include their parents in the wine ceremony too.
The wine ceremony is definitely a tradition that starts as a general idea with so much space for you to personalise to suit you on your day. All you'll need for this ceremony is some special wine glasses, mugs or vessels of some sort to drink out of that fit your theme or personal taste and a nice bottle of red wine (or other beverage) of your choosing. It's really just that simple yet meaningful!
It's important to remember that you can customise almost anything about your wedding to suit your needs. From a custom made wedding dress to a wedding ceremony customised to suit your needs!
Water Unity or Water Blending Ceremony
A water unity ceremony is a great way to uniquely showcase the unity between a couple at their wedding.
To carry out a water unity ceremony, speak with your officiant first to organise a time during the overall ceremony where this will fit in best, generally towards the end for most brides and grooms. To kick this off, your officiant will explain to all of your guests what you’re about to do and the meaning behind it. To carry out the water unity ceremony itself, the bride and groom take a glass or vase each that will be filled with water, and pour them into a central vase, usually decorated to fit the theme of your wedding. Much like the unity candle ceremony, it’s taking two individual things and joining them together as one, the same way a couple are when they get married.
A water unity ceremony is also a great way to personalise your wedding with that unique touch for brides on a strict budget as the requirements to carry this out are very cost effective.
What you’ll need for a water unity ceremony:
- 1 central vase. (this can be decorated to suit the colour and theme of your wedding if you’d like)
- 2 individual glasses or vases, one each for you and your groom
- Enough water for the individual vases. (just be sure that when combined, it doesn’t overfill the central vase and spill everywhere!)
Some couples may opt to be creative with the water itself by adding food colouring to create specific colours or mixed colours. A good example of this would be maybe you’d choose your own specific colour to represent one thing while your groom would choose another, mixing them together to create a colour combo that represents your love coming together as a mix. You could mix red for passion and yellow for wisdom or other colours and ideas that represent different things to you or your partner. Some couples may also opt to use something different than water such as wine.
Tying The Knot Ceremony
While tying the knot has become a common reference to the act of actually getting married which originated from the tradition of handfasting ceremonies, (which we’ve covered more in-depth here) there is also a different tradition involving ‘tying the knot’. For this one, as with all ceremony ideas, you’ll have your officiant cover what’s about to happen. At this point, you’ll have someone close to you, probably the best man, hand you and your groom two pieces of rope which you’ll then tie into a Fishermans knot. The reasoning behind the Fishermans knot is that it represents a bond that ‘grows stronger under pressure instead of breaking down’ the way a Fishermans knot becomes stronger when they bare weight on them or are pulled tightly.
The tying the knot ceremony generally tends to happen after the vows have been exchanged at your wedding ceremony. This is another budget-friendly option as all you’ll need is the two pieces of rope. If you want your Fishermans knotted rope to match the theme of your wedding, you can choose specific coloured rope, ribbon or twine that matches, or alternatively you can choose colours that match feelings or represent something meaningful to you and your partner.
One bonus to a ‘tying the knot’ ceremony is that it lets you keep a heartfelt and sentimental item to remind you of your wedding ceremony forever, something you could keep in a safe place or even hang on the wall in your home as a constant reminder of one of the happiest days of you and your partners lives.
One thing we always suggest for this kind of ceremony is to take some time out prior to your wedding day to practice tying a fisherman's knot with your partner so it'll run smoothly on your big day. There are many YouTube videos and guides on how to do this effectively.
Unity Candle Ceremony
We’ve covered unity candle ceremonies in more depth in a previous blog, you can find that here, but this is a pretty common tradition at quite a few weddings so we wanted to include it here too!
A unity candle ceremony is always a great choice, especially for more intimate weddings where you want to include something delicate with meaning. This type of tradition at your ceremony is when the bride and groom take two individual candles, lighting them from small votive candles, and use them to light a bigger more central pillar candle. The reasoning behind this is to represent the two flames (the bride and groom) becoming one now that they’re married.
Unity candle ceremonies tend to be quite cheap cost wise too, so they definitely work for brides on strict budgets for their wedding day. Here’s what you’ll need;
1 large pillar candle (This represents the married couple)
2 smaller taper candles (These represent the bride and groom as individuals)
2 votive candles (votive candles are similar to tea light candles; smaller candles that will be pre-lit for the bride and groom to light their taper candles from)
1 lighter/box of matches (probably the most important thing many couples tend to forget!)
All of the above can be purchased from a wide range of websites, stores that sell wedding goods as well as many Etsy stores!
Choosing a micro ceremony is a great way to add more depth and sentimentality to your wedding day.
Wine Box Ceremony
The wine box ceremony is another tradition we previously covered in more depth but wanted to add in with this list of traditions, you can find our more in-depth breakdown here. A wine box ceremony is a tradition where the bride and groom create a sort of time capsule for later on in life, or on a specific anniversary, to open together.
When it comes to what you’ll place inside the box or time capsule, it’s pretty simple: a nice bottle of wine to share down the track and a love letter to each other. The main idea is to sit down on the morning of your wedding (or sometime quite close before it depending on time constraints) and write each other a letter about how you’re feeling on the morning of your wedding and why you love each other so much. The reasoning and purpose for this is to remind each other why you got married in the first place one day later in the future.
What you’ll need:
- 1 box to act as your time capsule. (this is usually a sturdy wooden box of some sort. There are many ways to seal it; wax, rope, ribbon or even nailing it shut. The choice is up to the couple)
- 1 bottle of wine or similar beverage. (some couples may opt for champagne or whiskey instead, whichever suits your taste!)
- 2 love letters. (You and your partner will place the love letters you’ll write to each other in this box with the bottle of wine)
One of the most beautiful and sentimental reasons to have a wine box ceremony is the idea that it creates a keepsake for you to take away from your wedding and share some day in the future, maybe at an anniversary, a trying time in life or when you make a major memory together in life. It lets you relive your wedding day some years down the track and remind each other of the reason you’re in this partnership together.
Handfasting ceremonies were made famous on movies like Braveheart and TV shows like Game of Thrones (Robb & Talisa Stark!) but go back in history much, much further than that. Handfasting ceremonies are actually where the phrase ‘tie the knot’ originated, dating back more than 2000 years.
Hand fasting ceremonies are a great way to personalise a tradition at your wedding day. To carry one out, you’ll need several colours of ribbons that will be tied or braided into a bigger ‘rope’ that will then be tied around the bride and grooms hands by their officiant at the wedding. The bride and groom will stand either side by side or facing one another with both having a hand extended out, holding them together. The officiant will recite some words while they tie the braided rope around both of your hands to represent you being joined in marriage. There are usually specific speeches and words your officiant will say during the handfasting ceremony, so be sure to cover that with your officiant when you meet them or prior to the wedding day.
As for the rope, or ribbon, that will be used to ‘tie’ you and your groom together, this one comes down strictly to personal choice. You’ll choose several colours of ribbons that will represent something to both you and your partner. For instance, red ribbon represents strength, passion and fertility while purple represents power. There is a whole range of colours so you’ll want to put some thought into the colours and what they mean to you or how they apply to your relationship and love.
We definitely have a lot more information on this in our handfasting ceremony blog if you’re interested, including the meaning behind each colour of ribbon that will be braided into your overall knot.
Pass the rope
This ceremony is kind of like a ring warming ceremony meets a tying the knot ceremony. For a ‘pass the rope ceremony’, several strands of rope are passed around the guests at the wedding ceremony to be blessed with well wishes. The rope is then passed back to the bride and groom where the groom holds them together at one end while the bride braids them together, much like a simple braided hairstyle.
The braiding of the rope represents tying the knot and the idea that the couple are stronger intertwined with each other than they are separately. This is a great idea for a ceremony tradition that is not only cost effective and efficient to carry out but also allows you to have a keepsake to take home after the wedding!
To carry out a 'Pass The Rope' ceremony, all you’ll need is three strands of rope or twine, thats it! You can choose colours that suit you or your partner and the theme of your wedding, or any colours in general. Just make sure, as always, you have your officiant explain to the guests what the purpose is and what’s going to happen as the crowd will be involved by passing around the strands of rope.
It's important to make your wedding day all about you and your partner, it's your special day after all. So choosing a ceremony that suits you is a beautiful way to remember such an incredible time in your life.
Sky Lantern/Wishing Lantern Ceremonies
Sky lanterns at a wedding are more common in many Asian and South American countries as a symbol of prosperity and good luck, but over the past 30 years or so they’ve been found around the world in many different countries by brides (and their grooms) that want to add something extra to their wedding day.
When it comes to carrying this tradition out, there are generally two ways it can be done. The first is to launch a single lantern up that represents the life a bride and groom will share together as a couple. Alternatively, some couples choose to include their guests in this and everyone will set one off as a tribute to the newly married couple to signify good luck and blessings for the marriage. The size of your wedding guest list will be something to consider here but the choice is totally yours. Traditionally, when launching sky lanterns into the sky, people tend to add a small written note to it with hopes and blessings of good luck or prosperity for the future, so don’t forget to consider this if you’re having a sky lantern ceremony where your guests will also be launching their own lanterns. The great thing about sky lanterns at your wedding is you can get many that are totally biodegradable and also not flammable, which is great for peace of mind and safety!
Wedding sky lanterns are generally used between the ceremony and reception, or alternatively they can be released at night as your wedding reception is coming to it’s natural conclusion.
If a sky lantern ceremony is something you’d be interested in and you’re searching for the lanterns themselves, there are many places online you can find them. Etsy could be a good start for a rough idea of costs or potential places to purchase the items. The lanterns often come in packs of 10/25/30/50 etc. so you can pick an amount that fits for your guest numbers on your wedding day!
Time Capsule Ceremony
This is a ceremony where the name is quite literal: the goal is to create a time capsule that you and your partner will save to open years later on an anniversary. There’s no specific date in mind, but usually at the five, ten or twenty year mark into your marriage. For a time capsule ceremony you and your partner will want to each pick out some small trinkets or reminders and write each other a letter. There are a lot of things that you can potentially put in here so scaling it down to a small list will be the tough part. For some ideas, you could add:
- Concert tickets of shows you’ve been to together
- Love letters, notes or cards that you’ve sent each other on special occasions, especially while dating.
- Trinkets or gifts that you’re okay parting with for the near future
For the time capsule itself, you’ll want something to place the items in that you can seal up and keep somewhere accessible for later on when the time will come to open it up. There are quite a few options here including a decorated wooden box of some sort, these can be bought from many craft stores or places like K-Mart and Target. Alternatively, you might want to use a steel box or a bag of some kind, it really comes down to personal preference. If you’re wondering where you should place it, that too comes with a few options but the safest bet will be keeping it in your home somewhere or maybe at a parents house to ensure it’s kept safe, private, and not opened until the right time comes!
To carry out a time capsule ceremony, as always, your officiant will explain to your guests the purpose behind what you're doing while you and your partner will place the items in the box or bag of your choosing and seal it up. This can be done at any point, before or after you exchange vows, the choice is totally yours.
A stone ceremony, also known as a pebble ceremony or a wishing rock ceremony depending on who you ask, is a heartfelt way to include all of your guests at the wedding in a deeper way than just watching you get married. For this, you’ll want a box of polished stones, placed near the entrance to the wedding ceremony venue. Make sure you assign a person or two to hand out the stones to guests as they arrive and walk in and explain that the stones will be part of the ceremony. These stones will be used by your guests to hold and make a wish for the future life that you and your partner will be embarking on while your wedding ceremony is carried out.
During the ceremony, generally at the start, you’ll have your officiant explain the purpose of the stones each guest was given entering the venue. The officiant will instruct your guests to hold their stone and make a wish for you and your partner, before asking the guests to sign their name and possibly write a word that signifies their wish before placing it back in the box(s) at the entrance on their way out. You’ll now have something to remind you of each and every guest that attended your special day!
For a stone ceremony, you’ll need some polished rocks/stones/pebbles, these can be purchased at trade stores like Bunnings. When it comes to how many you’ll need, to play it safe, you’ll want to know how many guests you’ll have and add in 10-15 extra stones just incase. You’ll also want to get a box, bowl or crate of some sort to keep these in. You’ll be able to purchase this at Bunnings (or whatever trade store you go to for the stones) as well as a few permanent marker pens like a Sharpie or similar.
Make sure you pre-arrange for someone to stand at the entrance to your wedding ceremony venue and hand the rocks out to your guests as they enter. It could be a good idea to avoid confusion by having the person handing the rocks out to let people know it'll be part of the ceremony.
Celtic Oathing Stone Ceremony
This specific ceremony is rooted in Celtic culture & heritage and started many years ago. The name for this ceremony relates to the idea of ‘setting an oath in stone’ and is still added in during some wedding ceremonies around the world today.
To carry this ceremony out, you’ll need a Celtic Oathing stone; these can be bought online from many places, including Etsy, and may also be available somewhere near where you live, although you’ll need to search a bit on Google in your specific area. During the ceremony, you’ll have your wedding officiant explain to idea of the oathing stone to your guests and it will then be passed around the audience for each person to hold the stone and bless it with well wishes and love before it’s then passed back to you and your partner. At this point, as a couple, you’ll both exchange your vows while holding the stone to symbolise using the stone to make your oath (vows) to each other.
A Celtic Oathing Stone ceremony is another great way to both include your audience while also creating a timeless reminder of your happy day that you can keep with you, adding an extra layer of togetherness and intimacy to your wedding ceremony. If you'd like, you can also make your own oathing stone for your special day to personalise things even further.
A lasso ceremony, also known as ‘El Lazo’ is a traditional ritual that is carried out in Filipino, Mexican and Spanish cultures. This one is quite simple to carry out yet very elegant and beautiful. During the wedding ceremony, the officiant will explain to the guests in attendance that a Lasso ceremony is about to take place and that it symbolises love and unity for infinity. The officiant will then take a floral garland and place it around the neck/shoulder area of the couple, who will be standing face to face. When draping, the officiant will twist it into an infinity symbol and then speak a few words to commemorate the couples love, togetherness and unity that they’ll share for life moving forward. The beautiful thing about the Lasso ceremony is you can then take the floral garland home and hang it up for a while as a reminder of your special day!
You'll only need one thing for this ceremony: a floral garland. This is quite easily obtainable from most florists so all you'll need to do is contact some local florists and discuss your options with them!
Truce Bell Ceremony
A truce bell ceremony is a Celtic custom and an interesting idea for something you can do at your ceremony and then take home afterwards and carry it on through life when you need it. A truce bell ceremony is when you’ll ring a ‘Truce Bell’ (truce in it’s literal meaning; ‘an agreement between enemies or opponents to stop fighting for a certain time’) at your wedding to represent the idea of compromise and overcoming issues. During the ceremony, your officiant will explain to your guests the idea behind it and then take you and your partner through a vow to use the truce bell in future to overcome any arguments or disagreements, followed by both of you ringing the truce bell once each. The idea behind this is that after you’ve been married and gone on to your new life together, if there are any tense moments, arguments, disagreements or fights of any kind, one of you can ring the truce bell to remind you both why you decided to get married in the first place. The sound of the truce bell will always be a reminder of your special day and the love you hold for each other. It’s an interesting concept for a wedding, especially if you want something in your ceremony to ground you and remind you that while weddings are definitely worth it, they’re not always easy or pain free!
There are many websites online (and some bridal stores depending on where you live!) where you can purchase a truce bell. As always, Etsy is a good place to start. You could also opt for purchasing your own plain bell from stores like K-mart or Target and decorating it yourself to match your theme. These are usually quite inexpensive.
A garland ceremony is known by a few other names such as a lei ceremony in Hawaii or in the case of Indian weddings, Jaimala or Varmala. This is one you might’ve seen before in movies or on TV but not realised the name behind it. A garland ceremony is when the bride and groom exchange floral garlands to represent, among other things, the love and respect you hold for the person (your partner in this case) that you’re putting the garland on. It also represents the unity of a new family that you’ll become with your partner once married.
To carry out a garland ceremony at your wedding, you’ll have your officiant explain to the guests the meaning behind it and what’s about to take place, after which you and your partner will exchange floral garland wreaths that you’ll place around each others necks symbolising love and respect for each other.
If you’re planning on including a garland ceremony at your wedding and are unsure of how to get your hands on the garlands themselves, we’d suggest talking to a florist you like and asking them for help, most florists will be able to help you with this quite easily.
Tree Planting Ceremony
A tree planting ceremony is a small occasion you can add into your overall wedding ceremony. It’s the ritual of you and your partner planting a tree together on your wedding day to symbolise the new life you’ll be growing together moving forward as one.
For this ceremony, you’ll need two containers of soil, a watering can, a small table and a potted tree.
During the wedding ceremony, your officiant will explain to your guests the symbology of a tree planting ceremony and possibly even cover why you and your partner have chosen this to be a part of your overall wedding ceremony. You’ll then have the potted tree on a table near (or on) your altar. You and your partner will then both take turns adding soil and watering the tree, to symbolise the life you’ll both be growing together moving forward in life after your wedding day.
This ceremony is a great way to have something intimate that lasts long past your wedding day!
Have you got any micro ceremonies in mind for your wedding day? If so we'd love. to hear which one you've chosen and why!