Ceremony Options

Unity Candle Ceremony
The Unity Candle Ceremony is one of the ceremony options that consist of lighting of one candle from two separate candles held by the bride and groom. This ceremony symbolizes the union of two lives into one. Creative variations can be added to the ceremony, such as the mothers of the bride and groom, or any designated member of the wedding party, lighting the candles after they walk down the isle or during the ceremony. The couple may keep the candle (some re-light the candle each year on their anniversary).

Unity Sand Ceremony
The Unity Sand Ceremony is one of the ceremony options that has the same symbolism as the Unity candle but utilizes colored sand poured into a glass container, creating multiple layers of different colored sand. You can have as many people participate as you like and you retain the container as a keepsake.

More Ceremony Options and Wedding Ceremony Videos

The Blessing of the Rings
The wedding ring is the visible sign of an inward bond which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows made to one another. It symbolizes living together in unity, love and happiness for the rest of their lives.

Breaking of the Glass
The breaking of the glass is one of the ceremony options that is at the end of a wedding ceremony usually reserved for Jewish wedding ceremonies. However, it is a beautiful ending to any wedding. Breaking the glass serves to remind us of two very important aspects of a marriage. The bride and groom - and everyone - should consider these marriage vows as an IRREVOCABLE ACT - just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable. But the breaking of the glass also is a warning of the FRAILTY of a marriage. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or infidelity can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo - just as it would be so difficult to undo the breaking of this glass. Knowing that this marriage is permanent, the bride and groom should strive to show each other the love and respect befitting their spouse and love of their life.

Family Ceremony Options

Children Services
Many couples are remarrying and want to include their children in the ceremony. There are numerous ceremony options for ways this may be done.

Flower Ceremony
This is a family/friends ceremony. Each designated person comes up and places a different flower in a vase to create a garden of love.

Hands Ceremony
This is a recent favorite of many couples. A three to five minute ceremony in which the wedding officiant uses the phrasing, "These are the hands that..." in order to create a preliminary set of vows (although this is often used in place of traditional vows).

Honoring the Mothers
This is one of the ceremony options in which a brief reading is done and then the bride and/or groom present their mother(s) with a small gift (flowers usually).

Silent Blessing and Moment of Remembrance
Both are small blessings/readings honoring the deceased. They may include specific names or a general statement.

Additional Ceremony Options

Ribbon Ceremony/Handfasting
The ancient Celts tied the hands of the bride and groom. The officiant loosely binds the hands together. They remain that way for the rest of the ceremony.

Rose Ceremony
A symbolic ceremony using roses, the symbol of love. The couples who have chosen this have described it as an extremely beautiful and moving ceremony.

Support from Families Service
Parents become part of the introduction to the vows. The officiant asks who brings this couple to be wed.

Wine or Water Ceremony
This is one of the ceremony options where the couple shares a cup of wine or water while the officiant says a blessing and a reading.

Jumping the Broom
There are many different versions of this ritual which involves the couple jumping over the broom. Essentially, the jumping of the broom is a symbol of sweeping away of the old and welcoming the new, or a symbol of a new beginning.

Ceremony Overview

Traditional Ceremony

The Invocation and Address
The Declaration of Intent
Reading
The Exchanging of Vows &
Wedding Rings
Blessing of the Wedding Rings
Reading
The Unity Candle (Optional)
Reading
The Prayer
The Pronouncement of Marriage
The Kiss
The Benediction and Introduction
The Recessional

Custom Ceremony Options

Create Your Own Ceremony
Write down any scriptures or other readings for your wedding.

Write down your favorite lines from any solos being sung at your wedding or from your First Dance song.

Write down any favorite quotes you may have or sayings that have been meaningful to your relationship.

On the blank piece of paper, write a letter to your fiancé using the following instructions:

Begin with a salutation that is very heartfelt (for example, "My Dearest...", or something to that effect).

In the first paragraph, tell him/her how much s/he means to you and your life.

Begin the next paragraph with the words, "It seems like only yesterday that..." Run with it.

In the next paragraph tell him/her how you felt when you realized you were in love with them.

In this paragraph, tell him or her what marriage means to you. What aspects of being married are you looking forward to? What are some of your fears? How are you going to address these fears if and when they come about?

Finally, close your letter with words of love and thanksgiving for your significant other.

Now, get back together with your fiancé and switch both this paper and the letters you have written.
When you are finished reading each other's papers, go back through and underline your favorite sentences or words of your fiancé's answers and letter.

Now, discuss.

On another sheet of paper, write down your brainstorms. Start your vows with something to the effect of "I ______, take you, ______." or, "I ______ choose you, _______". This will get the ball rolling. Continue writing, using the sentences and words you found most meaningful to you and your relationship.

Now, make a copy of your vows for both of you. Stand up, hold hands, and give it a try. When you read your vows look into his or her eyes and pretend that you are actually standing at your wedding. If you find yourself coming close to tears, your attempts have been a success!

Finally, we would really like to know how it went for you. Contact us or call 713.208.2025 to let me know your thoughts. You can also visit our Minister Services blog for more information on how to create the perfect wedding ceremony.