Traditions and Customs

Thank you for coming to my web page.  I have retired as a Marriage Celebrant.

Traditions and Customs: Traditions, customs, rituals and conventions occur at important times in one’s life.   They occur in all cultures.  Whether you realise it or not, you will probably choose to have one or more of these as part of your wedding ceremony.  Most of them started many years ago to symbolise a couple becoming one.

The Ring: The ring is a never-ending circle symbolising the unbroken circle of love and a reminder of the couple’s love and commitment to each other.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Something Old represents the bride’s family ties and her life before marriage.   Something New represents the new life she is entering.  Something Borrowed represents the importance of family and friends.  Something Blue represents a couple’s faithfulness to each other and their union.

Brides may choose jewellery to symbolise Something Old.  Their wedding gown and other clothing often fulfil the Something New aspect.  Typically a handkerchief represents Something Borrowed, and Something Blue is commonly a garter tied with blue ribbon.

Sand (or Earth) Ceremony: Sand or earth could symbolise the foundation of the place from which each partner has come – their home ground.

Bottles of sands or earth of different colours symbolise the two families.  As the sands (or earth) from the containers are poured into the larger unity container, the different colours will join together to form something quite beautiful – and new.

Just as these grains of sand or earth can never be separated & poured again into the individual containers, so too will the bond be within the new family.

Unity Candle: The unity candle symbolises the new relationship or family which is being created as distinct from the couple’s past lives apart.

Breaking of Glass: The glass symbolises the love and relationship of the married couple.  The breaking of this glass serves to remind them of its fragility.

Sharing of Wine: The glass of wine is symbolic of the cup of life and the couple’s first drink together.

Procession of the Families: This symbolises the coming together of not only two people but two families, two networks of people coming together.

Handfasting: This comes from the medieval Scottish (and English) tradition of joining the hands of the couple.  It has found its way into modern weddings since it was shown in the movie ‘Braveheart’ in 1995.

Ring warming: The rings are sent around the family and guests early in the ceremony.  Guests are invited to hold them for a moment as they think only positive good things for the couple’s lives together.

Butterfly Release: Long before scientists began to study butterflies, people in many cultures & over many centuries sensed magic in butterflies.  For example, the Greek word psyche describes both the souls of the departed and the butterfly.  Native Americans called butterflies ‘the daughters of the sun’.  Maoris in New Zealand believed souls returned to the earth as butterflies.

If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.  Since a butterfly can make no sound it can’t reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all.

Dove Release: For many centuries the white dove has been a symbol of Peace, Love and New Beginnings.  They symbolise the newlywed couple setting off on their journey together, in harmony.

Rose Ceremony: In by-gone days flowers were used as a communication.  Each flower had a special meaning – and the rose has always meant love.  There are several variations on the rose ceremony.

Honouring Past Loved Ones: While a marriage ceremony is a happy event, it can be a time to reflect on deceased family and friends whose presence are missed on the day.  A memorial candle or framed photos are two ways to honour loved ones.  The bride could carry something special as a reminder in her bouquet.

Contact Althea, so together, we can start designing your unique ceremony – just the way you want it to be on 043232 0584 or email

A Gift for You – The Big Day Pack: ideas & helpful hints for your wedding ceremony: As a client, you will also receive the beautiful Big Day Pack which includes the very popular ’24 Tips to Help Keep Your Costs Under Control‘, the ’12 Tips to Help Plan Your Outdoor Wedding Ceremony’ & the ‘20 Point Wedding Ceremony Checklist’.

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