7 – Handfasting – Hand Tying Ceremony

14 Apr
April 14, 2012

I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “tying the knot” or “giving one’s hand in marriage.” Have you ever wondered where those sayings came from? They are in reference to the old European custom of hand tying which was used before marriages where sanctioned in churches. In those days a couple would come together with their family and friends and have their hands joined by a cord, rope, ribbons, a scarf, tartan, or strips of fabric. It was meant to declare the couple’s union and commitment to each other (or perhaps just to keep the groom from running away!)

Today it has become a popular addition to a ceremony for modern couples seeking new and spiritual ways to honor their love. The tying usually takes place after the rings are exchanged. The officiant asks the bride and groom to hold each others hands and then ties their hands together with the binding of their choice. The binding remains in place until the end of the ceremony.

1 – Traditional Or Self Written Vows

03 Apr
April 3, 2012

The only requirements by the State of North Carolina are that the bride and groom each declare their intent to be married to each other and the pronouncement by a minister or officiant.

There are no rules as to what words must be used so you are free to make those decisions. While using traditional vows crafted by me with the popular “repeat after me” format is very stress-relieving for many couples, you may chose to write your own vows. 

Whatever your choice, I can email you many samples of vows, poems or readings to choose from or use as inspiration to write your own. 

We’ll work together to make sure that your vows express your love and unwavering commitment to each other in the way you want.

4 – The Rose Ceremony

03 Apr
April 3, 2012

One version of the rose ceremony occurs after the vows and rings have been exchanged. The officiant asks the bride and groom to exchange a rose as the first gift as husband and wife, and talks about the couple setting up a special place in their home where a rose can be placed to deliver a message of love when words fail.

Another version is to have the bride and/or groom present a rose to their mother. This is usually done at the beginning of the ceremony with the officiant saying,

‘The bride and groom wish to begin their ceremony with a symbolic gift of love and gratitude to the women who gave the bride and groom life – their mothers.’

This is always so touching especially when the mothers are surprised.

6 – Unity Candle Ceremony

03 Apr
April 3, 2012

The unity candle ceremony uses two taper candles and a large pillar candle (called the ‘unity candle”) in the center.

At the beginning of the wedding ceremony a representative from each family (usually the mothers of the bride and groom) light the two taper candles. Later in the ceremony (usually after the formal vows) the bride and groom use the taper candles to light the pillar (unity) candle together. The lighting is performed to symbolize the union of two beings into one light.

The officiant may offer an explanation of the symbolism, a special blessing or reading.

3 – The Shell Ceremony

03 Apr
April 3, 2012

This is perfect for a small wedding on the beach. Learn more about the shell ceremony for the Outer Banks.

Here each of the guests and wedding party are given a shell to hold during the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, the officiant requests everyone go to the edge of the water with their shell, silently make a wish or blessing for the bride and groom, then return the shells to the ocean thereby combining all the wishes and blessings to ebb and flow together forever. 

The guests actually get to participate in the ceremony and find it to be a very heartfelt experience. W

5 – Family-Blending-of-the-Sands Ceremony

03 Apr
April 3, 2012

This ceremony helps the children of the bride and/or groom to feel more secure in the new union and that they are very important. Similar to the Rose ceremony, it’s a beautiful way to pay homage to family values.

Each child selects a different color of sand, as do the parents, and each pours their sand into a keepsake container symbolizing the unity of each member of the family. Older children can participate further by stating why they selected their sand color.

2 – Unity Sand Ceremony

03 Apr
April 3, 2012

This is very popular for beach weddings on the Outer Banks.

In this ceremony, three vases are used; two of which will contain sand (which may be colored) representing the bride and groom.The bride and groom simultaneously pour their sand into the third larger vase symbolizing unity and eternity since the sand grains can never be separated.

The officiant gives a special reading or blessing during this part of the ceremony. The unity sand vase will serve as a lasting keepsake of your special day.

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