Humans have been expressing their love for thousands of years. There are lots of rituals to use!
One of the most appealing things about a celebrant-led wedding is how they allow you to combine both traditional and modern elements; we can say exactly what we mean about our love.
We’ve spent millennia evolving and developing different rituals to help capture the unique emotions we feel when we tie the knot. Our service offers a huge range of really personal stories and ceremonies so you can find one that fits your own unique story.
Humans are ritual beings; the rituals we create often don’t make it past childhood sometimes, but they still get created. Rituals are one way in which we express ourselves to the world which helps make us more tangible and allows us to show our family and friends what matters to us.
There are a huge number of rituals you can use in your wedding ceremony. Ranging from the Jewish tradition of smashing a glass underfoot which recognises sorrowful occasions like the death of a loved one. This is helpful for couples who might be struggling to move on after experiencing loss. From the rainbow cord of a Handfasting ceremony or the tradition of golden crowns from Eastern Orthodox tradition, it’s possible for you to assemble rituals that work uniquely for you.
It seems that more and more people are choosing to use a Celebrant for one of life’s milestone ceremonies, such as Weddings, Baby Naming’s and Vow Renewals or Funerals and Memorial Ceremonies. A Celebrant creates and officiates a unique and bespoke ceremony to mark life’s milestones.
Non-religious weddings in Ireland are approaching parity with those which take place in the Catholic Church, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office. Figures for 2019 show that couples choosing to be married in the Catholic Church accounted for 43.6 percent of Irish marriages in 2019, compared to 41 percent who opted for a non-religious ceremony (Celebrants).
Catholic marriages in Ireland accounted for 47.6 percent of all marriages in 2018, 51 percent in 2017, 53.7 percent in 2016. The equivalent figure in 1990 was 93.2 percent.
Five years ago, very few people knew about Celebrants. In the last three years, it has become more and more popular for people to use a Celebrant for various milestone ceremonies.
A Celebrant is an individual who officiates a unique and customized ceremony to mark a person’s life’s milestones.
These days, you can find two main types of celebrants: Humanist and Independent. The former is mainly known for doing ceremonies that have no religious or non-religious content, while the latter can also include a variety of content.
Back when celebrants first started appearing, they were mainly Humanists who performed ceremonies if you did not want a religious ceremony.
Today, due to the rise of Independent Celebrants, who are more flexible in their approach to creating ceremonies, many people are looking for something that is written specifically for them.
Many Independent Celebrants can perform various types of ceremonies, such as weddings and baby naming. Some of them also specialize in specific types of ceremonies such as funerals.
People now know that they can have their own unique ceremonies and it is possible to have something that has been created specifically for them. They love the idea that they don’t have to go to the traditional and standard locations and formats and can really do things their way.
Wedding Ceremony Elements | Top 3 Unity Candle Ceremonies
Unity Candle Ceremonies can be conducted in many ways, limited only by the imagination. One thing, however, that they all have in common is that they are symbolic of a union / unity for wedding, commitment, vow renewal, naming, reunion and even funeral ceremonies.
Below are three samples of the most frequently used ceremonies.
1. Unity Candle Ceremony (Leaving All Candles Burning)
The couple will commemorate their marriage by lighting a Unity Candle (Couple walk over to the candles)
The individual candles represent all that makes each of you the wonderful and unique person the other admires and respects. The Unity Candle in the center symbolizes the union of your lives, families, and friends, as well as your shining commitment to each other, and to a lasting and loving marriage. This candle is lit after your vows.
Same as the above with the addition of: Extinguish the two flames symbolizing your previous lives and you are forever united together in love after you say your vows and light your center candle.
3. Unity Candle Ceremony (Involving family)
You can have your parents or someone special light the taper that you are going to light your individual candles with or you can just light them yourselves.
The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one. Each of the above ceremonies can be concluded with:
A minimony is a mini ceremony held with your loved ones. Given the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, couples have been forced to postpone their weddings and move them.
A minimony is considered a commitment ceremony between you and your partner, and it can include up to 10 people, but it is important to follow social distancing measures. A minimony is a great way to honour their original wedding date.
A minimony usually involves an officiant/celebrant and a small group of loved ones. Your minimony should be low budget as Later in the year or next year you can have your “sequel wedding”- a follow-up wedding with all your guests and celebrations you originally planned. See my infographic below for the 8 steps to your minimony.
After your minimony, continue preparing for your sequel wedding, or the initial wedding that you had planned prior to the pandemic. Having a minimony allows you to set your union or to honour your first proposed date.
Weddings were once rather pre-prescribed affairs. In most cases that meant a bride, a groom, an officiant, some witnesses, and vows that were passed down through generations. You could, married or not, probably recite the ceremony by heart.
As cultures and ethnicities have blended, though, the realm of the mainstream has expanded. Additions of “non-traditional” elements like beach locales, personalised vows, civil celebrants, and unity-candle ceremonies have become, if not the norm, then at least very normal, and many betrothed couples are looking for ever-newer, ever-more-surprising ways to make their weddings unique.
One that has rather recently entered the engaged public’s consciousness is the sand ceremony, more formally known as the unity sand ceremony. Much like the unity candle with which many of us are familiar, the sand version offers a symbolic, visually poignant moment that can add not only a personalised feel but also a bit of whimsy to an otherwise formal affair.
While the unity sand ceremony has a lot in common with the unity candle ceremony, it differs in some important ways. In this article, we’ll find out what the sand version means, what it entails, how to pull one off seamlessly, and about some time-savers available to make it even easier to incorporate this ritual into many different ceremonies
First, what the ceremony is, what it symbolises, and how to make it happen.
Unity Sand Ceremony Steps
As far as wedding-ceremony extras go, this one has quickly gained in popularity for good reason. It’s a rather simple, visually appealing and highly customisable ritual that not only contributes a bit of worldliness but also leaves thenewly-wedswith a meaningful souvenir of their big day.
Plus, unlike the unity candle, this ceremony isn’t complicated by a light breeze. Sand ceremonies can move outdoors with no problem at all.
At its simplest, a sand ceremony involves a symbolic blending of two different-colouredsands into a single vessel. The meaning is clear: The blending of two different beings, the bride and the groom, into a single, inseparable unit that is their marriage — the joining of their lives.
Hard as it would be to separate out those grains of sand, that’s how difficult it is to separate these two people. It usually takes place after the exchange of rings and vows (although it can go before or even during), and lasts just a couple of minutes.
A basic sand ceremony involves three (typically glass) vessels — one holding the bride’s sand, one holding the groom’s sand, and an empty one that will soon hold both, all sitting on a small table or stand. It goes something like this:
The celebrant explains the meaning of the ceremony and how it relates to the two people getting married.
The celebrant invites the groom to pour a bit of his sand (let’s call it blue sand) into the empty vessel.
The celebrant invites the bride to do the same with her sand (let’s say it’s pink).
The bride and groom then pour their sands at the same time, in a single stream, into the vessel.
The celebrant closes the ceremony with some words about the inextricable joining of their lives.
The end result is a glass container holding one of blue sand (the groom), one layer of pink sand (the bride), and a top layer of purple sand, showing how the joining of the two have created a new, equally beautiful entity.
And, it’s an entity that’s easy to make entirely your own.
Unity Sand Ceremony Customisations
One of the greatest benefits to the sand ceremony is how easily it is to personalise. It lends itself especially well to blended families, when the bride and/or groom already have children. Having each child (or special relative or friend or parents) pour his or her owncolouredsand into thevessel along with the couple involves them in the ceremony — and in the finished product — in a seamless, natural way.
Other ways to personalize the ceremony include:
Leaving a bit of sand in each original vessel, symbolizing that each person involved in the union will maintain his or her individuality even as their lives are joined
Collecting sand from meaningful sources — using sand from favourite beaches or from holiday spots can add some extra poignancy to the ceremony.
Inviting each member of the wedding party to add sand to the container, commemorating the special place they hold in your new life together
Coordinating the sand colours to the wedding colours
Choosing a vase, urn or other vessel with that has special meaning to the couple
However you decide to make the ceremony yours, you’re going to need a few supplies to make it work. They’re not tough to come by — just coloured sand and a few glass vases. But with the increased popularity of this ceremonial interlude, gathering everything you need is even easier.
Unity Sand Ceremony Kits
It’s not difficult to find coloured sand. You’ll come across it in craft stores, toy stores, and art-supply stores, and you can easily buy it on-line. Glass vases are even easier to come by. Any shape will do, and you may even have the perfect vessels lying around the house. A container with special meaning, such as an engagement gift, vacation souvenir, or a crystal vase passed down through generations, can make the ceremony and the finished product even more special.
Still, with all that goes into planning a wedding, you may prefer an all-in-one solution — a sand-ceremony kit. These kits range in price from about €25 to €75. They can be basic, with three glass vessels (vases or urns) and two colours of sand; customised with extra vases for family members or friends; and engraved with the names of the bride and groom to create a more personal memoir of the wedding. You can also find a sand vessel that also serves as a picture frame.
The simplicity of the sand ceremony is part of its appeal, so there’s no need to complicate it with elaborate vows. The spiritual symbolism speaks for itself, so a few words from a celebrant and the betrothed are plenty.
The unity sand ceremony is an excellent alternative to the unity candle and is perfect for outdoor settings. But it does come with a warning: Sand can be messy. If all must be pristine, consider a glass funnel. It’ll help the bride and groom combine their lives with more precision.