As couples become more interested in creating wedding ceremonies that reflect who they are, they are incorporating symbols as a visible sign of their love. These ‘tokens of love’ enable you to take the invisible and intangible – your love and devotion for one another – and illustrate these feelings in symbolism. Here are some suggestions on how to easily and appropriately incorporate symbols into wedding ceremonies.
Symbolize Your New Family Bond
If you are bringing children into the marriage, bestow a token such as a family medallion in a ritual that includes them; or let them join in lighting a family candle or pouring sand to represent the new bond you all share.
Honor Your Families
To honor family members who are present you can ask for their support during the ceremony. You can remember those who have passed by sharing a poem or prayer they taught you, lighting candles or incense in their memory, including something in your program, or creating a memory table.
Symbols That Show Your Personality
For a casual fun wedding, wear non-traditional wedding clothing and choose a favorite color, style, or designer. Forego the traditional wedding march in favor of Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” or another song that expresses how you feel. Ask your guests to wear your favorite colors.
Symbolize Your Unity
Exchange flowers or letters, reflecting what you love about each other or share foods from your cultures to represent your bond to each other and your heritage. Start your own tradition by continuing the ritual on your anniversary.
Do some research into your heritage. Age-old traditions are something very powerful. Make Japanese good luck origami cranes, use a Huppah if you are all or part Jewish, or Jump the Broom to honor your African-American heritage.
Americans are in a unique position – we come from every corner of the globe, and we borrow from each other’s traditions. That crossover has been the hallmark of great innovation in music, art and more, in our society. So if you feel captivated by a tradition that is not necessarily your own, know that you are not only free to borrow, but honoring that custom by doing so. Ann Frank wrote: “We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.” Using symbols as a token of love, shows your unity, helps bring friends and family together, and creates beautiful traditions and memories.