Creating a Rock Solid Wedding Ritual!

People often ask me what exactly is a celebrant? Simply put – we create personal and meaning ceremonies for life’s milestones. Having studied at the Celebrant Foundation and Institute (in Montclair, NJ) along with my life experience, I have a strong background to lean on.

There are countless customs around the world.

Because everything about a celebrant wedding ceremony is personalized for the couple, I spend time learning who they are, where they came from, and where they want to go. We celebrants are storytellers, and often incorporate the couple’s love story right into the ceremony. I’ve studied customs and beliefs from many religions, cultures and traditions (and often write about them here) – and its awesome to draw from that as well.

Its a big world and there is much to inspire.

But sometimes that is not what is needed. In those cases I just might create something new to fit the bill. To me this is really exciting!

Recently I was having a lengthy conversation with a couple about their upcoming ceremony. In the course of the discussion I learned that the groom frequently visited Maine to hike and enjoy the great outdoors. His fiancé added that he has a collection of small rocks from there that he’s hauled around from place to place over the years, never sure exactly why, except they are beautiful to look at, and of course remind him of his love for that part of the country. I immediately knew we had to use these rocks for the wedding, and the couple readily agreed.

Those beautiful rocks.

Exploring a little more it turns out the rocks are granite, and a little help from google quickly told me that granite has been used to build many monuments and temples all over the world, because it is a beautiful and extremely durable material. There it is, I thought, what it a perfect symbol. So I proceeded to create the couple’s own monument to their commitment.

These things don’t have to be complicated. In fact, simple is good – easy to understand and take part it. The actions should speak loud and clear. Here’s what we came up with: During the ceremony each of them would take turns placing these special rocks into a glass container until it was full. First I described the meaning, then, as they placed each stone into the bowl, they spoke to one another. One word, thought or wish for their future, for each stone. It unfolded so beautifully – it was truly perfect for them.

Now, I’m not claiming this is groundbreaking – it harkens to the use of sand for a unity ritual, and there many parallel rituals for weddings. But in the details we found just the right thing. It was their rock collection, after all.

Throughout time people have always found ways to express the meaning of important moments, especially marriage. Unity candles are a contemporary way to do so. Rings and vows are much more deeply rooted. The list goes on and on.

Here in this ritual with rocks we found a way to create a lasting personal memento, infused it with their own words. The tears in their eyes as they spoke those words said it all.

A healthy marriage is one where you can depend on one another. As the old sixties song says: Sold, solid as a rock – that’s what our love is. 

The granite mountains of Maine.



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