Tag Archives: wedding rituals

Under My Umbrella

How to incorporate this every-day item into your wedding ceremony I want to talk about umbrellas, because they actually have many interesting cultural connections and surprising ritual uses. We know umbrellas shelter us from the wind, rain or even the sunshine, so they are ripe for symbolic representation. A cool French tradition involves the newlywed couple […]

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Two Native American Inspired Rituals

Last week I wrote about a hand warming ceremony – an idea I came up with on a cold day. Another winter inspired ritual is a ‘blanket ceremony.’ It comes from a Native American tradition.  Blanket Ritual In the original, traditional Native American ceremony each partner is wrapped in separate, blue blankets. Then the officiant […]

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Rituals are Everywhere

What?? She’s writing about rituals again? Yes I am, because rituals are a way to express something without words. A ritual can certainly express what your marriage commitment means to you and be a way to honor your culture or family. It might connect with your interests and values. Religious ceremonies are full of rituals, […]

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Quaker Values Stand the Test of Time

Sometimes I write about silly things in this column, but I also often write about religion, culture and ritual and explore how traditions might pertain to weddings. One important religion I have not written about yet (after all these years) is the Society of Friends, or Quakers. They are especially important to us here in […]

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Ring Those Bells!

Bells have meaning all around the world, and we are all certainly familiar with church bells, where it all began for weddings. They are also rung for funerals; any big life event can be announced to the community through the ringing of bells. I’ve used them for both funerals and weddings. And we ring out the old, […]

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The extraordinary importance of the wedding vow

Wedding vows are perhaps the most important element of any wedding ceremony, and certainly deserve close examination. As you can imagine, after 15 years of officiating weddings, many, many weddings, I’ve heard a lot of vows spoken. Some funny, some surprising, some too long, some too short. How do you get the ‘goldilocks’ effect – […]

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Making it work – new spins on old traditions

Last week I wrote about some of the not-so-pleasant origins of familiar wedding rituals, the bouquet and garter toss and cake smashing. Today I want to propose some ways to reinvent and renew customs that can sometimes feel outdated, awkward or even inappropriate. Like family, weddings can be complicated. When a particular tradition doesn’t work […]

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How Do You Feel About These Traditions?

In weddings, as in many things in life, everyone wants to decide what does or doesn’t fit their style and point of view. I was once taken to task for suggesting the garter toss felt weird to me. Some women will still love to do this – it can be fun, sexy, traditional or even […]

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The beauty of Taoism

With so much wisdom around the world, its challenging to sift through it all and find great quotes, inspiration, and readings for weddings. But hey, that’s my job, and I often find words that resonate in Taoism (or Daoism – both are correct). About 20 million people practice this religion, really more of a philosophy, […]

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The Complex Story of ‘Who Pays for the Wedding’

Recently a friend asked me why, traditionally, the bride’s family paid for the wedding, knowing that in our modern world there are any number of ways that can go. I have worked with many couples who were paying for their own wedding, which I is pretty common these days. Historically, however, the bride’s family paid […]

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