Tag Archives: wedding traditions

Variations on a Theme

There is an interesting intersection of the many customs and rituals of weddings. One with surprising commonalities is the African-American ‘jumping the broom’ and the Celtic ‘jumping the oak branch’. But today I want to talk about a tradition used in wedding ceremonies in Spain, Latin American countries, and the Philippines:The ‘arras’ or 13 Coins, sometimes even [...]

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Understanding Pagan Rituals

There is often a misunderstanding about what pagan, wiccan, and nature- based ceremonies are all about. Occasionally I have requests to include pagan rituals in weddings and I’m happy to do so. Now, I am no expert, and certainly am not conducting a true Wiccan or Pagan wedding ceremony, but it is fun to include [...]

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Rituals to Pledge Love – Learning about Shintoism

The longer I officiate weddings, the more I recognize and appreciate the commonalities, connections and universalities of the human experience. As the old saying goes: ‘you learn something new every day,’ to which I might add: I hope so. I recently worked with a couple who followed a Buddhist spiritual path alongside Shintoism. These belief [...]

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Mazel Tov!

A Look at Jewish Wedding Rituals and Some Modern Updates Today I’m going to share a brief explanation of some popular, and some lesser known wedding rituals in the Jewish tradition. Additionally, I also explain how I might reinterpret them for modern couples, whether culturally Jewish (but non-practicing), same-sex couples, and interfaith couples. Perhaps the [...]

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Let’s go to Brazil

I recently officiated for a bride from Brazil and it led me to explore the wedding traditions of that vibrant country. When we think about Brazil from our perspective here in the U.S. we often think of the excitement and their world-famous Carnival or Ipanema beach.But there is more to Brazil than that. Brazil is the [...]

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Kilts, Bridescake and Cheese

Recently, I learned more about some of very unique ancientScottish marriage customs, most of them left in the ash heap of history. I’m going to share some of these almost forgotten traditions, at least as I have learned about them. Why? Because they’re intriguing, and entertaining.

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When Actions Speak Louder…

I write a lot about customs and rituals; why am I always going on about this? What does it even mean, and why is it important? Rituals are actions and words that are performed repeatedly and represent something specific. Something as simple as walking down the aisle at a wedding is a ritual. Symbols are [...]

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The Evolution of the Processional

The processional: the first big moment of the wedding. It’s dramatic, with all eyes on that walk down the aisle.  There are some standards and rules that are easy to find in, for example, the Catholic Church, or other traditional services and settings. And, no matter what the traditional order of entrance, we’re most used to [...]

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To Gift or not to Gift – a brief history

Wedding gifts have been around for a long time, and are thought to have roots in the ‘bride price’ or dowry that was paid to the bride’s family. That usually included land, animals, money, or other forms of what is called ‘historic wealth’ – not exactly a gift, more of a negotiation. The first recorded [...]

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A Marvelous Living Side-by-Side

When working with a couple on their wedding ceremony, I always ask about their family backgrounds. Sometimes it doesn’t resonate for them, it just isn’t important, many identify as a big mix, which they call simply, American. But for others, the history of their families does matter. With about 58 million Americans claiming to be [...]

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    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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