Wedding rituals for couples with the capacity to feel embarrassed
Almost all humans participate in rituals - even if we think we don’t. A ritual is any action that carries a bit of symbolism with it - an act that means more than its practical purpose, or even one that has no practical purpose at all.
I made you a birthday cake to show you I love you.
I gave you some flowers because I’m sorry your guinea pig died.
A wedding ceremony itself is a ritual, containing various mini-rituals within it. In fact almost every item on your photographer's list of must-have wedding shots is a ritual - from the first look and first kiss to exchange of rings, the confetti shot, the cutting the cake and the first dance. And it's often in these tangible interactions when the unique magic of your relationship most intensely reveals itself.
The wonderful thing about working with a celebrant is you're not limited by convention and tradition and you can create your own rituals that are personal to you. Over the years I've found that the couples who come to me tend to have something in common though: they want meaning and intimacy in their wedding ceremonies but they're a bit sensitive to the cringe factor - that is they want to find personal ways to express their love for each other without fretting that they'll never live it down with their mates.
The fact that most of the - for want of a better word - soppier celebrant wedding rituals; like anything involving crystals, angels or live butterflies, don't really do it for my couples is a massive relief to me. But while a ritual that makes you secretly embarrassed might well kill the moment for you, a symbolic action that simply and sincerely expresses your emotions might well be the most memorable part of your wedding day.
So here are a few of my favourite rituals. Some are lighthearted and others are more romantic but, in my humble opinion, they all fall on the right side of cringetastically cheesy!