Five Modern Wedding Ceremony Rituals You Might Not Have Thought Of

Laura Diliberto Photo

May 8, 2024

Weddings are becoming more and more personalised, with no two weddings you go to quite the same. But how can you bring this personalisation to the ceremony? With a celebrant wedding, the possibilities are endless and the more creative you and your celebrant are, the more unique and personal your ritual might be. There are some more traditional rituals like handfasting or union candle rituals, which can be very beautiful and meaningful. But why not try something a little more offbeat – here are five ideas to get you started!

Drink Blending

Many cultures around the world have some form of eating or drinking in a traditional wedding ceremony, so I thought it could be fun to riff off this idea! The basic principle is that each member of the couple prepares a drink for or with their partner. The drink could relate to a memory from your relationship or there could be some other symbolism in your choice. For example, a couple who got engaged on the beach, had a salted rim for their margarita, which represented the white cliffs in their engagement scene!

At a wedding I’m doing in the summer, the couple are living in Singapore and their drinks ritual will be with a Singapore Sling – the drink guests will receive as they depart from the ceremony. Of course, you don’t have to choose an alcoholic drink or cocktail. The type of drink you choose is totally up to you and might be related to your heritage or religion. For example, Chinese and other East Asian traditions have tea ceremonies during a wedding.

Planting Ceremony

One of the lovely things about a handfasting ritual is that you get to take home the knotted ribbons for a keep sake. This idea of having something to bring with you in your marriage is behind the planting ceremony. How it works is that the couple choose a plant, tree or collection of plants to sow during the ceremony, which you then bring home with you and as your marriage blossoms, so does the plant. Disclaimer: this one is not appropriate for those of you who aren’t typically good at looking after plants!

Planting a tree is a particularly nice one because then the place of your ceremony is wrapped up in the symbolism of this growing tree that represents your flourishing love. The planting ceremony is a nice one for guests to get involved in as lots of people can add soil to the pot or ground and children especially love to get messy! For a couple who each had their own children separate from one another, a planting ritual with wildflower seeds was a perfect way to include all the children in a union ritual for the whole family. The wildflower seeds were all mixed, so they each added a handful and when they flower, they’re all blended together – a beautiful symbol of their new family growing together.  

Aroma Blending

Inspired by the incense at the church, this ritual nods to the symbolism of different aromas – rose represents romance for example. Blending different symbolic smells together makes for a beautifully evocative experience for you and your guests during the ceremony. It also creates a vivid smell memory that will bring back lovely memories of your wedding day every time you detect a whiff of one of your ceremony smells! I’ve done ceremonies like this with different flavoured incense to symbolise different wishes for the union including patchouli which promotes healthy and strong relationships, sage for banishing negativity and cinnamon for wealth and prosperity. Depending on the rules of the venue, you could light scented candles or for a flame and smoke free version, use an electric essential oil burner or diffuser.

Wedding Fan Wishes

Thought about giving your guests fans to keep cool during the ceremony? Perhaps they could have another use too! In the wedding fan wishes ritual, guests are encouraged to whisper a wish for the newlyweds into their fan and then fan their wishes towards the couple. Usually during a wedding ceremony it is either implied or explicitly mentioned by whoever is officiating the wedding that all the guests are glad for the couple and wish them well. Adding the actual whispering of a specific wish and then sending the wish toward the couple can be a joyful, fun and inclusive ritual that all guests can take part in. Even if you don’t have fans, you could still whisper the wishes and then perhaps blow them towards the couple. Or maybe you might have another idea of how to send the wishes towards the couple – a Mexican wave for example!

Artwork Ritual

This ritual is another way to create a keepsake made on your wedding day. The type of artwork you create is totally up to you, but a fun and easy one is to use good old paint on canvas. During the ceremony, the couple add the first two strokes (or even splashes or pours) to the blank canvas. Perhaps your closest family and friends could then add something during the ceremony, building up the painting bit by bit. After the ceremony, you could invite all your guests to add a brushstroke to create a beautiful piece that everyone has taken part in! Be sure to think about the colour palette so that the painting turns out to your taste. You can then display this in your marital home as a reminder of your commitment to each other and the support you’ll always have from your family and friends.

Your wedding ceremony is in many ways the most important part of your day, so why not make it special and totally YOU with a modern, fun ritual?

About Say It Right Ceremonies

Tab Taylor, the celebrant behind Say It Right Ceremonies is hell bent on getting to the true essence of who you are as a couple and crafting your ceremony around that. If you’re looking for someone who takes care to get to know you and is creative in finding a true representation of your relationship, then Tab is your gal!