We’ve all heard of and seen real wedding ceremony traditions like unity candle lighting, sand pouring, broom jumping and glass smashing, right? But, perhaps you’re looking for something a little different, whether it’s to involve your guests in the ceremony or create something that will last long after the vows are said. Here are four ideas you may not have heard for sweet, symbolic and unique ways to say “I do.”

Wine and Love Letters: It’s great to incorporate an element into your ceremony that will live on for the rest of your marriage, and the Wine and Love Letters idea does just that. At your ceremony, place a favorite bottle of wine, a love letter from each written to the other and even your vows in a box. Seal it shut and don’t open it until your first anniversary. On that anniversary, open the box, drink the wine and read the love letters and then replace all of the above with new ones to be opened the following year. It acts as a time capsule of your marriage, with special letters from every anniversary. To see this ceremony in action, check out Maria and Erik’s Virginia wedding ceremony!


Photo Credit: Ever After Visuals

Tree Planting: Another way to keep the memory of your wedding ceremony long after the “I Do’s”, a tree planting. There a few ways to bring significance to this idea. First, each fill the pot separately with dirt than symbolically water the tree together. Alternatively, have your mothers or other family members each carry a separate carafe of water down the aisle and allow both to come together as one when you water the tree.

Tree Planting Wedding Ceremony

Photo Credit: Connor Studios from Stephanie and Hoang’s Wedding

Handfasting: Traditionally an Irish custom, a handfasting ceremony involves lightly binding together the couples hands with ribbon or cord to symbolize the coming together as one. It’s a beautiful symbol of the meaning of marriage, and on a less meaningful note, allows you to incorporate your wedding colors or theme in just one more way!

Handfasting Ceremony

Photo Credit: One O.A.K. Photo via Savvy Deets Bridal

Ring Warming: Incorporate all of your guests into your ceremony by including a ring warming ritual. Your rings are tied together, or to a ring pillow, and passed through the hands of everyone in attendance. As each guest receives the rings, they give their quick blessings and well-wishes for the couple.

Ring Warming Ceremony

Photo Credit: Charla Maarschalk and Jana Photography via Offbeat Bride

Looking for more wedding ceremony ideas? Check out the DC wedding inspiration galleries and our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!

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