10 Meaningful Touches for Your Ceremony

Check out new twists on old traditions, unique and personal rituals, and more ideas that you can add to your ceremony.

Beer Blending

One brewski-loving pair created two special ales for their wedding – a dark beer for the groom, and a lighter beer for the bride.

During the ceremony, their officiant — appropriately named Beer — described the properties of each brew and how they corresponded to the bride's and groom’s personalities “They each took their beers and blended them together to create their own blend of black and tan and shared the glass,” said Beer. “They also had personalized labels made and gave the beers as favors to their guests.”

couple toasting with beer
Photo Credit: Erin Lindsey Images

Communal Blessing of the Rings

During many religious ceremonies, the officiant typically says a blessing over the rings before the couple exchanges them. But if you’re not having a religious ceremony, consider have your family and friends bless your rings (this works best at smaller weddings).

“The ritual is simple but powerful. We place the wedding bands in a lovely box or decorative pouch to be handed from guest to guest before the ring ceremony begins or during a period of music and reflection,” said Ritchie. “Each guest holds the rings and silently offers a prayer or wish for the couple. In essence, the rings are warmed by the hands and hearts of the guests.”

heart ring box
Photo Credit: Hearted Ring Box From BHLDN via Lover.ly

Reverse Unity Candle

Instead of the traditional unity candle ceremony — where each of your mothers light a candle, then you and your fiancé use these candles to light a larger candle together — Ritchie recommends switching it up: Start with one flame, and spread it to all of your guests.   

Have an unlit candle passed out to each adult guest. To start the candle ceremony, the bride and groom light a single candle together. Then, they use that candle to light those of their bridesmaids and groomsmen, who then start spreading the flame to the rest of the guests. 

“As light is shared among guests, the end result is a community-wide holding of the light. Especially for an evening wedding, the dim light of candles can have a stunning impact,” said Ritchie.

wedding guests with candles
Photo via BridalBuds

Blending Faiths

If you're marrying outside of your own faith, you're certainly not alone — 27% of BG brides said that they'll have an interfaith marriage. For one Jewish/Irish Catholic couple, Beer performed a wine ritual using a Kiddush Cup and an Irish Loving Cup. “The couple exchanged glasses, and I discussed the Jewish meaning of the wine and the Irish meaning,” said Beer.

In another wedding, the bride’s Jewish father blessed the wine in Hebrew, and the groom’s father read the English translation, giving the wedding an inclusive feel.

kiddush cup and irish loving cup
Sterling Silver Plated Kiddush Cup with Jerusalem, Hebrew Text and Grapes, $98, worldofjudaica.com; Mullingar Pewter Claddagh Wedding Cup, $98.50, shamrockgifts.com

Tell us: How do you plan on personalizing your wedding ceremony? What traditions will you include, and what will you skip?