Ceremony & Vows Five Unique Wedding Ceremony Traditions
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Five Unique Wedding Ceremony Traditions

Your wedding ceremony is the most important part of your day. Why not make it extra special by adding a personal element to your ceremony? From mixing marbles to tying the cord, here is a list of five unique wedding traditions to incorporate into your wedding ceremony.

Unity Marbles BowlM

An alternative for couples who like the idea of a unity ritual, but want to involve more loved ones, this ritual involves elders, parents, siblings, or step-parents, each adding colored marbles, one at a time, to a decorative glass bowl. The colorful mosaic they create together signifies the beauty of marriage and the blending of families. The bowl of marbles can be kept as a reminder of your wedding day, and of each loved one who contributed to your foundation as a couple.

Blending Sand

This wedding ceremony tradition asks you and your partner to each pour a different color of sand into a glass vessel that represents their past, the present and the future ahead. Once mixed, the sand cannot be separated, representing your future lives together. The vessel can later be displayed as a piece of artwork in your combined home.

Cambodian Cord

Red is Asia’s sacred color of joy. A Cambodian fable says that an invisible red cord joins couples that are fated to be together. As time goes by, the invisible red cord shrinks in length until the two are standing face to face. During the wedding ceremony, the officiant presents a red cord, ties a knot, and makes a wish for you and your partner's happiness aloud. Guests are asked to pass the cord, tie a knot, and make a silent wish for you both. The cord is then draped over the bride's neck, giving each of you a tangible reminder of the loving wishes made for you by all those who blessed their wedding.

Blessing of the Seven Spices

Couples who enjoy cooking together might consider this unique wedding ceremony tradition of blending spices to demonstrate a healthy and well-balanced marriage. The tradition gets its roots from the Middle East. Seven small bowls are placed before the bride and groom, each containing a spice. You then take turns scooping a bit of each into a small pouch, creating your own spice blend that you can keep and use to season your future meals together. Each spice represents a blessing:

Rosemary for prosperity
Brown sugar for a sweet life
Garlic to keep the couple safe
Savory for balance in their lives
Nutmeg for romance
Paprika for passion
Bay leaf for an extra "spark" of flavor

Blending of the Waters

With roots in Buddhism, the Blending of the Waters is perfect for alternative couples or those who are in a long-distance or bi-coastal relationship, love water sports, or grew up spending a lot of time on a particular lake or river. The bride and groom each bring a small jar of water from the body of water that holds great meaning to that person as an individual, and the two are poured together into a larger vessel.

Reverend Dr. Susan Kennedy is an ordained interfaith minster. She has developed these and several other wedding traditions based on a broad knowledge of worldwide traditions. She and her husband Paul have married almost 34 years.

Search for and contact an interfaith officiant in your area to find a unique ceremony idea that is perfect for you and your partner.