It has become increasingly popular to attach locks to bridges, monuments, fences etc to show your lasting affection to someone.
Within a Celebrant led ceremony you can use this idea to make a lovely memento of your day. It is possible to purchase padlocks which have been inscribed with your name and the date of your ceremony. These can then be attached to a heart shaped stand or simply locked together.
Letters can be used within a Naming or Welcoming ceremony too. Parents can write a letter for the future expressing their love and hopes.
A variation of this is to ask guests to also contribute their best wishes in a book or written on a card. In years to come these can be shared with your child as they grow.
Within a Couples ceremony you could choose to exchange love letters which explain what you feel about each other and your hopes for the future.
The letters are written and sealed before the ceremony. They are then exchanged during the ceremony. (Often when making your promises to each other.)
The letters can be kept safely until an agreed future date and time.
Sometimes, the stresses of everyday life mean that, although we don't realise it, the romance in any relationship gets pushed into the background. Should this happen then the letters can be either opened or reread. Looking at them again might help to recapture some of the excitement and special feelings that you together in the early stages of the relationship. What better way to reaffirm or rekindle some of those feelings?
A sand ceremony creates a lasting and meaningful keepsake of the promises that are being made in a ceremony. A sand ceremony is suitable for all types of ceremonies.
During a sand ceremony different coloured sands are poured into a single container. Each participant has different coloured sand. They take it in turns to pour their sand into the container - creating layers of different colours. Once poured it is almost impossible to separate.
The wording for a sand ceremony reflects the different contributions each person brings to the whole.
As an alternative to sand coloured beads or marbles can be used.
Lighting a candle is an action which is found in many different cultures and traditions.
A candle gives us light to guide us along life's path. There are many ways to include lighting candle - often referred to as a Unity candle. For instance in a Couples ceremony one large candle might be lit from two separate candles acknowledging that two individuals are now uniting in a new relationship.
Lighting a candle within a Naming or Welcoming ceremony symbolises the light which has been bought into the lives of those present, by the child, and is a look to the child's future as the light illuminates their path through life.
There are many variations for the wording used for this simple act. The meaning behind the action may be different for each individual.
A symbolic action can enhance any ceremony. They can make everyone feel included and add an extra personal element.
Before deciding on the best symbolic action for your ceremony think about what it is you wish to convey through the action. For example in a wedding ceremony do you wish to acknowledge that you know that the path will not always be smooth but that together you will be strong enough to face anything.
Below I have listed some of the more popular symbolic actions often used in Celebrant led ceremonies. If you would like more information about any of these please make contact .
During a Naming ceremony parents may make promises to their child about how they will support them.
These promises are witnessed by those who have gathered to welcome the child into their community. They form the cornerstone of the relationship which will develop between the child and those who love them.
Promises are very personal and they will be different for each family. I consider a good starting point for any parent when considering what they might write are the wide selection of poems about Parents and their children
Extract from "Parents wishes," author unknown
"We wish you a childhood full of fun and games,
And we wish you memories that have little pain.
We wish you to learn by making mistakes,
We wish you to love and never to hate.
We wish you the strength to make up you own mind,
But we wish that your heart will be gentle and kind."
Next week: Symbolic actions
If you choose to have a Wedding ceremony led by a Celebrant then you have the freedom to write your own vows and promises.
Vows are usually said when you exchange your rings and use more formal language. Promises may be shared at any point in the ceremony and are usually very personal and reflect the unique wishes of the couple.
For some the idea of writing your own vows and promises can be a little daunting. So here are my top five tips for writing your vows and promises.
Next week: Writing parents' promises
I am sure that like many other people I have come to realise how important my nearest and dearest are to me in the past months.
I am looking forward to getting together with family and friends to celebrate the occasions we missed.
For some couples this might be an opportunity to acknowledge new relationships or celebrate the strength of long standing partnerships.
Why not consider making the occasion extra special by including a bespoke ceremony ?
In my next series of blogs I will be talking ideas which can be included in a special ceremony.
Next week: Writing your own vows.
As we say goodbye to 2020 it is wonderful to be able to look forward to taking the plans that have been waiting in the wings and bring them back to centre stage.
It seems to me that 2021 holds so much promise and I am looking forward once again creating and conducting many jubilant celebrations.
May the New Year bring new happiness, new inspiration and the fulfilment of long cherished dreams.
Choosing a Celebrant to help you create that special ceremony is an important step towards making your occasion a really memorable one. Why not take advantage of the free initial meeting I offer ? I believe it is important to meet informally to discuss your ideas and what I can offer. Meeting also gives us an opportunity to explore the type of ceremony that would best suit your needs.