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    9 of our Favourite Symbolic and Alternative Wedding Ceremonies



    We called our company Bespoke because we wanted to reflect each and every couple’s dreams for their future. And this can sometimes mean stepping away from tradition, or adding an extra symbolic touch somewhere throughout the day.

    With the rise of spirituality and mindfulness people are starting to think outside the box when it comes to their wedding ceremonies, making from complete services to little details. A destination wedding is a perfect opportunity to tailor your day so that it reflects your own hopes for the future, and sometimes normal ceremonies can seem a little … well, normal.

    And who wants that these days? Below you will find 8 of our favourite symbolic ceremonies but there are lots more. There’s no better way to be bespoke!


    Hugely popular in Ireland and Scotland, Humanists celebrate all that is great and good but never mention of the word God. A really lovely alternative for those who believe in the universe but not necessarily the Trinity, Humanist weddings can be celebrated anywhere; in a wood, on a mountain, on a boat…

    These types of ceremonies often appeal to free-spirited couples and are wonderfully individual. You write your own vows, building on the intimacy, honesty and future of the union.



    Incredibly symbolic and emotional, the candle ceremony takes place just before the wedding vows are said. Three candles are placed on a small table in front of the bride and groom, and important family members (usually the parents but it could be children, siblings or even a friend) from each side are invited to light the two outside (smaller) candles.

    The bride and groom then light the middle candle, called the Unity candle, from the flame of the two outside candles. All three candles then remain lit throughout the rest of the ceremony; one candle for each of them, one candle for the unity (and perhaps their new family). Add some significant music and you have a lovely moment of reflection before the “I do’s” Oh, we have goosebumps just thinking about it!



    Yes, Joey did it for Monica and Chandler, Jonah Hill did it for Maroon-5 frontman Adam Levine, even Kris Jenner has a license to do it. Do what? Officiate a wedding of course.

    Since the birth of online ordination, asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding is a really simple and intimate way of including a loved one in your big day. Having your mum, dad, BFF, whatever, officiate means the focus is on your journey as a couple and is the perfect choice for people who want to keep their ceremonies personal.

    Just one word of warning though – the celebrant has a lot of official tasks, so if they have never done it before, make sure your work with them going over all the details.



    Ah – one that will appeal to both the bohemians and botanists amongst you. Much like the unity candle, a tree planting ceremony is where the couple uses an object to symbolise their union.

    The clue is in the name here; the couple plant a sapling and, like their love, watch it grow over time (a symbolic bucket of earth is provided as we can’t quite see anyone getting green fingered in their wedding dress).

    Usually, this is done in a big pot so the tree can be moved from place to place, only to be set in the ground once the couple has settled (a perfect metaphor for grounding).



    The water or sand ceremony has the couple pouring coloured water (or sand) from two jugs or glasses into a large clear vase. As the colours blend, so do the lives of the happy couple.

    Needless to say, there is no way that you could separate what’s in the vase once it has been mixed, so the idea is you’ll never be able to go back to how it was before. Just a word of advice; practice first with different colours.

    We once went to a wedding (not a Bespoke one!) where the bride thought she was going to have lovely purple water to store on her mantlepiece and the colours weren’t compatible, so she ended up with a sort of murky grey. She loves it though, and they’re still together so whatevs…



    Ah, now you’re talking! As Italians, there is nothing we like more than a little aperitivo, so when we heard about this addition to ceremonies (traditional or not), we loved it!

    Couples blend two different wines together in a glass (maybe a white and a red?) and then drink from the glass. The glass is a symbol of unity while the wine is a symbol of togetherness. And the cheese and charcuterie that accompanies it? Well, that’s just for the guests!


    Source : www.lakecomobespokeweddings.com

    Alternative Unity Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding: 11 of Our Favourite

    These days, weddings offer many opportunities to be individual and creative. So be inspired by 11 alternative unity ceremony ideas for your wedding.

    15 Alternative Unity Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding

    by Guest Blogger / 04/11/2020

    Civil weddings, and purely spiritual non-religious weddings, offer more creative options for a symbolic marriage ceremony, so you can really think outside the box when it comes to planning your alternative unity ceremony.

    Read more: What is the difference between a civil wedding and a civil partnership?

    You have lots of choices, such as hiring a wedding celebrant to personalise your wedding service, and you could explore a totally different type of unity ceremony. We’ve rounded up 15 unique ways to make your wedding ceremony different, and asked wedding celebrant Ali Fleming of Cariad Personal Ceremonies to explain what they mean.

    Our 15 Favourite Alternative Unity Ceremony Ideas

    1. Sand Ceremony

    A growing favourite wedding trend, the sand ceremony is a wonderful ceremony alternative. Its meaning is simple and beautiful: two becoming one. The couple mix two different colours of sand into one container, thereby symbolising their lives and hearts entwined. Once combined, it would be extremely difficult to separate the sand out again, just as the couple are so joined together.

    “Sand ceremonies are a very popular choice as a way to involve loved ones in the ceremony alongside the couple,” explains Ali. “They are a favourite for children as they get to choose their own colour of sand and have a direct role in the ceremony.”

    MK Wedding Photography

    The pouring of the sand can take place at any time before, after or during the wedding vows and ring exchange. Usually there’s a container each for the bride and groom with their respective sand colours inside. A third container sits empty until, after the officiate has explained the ceremony and its meaning, the bride or groom pours some of her/his sand into the empty container. Their partner does the same afterwards, and then the couple pour their remaining sand together so that the two colours mix.

    Infuse even more meaning into this ceremony by collecting your sand from a favourite beach, or even include your children in the ceremony—you can have more than three sand containers, with the sand to symbolise anything from shared love to spirituality.

    Sand ceremonies are a fantastic idea for outdoor weddings to get that natural feel, and it’s a double win if you’re planning a beach wedding. You don’t even have to use sand for this ceremony—you could even use glitter.

    Read even more on the sand ceremony in our sand ceremony guide.

    2. Water Ceremony

    Another of our favourite alternative unity ceremony ideas is the water ceremony. A lot like the sand ceremony, this ceremony blends two colours into one. We advise that you begin experimenting with colours before the wedding so that the mixing gives a colour you really like. Unlike with the sand ceremony, where you can get clear layers and blended layers, water really mixes together.

    Maybe you like the effect of ink in water too as a nice little spin in this ceremony—the mixing ink in clear water could look wonderful. Also, consider water density. Think carefully about how you want to colour your water and get creative, as certain liquids can give a layered effect.

    3. Wine Ceremony

    The wine ceremony, again, shows the merging of two into one by two wines being blended into one (you could pour from two bottles of the same wine, so it doesn’t taste weird!). Then the couple drinks from the shared container. This sharing of a cup is symbolic of togetherness.

    4. Love Letters Ceremony

    For this alternative unity ceremony the couple write love letters to each other, and these are locked in a box with a bottle of wine and some wine glasses, ready for later in the marriage such as a milestone anniversary. Open it up, share the wine, and read the letters you wrote for each other. Don’t forget to personalise your wine bottle with a lovely personalised label!

    “A lovely way to include your guests in this,” explains Ali, “is to have everyone bring a sealed envelope with a personalised message to put into the box whilst the couple sign the register. Then they can open it on their first wedding anniversary and read everyone’s messages.”

    5. Unity Candle Ceremony

    The unity candle ceremony is one of the most well-known alternative unity ceremony ideas, and is a very romantic wedding ceremony that offers so many opportunities for you to make it unique and personal to you.

    “Candles can have a great significance at the start of a ceremony,” says Ali. “Unity candles are where there are two candlestick shaped candles on either side of a larger candle. Each partner lights their single candle at the start of the ceremony, which stays burning throughout.

    Source : www.confetti.co.uk

    21 Alternative Wedding Ideas You Haven't Thought of Yet

    These creative alternative wedding ideas are perfect for non-traditional weddings that are small in size. They can also help you save money!



    21 Alternative Wedding Ideas You Haven't Thought of Yet

    21 Alternative Wedding Ideas You Haven't Thought of Yet Because a ballroom reception isn’t for everyone.

    By Sarah Zlotnick Published on 12/02/21



    White dress, black tux, ’til death do us part, you know how it goes. But for some couples, the trappings of a traditional wedding feel too, well, traditional to truly represent them. Thankfully, there’s more than one way to celebrate a marriage—and now more than ever couples are embracing a non-traditional approach.

    "These last two years have been so unpredictable that people are saying, 'Let’s just do what makes us happy,'" says event planner Gabrielle Pinkerton. "That might mean breaking the mold and doing something completely different."


    Based in Nashville, Gabrielle Pinkerton is the founder and CEO of Cause We Can Events, a destination wedding planning outfit for adventurous couples. She specializes in non-traditional, festival-style weddings in remote locations.

    If you’re thinking about venturing down the non-traditional path, you’ve come to the right place. From brunch weddings at home to adventure elopements on remote mountaintops, these alternative wedding ideas are guaranteed to make your event feel memorable, unique, and, most importantly, just like you.

    01 of 21

    Exchange Vows in a Hot Air Balloon


    As the classic ballad goes, love lifts us up where we belong...so why not celebrate with a ride through the sky? Equal parts adventurous and romantic, a hot air balloon elopement is the perfect option for couples looking for a mix of both.

    02 of 21

    Elope with Just Your Kids


    If your marriage will give way to a blended family, show your children how important they are by making them your chief—and only—witnesses. Giving them the opportunity to dress up and participate in the ceremony will affirm how integral they are to your relationship, and so will crafting separate vows to recite to them.

    03 of 21

    Declare Yourselves Married


    In a self-uniting wedding—sometimes referred to as a Quaker wedding—a couple can marry without an officiant present. This ceremony type is legally recognized in California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

    04 of 21

    Host a Brewery Celebration


    "Brewery weddings are getting very popular," says Pinkerton. It’s not hard to see why: Thanks to their large sizes, high ceilings, built-in alcohol options, and typically lax rules on bringing in outside food, breweries were pretty much made to host a party. So even if you’re not big on lagers and IPAs, it’s still a worthy avenue to consider when looking for a more unique venue.

    05 of 21

    Have a Double Wedding

    @[email protected]#=img=# EMM AND CLAU

    If someone you’re especially close to—like, say, a twin sibling or favorite cousin—is engaged around the same time, consider marrying with them by your side. A double wedding might seem overwhelming, but as long as two of the four have considerable overlap in guest count and the group is okay with allowing each member to make certain decisions about the celebration, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to pull off.

    06 of 21

    Bowl Out Your Unity Ceremony


    From sand rituals to candle lighting, there are plenty of wonderfully symbolic options for your unity ceremony. But if you’re marrying at a bowling alley—a surprisingly delightful option for retro-loving couples—we love the idea of bowling down some pins together instead.

    Source : www.brides.com

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