Wedding trends do change with the times, but some things remain traditional and trends always come around again, just like clothing styles and hairstyles. You know how you can look at a photograph and know what decade it was made in, just by the hairstyle or dress? You definitely want to be aware of the trends but also to make it ‘your own’. I thought I would share with you some of the ways my couples make their weddings ‘their own’.
Currently, I’m working with a bride who wants to add in some Irish touches so we’re doing a traditional handfasting or hand binding. This is a symbolic binding of the hands that inspired the term to “Tie the Knot”. Throughout history in many different ways and in many different parts of the world, the hands of the couple to be married were bound as a sign of their commitment to one another. In many times rings were only for the very rich, while love knows no such bound. This couple is including both moms and the bride’s stepmom in this ritual. The stepmom will bring the cord forward and the two moms will wrap the hands, then the stepmom will remove the cord. Their cord is shown above, its’ beautiful ribbons intertwined to form a cord. This is a wonderful way to include family members and to incorporate your heritage, which in this case is Irish. We will also be including an Irish Blessing which is my personal favorite for closing out a ceremony.
Another recent couple, from Scotland wore traditional kilts and used the scarfs from their shoulders to bind their hands. A close friend was the one to do the wrap..
Over the New Year’s weekend, a lovely couple from France married at Red Rock Canyon and I shared officiating duties with the sister of the groom who spoke the ceremony in French while I spoke in English. Then, of course, I officially pronounced them, and filed all paperwork. In this case, the sister was more comfortable speaking English than the bride and groom’s so most of the communication and the deciding on the verbiage of the vows transpired between her and me. She was so delightful, and teary during the ceremony because of her love for her dear brother and sister-in-law. This was a welcome change for me, as I’m usually the teary one.
I don’t recommend having a family member or friend actually preside over the ceremony unless they are professionals and have officiated many weddings. Why do I say this? Simply because this is the one time during a wedding that everyone’s focus is in the same place – on you and the officiant – you want things to run smoothly, the ceremony to flow as it should and someone who is experienced enough to be able to spontaneously handle any hiccups that might occur. If your friend or family member is a professional, and it is important to you, then by all means proceed and I am happy to act as the officiant of record. I will still consult with you on securing the marriage license, meet with you to do the pronouncement and then file all the paperwork. While I do understand your wanting to include the special people in your life in your ceremony, perhaps you can find another way to do so - such as readings, bridal party, witness on your marriage certificate, adding a special charm of theirs to the bridal bouquet, etc.