Thursday, December 3, 2009

254: Personalizing the Ceremony: Literally Tying the Knot, Part 1

That's got to be the longest title ever, and well, I guess it'll technically be braiding, not tying! :)

Thank you for those who are voting! I felt like I needed to post soon, and this is the topic vote I received first.

I've never really wanted to do the unity candle, at all. I do like the symbolism of becoming one family, but never really wanted to do it because everyone else does the unity candle...everyone! I don't think I HAVEN'T been to a wedding where it WASN'T done.

I had one other idea, which was doing the sand. This is pretty much the same concept as the candle, but using sand instead. There are a few ways to do this, one with just the bride & groom, where their lives are joined:

And one where God is included:

I really liked this idea, but then I heard our best man & his wife talking about doing it at their wedding (they were just married in July 2009), so I decided to not do the sand!

Off I went to my pal, Google, to look for other "unity" ideas. I just searched "unity candle alternatives". There were a few cool ideas:

  • Water Pouring (Similar to the sand but using colored water instead)
  • Hand Fasting
  • Foot Washing (Who wouldn't love for their feet to be washed?!)
  • Box, Wine & Love Letter
  • Flowers variations:
    • Each mom brings up one flower puts in separate vase
    • Each mom brings up a bouquet of flower and bride/groom each take one and put it in a separate vase
  • Cord of Three Strands
After looking at all of these alternatives, I decided that I really liked one of the flower variations and the Cord of Three Strands. I talked to Josh about what I saw, it took him a little (non-traditional things need to set with him for a little before he agrees), but he decided that he liked both! I figured since the two are so different, we could easily put both in the ceremony. I'll tell you about my ideas for the flowers later, and I'll tell you about the Cord of Three Strands!

This idea is based on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (NIV Version)

If you click on that link in the list above, you can read everything, I'm just going to tell you about the symblism and what's done. All information I'm getting is from there, God's Knot.

The Cord of Three Strands is a symbolism of the joining of the bride, groom, and God in a marriage. I feel that this is an important piece to include into our wedding because it is so "us". We're strong Christians, and have a leadership role in our church, so what better to include this in our day?

What do you do?
The bride and groom braid three strands together- one gold strand symbolizing God at the center of marriage, one purple strand symbolizing the groom, and one white strand symbolizing the bride. (I was originally worried about the colors, but I just realize I added purple into the pallet!! The only thing is we're doing silver, not gold, but oh well, it's just one thing!)

While the strands are being braided, the Ecclesiastes verse above will be read by our officiant. Once the strands are braided, a rubber band will be tied around the end to keep it together, and a gold ribbon will be tied around that. It can then be put on display in your home after the wedding!

We'll also have an explanation put in our program describing what's going on, and our officiant will give a quick explanation before he does our reading. We will put in there why we decided to do it, because we know there will be some people that wonder why we would want to include something "that religious" in a wedding.

Where do you get one?
While you can buy one on God's Knot, I feel that $40 is a little steep. We decided that we'll make one! It's really easy to do, and doesn't require much materials. The package you can by for $40 includes:

  • High quality rayon cord in a deep purple, a brilliant gold, and a bright white
  • Each cord is about 1/2 inch thick and about 25 inches long
  • Brass colored metal ring about 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter
  • An explanation card that can be reproduced in your bulletin, read in your ceremony, or displayed with your braided cord after the wedding.
 We'll just pick up those items and make it ourselves, since they tell us how! I'll post on that when we make it closer to the wedding!

Did you do anything unique in your ceremony? Did you include anything emphasizing on your religion?


  1. WOW!! I love this idea!! I agree with you about the sand ceremony thing. That's why we are doing a love letter segment in our wedding. We opted out of the wine (partly because of location). We had a small box made for us on Etsy and will be exchanging love letters at the ceremony. Every year on our anniversary we will read them and replace them with new letters. I am hoping to make a scrapbook of our letters :)

  2. So amazing! I love that verse for weddings. And thank the Lord you are not doing the sand or water pouring or unity candle...they are such great traditions but like you, I want tradition but some uniqueness and creativity too. That's why we are doing something a little different for our 'unifying' symbolism with God as well. I haven't blogged about it yet but will share here:

    It's called a unity cross. I hadn't budgeted for it and it's $100 (eek!) but my small group of girls that I lead asked me if there was anything they could help me with for the wedding. Woo-hoo! I shot the 6 of them an e-mail letting them know I would love this gift for my bridal shower :) We'll see.

  3. This is so cool! I haven't seen it awesome!


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