Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wedding Trend #8: Symbolic gestures

Most brides have a vision of their wedding of walking down the aisle, the exchange of rings, the kiss and so forth (thanks to the movies), but when planning a wedding in Malaysia especially if you are not a Christian you won’t get the whole ceremony and vows bit. So a lot of couples start thinking of either planning a non-religious ceremony or including a symbolic gesture during their wedding day just to give it that extra special “oomph”.

Being a non-religious ceremony, you can include almost anything you want as a symbolic gesture of love, commitment or unity. Here is a look of some symbolic gestures across the globe.

Releasing balloons
There's a nice bit of symbolism in releasing balloons - about the two of you starting your journey together and about everyone's ho
pes and wishes for you as they each release a balloon.

Jumping the broom
The custom is historically associated with the gypsy people in Wales, but it is now more widespread among African Americans, popularized in the 1970s by the novel and miniseries Roots. The symbolism here is about sweeping away the old and starting a new life together. In days gone by couples who wanted to live together but weren't able to legally marry would declare their intention to 'live over the brush' and once they'd jumped over it, the brush would then be kept in their shared home as a symbol of their union. 

Planting a tree
What more symbolism do you need in a marriage ceremony than the idea of starting new life, nurturing and growing stronger? If the two of you have an affinity with the natural world (whether you're passionate gardeners or not), this might be a nice idea to include in your ceremony, especially if it's being held in your own garden.

The natural elements
You could decide to go one step further and include all of the natural elements in your ceremony - air, earth, fire and water. You could get married outdoors, plant a tree or shrub, light candles (you can buy lovely outdoor garden candles) and drink water from a glass (or even have it sprinkled on your hands as in the Thai good luck tradition).

Sand ceremony
Mixing together two containers of sand, to represent the merging together of your

Releasing sky lanterns, as used in many Asian festivals, represent the floating away of your troubles, to be replaced by good fortune and luck.

A lovely idea from a Scottish couple living in New Zealand. They asked each of their guests to come to the ceremony with a small pebble from their own garden or from somewhere in Scotland that was special to them. During the ceremony, an usher collected the pebbles in a wooden bowl and they took them back to NZ as a unique reminder of their special day.

Mexican hug
You'll be wondering what on earth this is! Well, you know what a Mexican wave is? Well, the Mexican hug is where the couple start off by hugging each other and then someone else: those people then hug another person - and so on, until everyone in the room has been well and truly hugged! It's a great way to involve everyone and a good laugh if you want to inject a bit of humor into your ceremony.

Sawing wood
Yes, sawing wood! This is a very unusual gesture and it's a German wedding tradition that involves the bride and groom using a two handled saw to work together as a team to saw a log in half. It's impossible to saw it in half unless you work together as a team, another great message for married life

Stamping on glass
It is a Jewish tradition where a glass is placed on the floor (in a bag), and then it is shattered with the foot. This act serves as an expression of sadness at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and identifies the couple with the spiritual and national destiny of the Jewish people. Others explain that this is the last time the groom gets to put his foot down!

"Mazel tov" means "good luck".

The stefana are very symbolic, as is the entire Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony. The stefana are an ancient custom and symbolize "crowns". They are connected with a ribbon.

The crowns symbolize the nobility of the marriage, and that the bride and groom will be the king and queen of their household. The ribbon that connects them symbolizes that the newlyweds will be bound together in their new family.

In an Orthodox service, the priest will say a prayer over the stefana and the newlyweds, wishing them all of God's blessings in their new life together, as well as hoping for the family to be ruled wisely.

Ring tying
Tying of the rings together on a piece of ribbon, and near the start of the ceremony she'll ask everyone to pass it round and make a wish for us while holding the rings.

Paint your names
This serves as a concrete expression of your spoken vows. It’s almost like signing your marriage contract…in art form!

Weave a wreath
The act of weaving is itself symbolic of bringing elements together to create something new. It can also represent your commitment to work together as a couple.

Unity Drink
Perhaps it’s the wine that you’ve always enjoyed together or maybe its vintage is the year that you first met. The key is to use a water element that holds a significant meaning for the two of you.

Basically the world is your oyster as far as symbolic gestures go! So if you're interested in any of these ideas or you think of something original go for it!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    I'm a Malaysian freelance writer looking to feature Two's A Company in our upcoming publication on wedding vendors. I'm unable to find your contact details, namely your email, in this site. Could you please let me know who I should speak to?

    Kindly reply at lydkwan [at] gmail [dot] com.

    Thank you!

    Lydia K