Ideas for Ceremonies

Magda Palmer

  1. A Ceremony is the means of obtaining public recognition or collective support for events that require acceptance within the community to be meaningful.

  2. Marriage is a prime example, without community recognition and public declaration of mutual devotion marriage is meaningless. In Australia there are 2 sets of requirements in any ceremony. Community requirements are that all participants are there of their own free will, are over the minimum legal age, that they are of sound mind, in a sober state and that all participants understand the significance of their commitments. If that ceremony is a marriage ceremony then their promises and oaths will include keeping unto each other to the exclusion of all others.

  3. A well crafted wedding ceremony will take care of the personal set of requirements. The ceremony must be meaningful to the participants giving an understanding of the spiritual and/or religious beliefs of the couple and clearly show the serious intentions of the Bridal Pair who publicly make declarations of commitment and devotion to each other.

  4. In a multicultural society like Australia, ceremonies are most important in forging bridges between different nationalities.

  5. Naming ceremonies are particularly important because this ceremony should provide the child and participants with vital information as to their individual background.

  6. Marriage ceremonies are intended to bond families and extend welcome to new members of their families. This requires much thought, understanding and sensitivity.

  7. Of course one can choose to have a ceremony that only includes bare bones which are legalities set down by the Attorney-General, but when people truly think about their wedding, they realise it is their day of all days and that day will never be repeated, so, truly, your Marriage Ceremony should reflect who you are, where you are and your hopes and dreams for your future.

Wedding Ceremony Ideas

Blending of Sands (Bride and Groom alternately pour different coloured sands into one vessel which is then sealed);

Bread and Wine (Bridal Couple break bread and share wine);

Dove Release (More usually white doves are released);

Druid or Pagan theme where Bridal Couple marry standing in a ring of stones. trees are adorned with long stemmed flowers tied to their trunks, the bride is carried in or rides on horseback.

Jumping the Broom (Before Bridal Couple take first steps as husband and wife);

Medieval or Renaissance usually held in a flowered area.

Hand Fasting (symbolically tying the hands of the Bride and Groom);

Oathing Stone (Bride and Groom take their vows with hands on a stone or stones);

Promisies to Children of the couple and of the children to the couple;

Ring Warming (Rings are warmed by families and/or guests);

Rose Ceremony (Bridal Couple or mothers exchange roses);

Smudging (pre - ceremony a close relative or friend clears the location with smudge sticks/meditation);

Spiritual according to the Bridal Couple’s beliefs;

Tossing the Shells (Bridal Couple, family and guests wish and toss shells into the sea);

Unity Candles (symbolically uniting the families of the Bridal Couple);

Traditional may be short or long, fun or solemn, but always beautiful.

Themes for Ceremonies may be anything but think about Arabian Nights, Art Nouveau, Beach, Bollywood, Camelot, Celestial, Chinese, Dragonfly, Druid, Fairytale, Fantasy, Garden, Gothic, Hollywood Glamour, Japanese, Nation Dress, One colour Wedding, Sports, the Twenties, Victorian.

Causes for Celebrations


Bat Mitzvah;

Personal Milestones;

Birth Ceremony naming the babe and swearing-in of Guide parents;

Celebration of Life is often preferable to a funeral ceremony;

Coming of age (usually 18 or 21);

Father's day;

Mother's day;

Naming—baby, child, teenager or adult;

New Pets (a welcome);

Pet's Memorial Service;


Renewal of vows;


Twenty-First Birthday;

Valentine's Day.

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"Who, being loved, is poor"? -Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 –1900) Irish playwright, poet and author.