So, you’ve found the love of your life, and have decided to make it official. Congratulations!

One of the most significant aspects of getting married are the ceremonial aspects. We’ve highlighted a few suggestions around the more traditional aspects, that of course can be adjusted to your own individual liking. We take a look at the inclusion of wine, roses, and candles, and the significant role each adds to your ceremonial event. As well, we offer advice on how best to involve children, should either, or both, partners already be parents.

Rose Ceremony

Roses symbolize love, and there are a number of creative ways to incorporate a rose ceremony into your big day. A single red rose always means “I love you”. Your gift to each other for your wedding are your wedding rings, which symbolize an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect, and a public showing of your commitment to each other. Marriage is a coming together of two lives, and a celebration of the love of two people. As you embrace one another in your love, so too do you embrace the families which have been brought together on this happy occasion. Often, the couple will give each of their mothers a rose as a token of their love for family. This can be extended to include other members of the family or even to mark the absence of a loved one (by placing the rose in a vase). Roses can also be exchanged as the couple’s first gift to one another as a married couple. This is often regarded as the start of a tradition in which the couple gift each other a rose every year on their anniversary. This is seen both as a re-commitment to your marriage, and a re commitment that this is a marriage based upon love.

Candle Ceremony

Just before the wedding vows, the parents of the couple come forward (or other family members, children etc.) and light one candle for each. Then the couple light the centre candle together from these two outside candles. This Unity candle symbolizes the joining of their families, the merging of two individuals, and the creation of a blended family. The two outside candles have been lit to symbolize the union of two individuals, and their two families. The three candles will remain lit throughout the ceremony, as symbols of the commitment to each other, and to a lasting and loving marriage.

Wine Ceremony

The rose is the symbol of love, and the blending of the red and white wine creates a light pink rose wine, celebrating the love of the new couple. Before the wedding begins, red wine and white wine, each in a small carafe, are placed next to a larger empty carafe with one or two wineglasses on a small table near the couple. The centre carafe, called the “Marriage Carafe” is usually a bit larger than the two outside individual carafes. A single glass of rose wine is placed on a table, from which both partners will each drink after the reading and ring exchange. The couple proceeds to the table and each takes an individual carafe and pours some wine into the larger carafe. One then takes the larger filled carafe with the combined wine and pours some in a glass for the other, which is then repeated in reverse order. Each would then offers a toast, such as, “Now our lives are one” or “To our lives together”, and drinks.

Involvement of Children

If either partner has children, it’s especially important to involve them in the ceremony to make them feel welcome into their new family unit. It is generally best to give a younger child only one active role, while with teenagers it may be something more significant. For younger children, usually the simple task of holding the rings or bouquet is enough to accomplish a sense of participation. For teenagers, the role may be playing the wedding music, or taking pictures of the ceremony. Mentioning a child’s name during the wedding assures that they are an important part of the occasion. Typically, couples may give children a gift right after they exchange their own rings and vows, usually a necklace, medallion, rose, or ring. It’s also advisable to allow your children to come up and sign part of the official documents at the signing of the register. When children are coming into the marriage, it is appropriate to mention in the ceremony that not only is a marriage being formed, but also a new family.

Be sure to visit Gay Weddings Ontario for all the professional assistance you require on your big day.

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