Unique Wedding Ceremony Traditions

Your wedding day is the day you commit to love and life with your partner. Different cultures and religions throughout time have expressed this commitment through wedding ceremony traditions. As a Jackson Hole wedding photographer, I’ve had the great pleasure of viewing a diverse group of wedding ceremony traditions, and to be honest, I’ve appreciated all of them! Today I’d like to share some of my favorites with you all so you can get ideas for your own, unique wedding. 

Grand Teton wedding with Jackson Hole photographer capturing bride and groom standing on top of a large boulder in front of a bright blue lake with the Tetons in the distance

Ribbon Wrapping (Celtic Tying the Knot Tradition) 

Katie and Seamus decided to celebrate their Celtic heritage by including a ribbon wrapping tradition called handfasting. In the tradition, the couple puts their hands in two handshakes, putting the right arm over their left. This creates the “infinite” bind. Knotted rope or ribbon overlays the hands as a symbol of unity and commitment. 

bride and groom tying a knot of rides together for their unique wedding ceremony tradition with Jackson Hole wedding photographers
Jackson Hole elopement photographers capture outdoor mountains top wedding ceremony with bride and groom tying the knot with pastel ribbons
outdoor ceremony with bride and groom holding hands as well as the knot they tied together for their wedding ceremony tradition captured by jackson hole wedding photographers

Unity Sand Pouring

Another wedding tradition that comes with a keepsake is unity sand pouring, which I first saw with Melissa and Marc! In this wedding ceremony traditions, the couple each has their own vessel of sand, which they pour into a larger shared vessel, and by doing so create a visual representation of their lives and desires becoming one. It’s popular to bring sand from places that have value to you, but not required. And some couples decide to seal and display the shared vessel as a reminder of their vows. 

jackson hold wedding photographers photographs bride in a lace beaded wedding dress pouring sand into a vase with her groom for their indoor wedding ceremony
sand pouring ceremony for a wedding ceremony traditions with bride and groom pouring white beads into a glass together captured by jackson hole wedding photographers

San San Kudo Wedding Ceremony (Japanese Sake Ceremony)

I loved seeing James and Katrisha participate in the hundreds-of-years-old tradition of San San Kudo. What I learned is that the couple brings three sakazuiki (ceremonial sake cups) that stack in a tier, biggest to smallest. Usually, the bride and the groom sip sake, a strong Japanese alcohol, from each of the three cups three times. This is because three is an odd number–it is indivisible, and therefore lucky in Japanese culture. 

young girl in a komono pouring sake for the wedding couple in Grand tetons wedding
sake tray for Japanese wedding tradition for bride and groom in the Grand Tetons for their Taggart Lake wedding
Japanese bride in the grand tetons drinking sake for her Japanese ritual on her wedding day during her ceremony

Ring Warming

One of my favorite wedding ceremony traditions was something I saw with Mason and Charlie. They had their family and friends “warm” their rings with well-wishes and prayers for their wedding. When they put the rings on their fingers, the rings were already prepared with so much hope for their successful marriage. So sweet!

Religious Rituals for Wedding Ceremony Traditions

Of course, there are tons of other religious traditions for wedding ceremonies! Jewish cultures have the breaking of the glass. Hindu religion includes Varmala, which is the exchanging of garlands. Many religions have these powerful and symbolic representations of love, unity, and a life joined together. 

bride and groom outside of the Afton lds Temple in Wyoming smiling at each other with the steeple of the temple behind them

Don’t be ashamed of incorporating a wedding ceremony tradition in your unique plans! Each tradition has so much history and meaning. I’d love to see which unique tradition you pick, so reach out! I’d love the privilege of preserving your special moments.

engagement rings detail shot with groom putting on his brides wedding band during their outdoor wedding band at their lake wedding captured by Jackson Hole wedding photographers

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