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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.