Secular Wedding Traditions

You will want to customize your ceremony to reflect who you are and what you’re like as a couple. You want it to be unique because this is the most meaningful and essential part of your wedding. Most religious weddings have standard traditions. However, marriages outside of a religious affiliation do not. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a meaningful wedding ceremony. Here are some fascinating secular marriage traditions as you plan your wedding ceremony.

Unity Candle Lighting Ceremony

Lighting a candle is a common tradition for sacramental weddings. It is a lovely way to symbolize your new marriage and unity. Before the ceremony, each set of parents can light one candle. The couple then uses two smaller candles to light a larger candle during the ceremony to seal their marriage. This is even more special because parents can be involved.

Padlock Ritual

The couple engraves or writes their names, along with their wedding date, on a padlock. The couple can also write a wish that they have agreed on. The couple will then lock the padlock and toss away the keys. It is a symbol of their undying love, commitment, and union. This is a very romantic tradition that’s easy to perform.

Jumping the Broom

Jumping the broom is another secular wedding tradition. It is an ancient tradition that dates back to the 1600s. African-Americans started it during a period when enslaved people could not marry. To unite, they would jump over the broom placed on the floor. This can be done as part of a secular ceremony at the end to represent a new beginning and “sweeping” behind the past.

Planting a tree

In a secular ceremony, trees are very symbolic. The tree is a living organism that grows deep into the ground and the skies. The roots of a tree are a symbol of a strong foundation. Planting trees is a great tradition to celebrate the beginning of a new marriage.

Ring Warming

This tradition involves your entire guest list! It is thought that this tradition has Celtic origins. You pass the rings around to the guests using a ribbon or thread that unites them. As guests enter the ceremony, ask them to “warm” up the calls by placing a silent blessing on them.

Wine Box Tradition

This is a great tradition if you and your spouse love wine! You may need to plan. Each partner should write a love note to the other. You each choose a bottle and then find a box to hold it. Your officiant may say something meaningful during the ceremony and place the bottles and letters in the box. The box will be sealed for five years until you open it to drink the wine and see the letters. What a special gift!

These are suggestions only. Choose the traditions that are meaningful to you and your partner.

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