Make your wedding in Las Vegas more memorable. Consider some of the alternative, interesting and unique unity ceremonies.
1. Handfasting Unity Ceremony
The handfasting ceremony is an ancient Celtic ceremony which was a ritual practiced in the British Isles and Europe. It symbolizes the unbreakable bond between a man and woman in marriage. It actualizes the idea of “tying the knot,” an idiom often used to refer to weddings. The wedding ritual is a simple yet distinctive way of making your wedding official – an interesting way to make your Las Vegas wedding permanent.There is no set rule for how many cords are used. You may use one cord if you like. If using more than two or three colors, ribbons may be easier to use than cords and less expensive.Each of the cord colors has its own special symbolic meaning. The cords can be several colors twisted into one cord and used for a single cord ceremony. If you prefer, up to six cords can be draped individually to tie your hands together loosely.
Each cord should be at least 48″ (4 ft.) long, so the ends can all be tied together. For more than two or three colors, ribbon usually works better than cord or rope.
• Red: Will, love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigor, passion. • Orange: Encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness. • Yellow: Attraction, charm, confidence, balance, harmony. • Green: Fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, love. • Blue: Safe journey, longevity, strength. • Purple: Healing, health, strength, power, progress. • Black: Strength, empowerment, wisdom/vision, success, pure love. • White: Spiritual purity, truth, peace, serenity and devotion. • Gray: Balance, neutrality, used in erasing, canceling, neutralizing, and return to the universe without repercussion. • Pink: Love, unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness. • Brown: Healing,, skills and talent, nurturing, home and hearth, the earth. • Silver: Creativity, inspiration and vision, and protection. • Gold: Unity, longevity, prosperity, strength.
In case you and your partner are wondering, hands-fasting doesn’t make your wedding a restricting bond. Rather, the symbolism of the ties that bind is intended to remind the both of you that marriage makes being there for one another as more than just an obligation – it is an agreement borne out of your souls’ perpetual connection with one another.
The glass breaking ceremony stands as an important rite of passage signifying the lasting endurance of marriage. It is a traditional part of a Jewish ceremony however many couples are integrating this meaningful ritual into their ceremony.
• Easily breakable small glass or plastic wine glass • White napkin to wrap the glass
The glass or plastic glass is wrapped in a towel. At the end of the ceremony the best man will place the wrapped glass at the feet of the groom who steps on the glass and breaks it. At the end of the ceremony, once the groom breaks the glass, the guests shout together, “Mazel Tov!” which is a Jewish phrase meaning congratulations or good luck.The symbolism of this ritual compares the difficulty of reassembling the shattered glass pieces back together to the fragility of love. Glass-breaking, of course, helps signify in thought, that the fragile nature of glass introduces feelings of resolve to make relationships work – quite like a symbol that reminds you and your spouse that your marriage will last forever.
The wine pouring ritual is a unity ceremony that typically uses alcohol, specifically wine, as a symbolic means of solemnizing a marriage. This ritual remains a novel idea.
• An eclectic mix of two kinds of wine: red and white • A goblet or special cup to drink from
This wine-pouring ceremony involves the bride and groom taking turns drinking from a “common cup,” in which both red and white wine is combined. The said combination promises both an abundance of love, embodied by the red wine, and everlasting strength of marriage, represented by the white wine.Here is a link to Unity Wine Ceremony sets on Amazon or View a Unity Wine ceremony here
4. Unity Cross CeremonyThe unity cross is a unique unity ceremony idea to be implemented into a religious ceremony. The symbolism represents the joining of two lives into one blessed by the love of God.
• An outside cross frame with a base • Inner sculpted cross to fit into outside frame
There are two pieces of the cross. The parts are assembled during the unity service. The groom takes the outer cross and places it in the wood base. The bride proceeds to place the sculpted cross inside the outer cross. Most couples will display the cross in their home after the wedding to serve as a reminder of their vows and wedding day and unity with God. View a unity cross ceremony example here
5. Rose-Exchange Unity Ceremony
The rose has long been a symbol of love. Roses fit the scene of every wedding. This ceremony has proven to be a ceremony idea for unity.
• Two rose presentations or rose buds to exchange simultaneously
Giving a rose to the love of your life may take on a world of lovely meanings: “I love you with all my heart,” and “you’re very special to me” being among the words you may intend to say. When done as a wedding ritual, rose-giving enables you to express your feelings of everlasting love even when you’re already at a loss for words.
Rev. Nourish is a Las Vegas wedding officiant who will help you customize your wedding ceremony and tailor it to your needs with each ceremony. She has over 20 years experience creating and performing weddings in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Officiant Julie Nourish explains the Love Letter and Wine Box Ceremony:
Are you looking for an idea that will attract the attention of your guests, add some elegance to your wedding and make it worth reminiscing for years to come? You can call the love letter wine box ceremony an alternative to the commonly practiced Unity Sand and Unity Candle Ceremony. The following article is a vivid description of how to perform the traditional Wine box ceremony and ideas to help inspire you to write your love letter to the future love of your life.
My name is Julie Nourish. I am a mobile Las Vegas wedding officiant. I have been performing the love letter and wine box ceremony since it became a popular addition to the wedding ceremony.
I have experienced the wine box ceremony in many different ceremony styles. I often get questions from my wedding couples asking what this ritual addition is and what it means. I decided to write this article as a resource to assist and educate with creative ideas and information.
Wine Box Ceremony explained:
As the most popular and equally romantic wedding day ritual, Wine box ceremony entails writing romantic letters to each other and storing them for the future. The two sealed letters are tucked away, inside a special box, along with a bottle of wine, and the box is tightly sealed.
The original idea is to open it when the couple experiences some misunderstandings and fights. However, as a suggestion, why not be more positive and focus less on the misunderstanding and fights in your relationship and more the celebration aspect? I think it’s a great idea to open the box on one of your wedding’s anniversaries.
Here are what will be required for the ceremony:
A wooden wine box
A bottle of your best brand of wine
Two sealed love letters
A CD of your favorite love songs and your best photo
A hammer with nails
Ideas to inspire the letter writing: Here are some ideas and questions to ask yourself to help you prepare and be inspired to write the letter to your intended.
What were your first thoughts when you saw your partner for first time?
What is your favorite attribute about your fiancé?
How did this affect your life?How did your life change after you met your fiancé? How did you change?
How has your fiancé inspired your hopes and aspirations?
What are the reasons you fell in love with your partner?
Why did you choose to marry your fiancé?
How has your fiancé changed you – explain in the letter and give praise.
Reasons to open and share the contents:
1. Open the box on your 5th wedding anniversary – After five years together you have gone through a great deal together. By this time you will have a lot to share, remember and talk about. This is truly a romantic way to remember the things you cherished about each other from the beginning of your relationship.
2. Open it when problems exist – You sit down together, open it and uncork the wine as you unseal the two letters. I have read explanations that suggest you to move to different rooms to read each respective letter. I think it may be more suitable to read it in the same room. After all, the point is trying to work out your problems with the other person. Wouldn’t it be better to read through them together and remember the reasons you love each other and got married in the first place? The idea is to bury the hatchet and focus on why you chose to be married to each other and spark the remembrance of the love you held when you began your wedding journey together.
Perfect ritual: The feelings and romantic sentiments expressed through writing will invariably restore parity and help you get along again. It is perhaps a perfect marriage ritual as it elicits memories of the seemingly blissful past and why you chose each other.
Don’t peak! Remember, both letters shouldn’t have been read by anyone before the ceremony. The box will then be sealed ceremoniously with everyone including the Officiant driving one of the sealing nails. If you had used a lock-and-key box, the couple would be the ones to lock it.
Practice: I have noticed it does make a difference to practice how you will stand and where the table will be ahead of time. The practice helps your photos turn out better if you consider the photo angles that look best before the big day
Table placement: Make sure the table is not positioned too low down. It’s better to have the table be waist height. You both want to be able to stand at the table without being in awkward positions and a table that is too low makes the nailing or locking part too awkward. Also, take into consideration how the audience will view the ceremony and position yourselves on either side of the table during the ceremonious sealing of the box. If you do this your guests will be able to have a great view and also take memorable photos for you.
A Sample Love Letter and Wine Box Ceremony
Minister: At this time I will ask ________ and _________ to walk to the Wine box.
_____ and _____ have chosen as a couple to have a Love Letter & Wine Box ceremony. This box contains a bottle of wine and a love letter from each to the other.
The letters written by __________ and __________ describe among many things, the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry.
The letters are sealed in individual envelopes. Neither person has seen what the other has written. They have created your very own “romantic” time capsule.
_________ and __________, it is recommended that you keep the box in a place of honor prominently displayed in your home as a constant reminder of your commitment to each other.
You may decide to open the time capsule on your anniversary if you ever experience insurmountable hardships in your union, open the box as a couple and perform the ritual.
At whatever time you decide to open it, separate from each other and read the letters you wrote on your wedding day in private first. By reading these love letters you will reflect upon the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry each other here today.
Then after reading your letters sit and drink the wine together and reminisce and speak of the good things to come and the blessings you have.
You may now seal the box together.
In closing, perhaps you will be inspired to have a love letter and wine box ceremony for your wedding.
I hope this article has both informed and inspired you to add some pizzazz to your wedding ceremony and incorporate this unique customization ritual.
Hello. My name is Rev. Julie Nourish. I am a Las Vegas wedding officiate. Believe me, I have seen so many weddings vows being shared I lost count. I have also heard and witnessed many couples struggle with writing their vows.
I have helped many couples write their vows and come up with ideas as well. Whether you are planning to write your vows for a Las Vegas wedding or anywhere else in the world, you may share the same problem. If you are having a difficult time writing your wedding vows here are some valuable tips and guidelines for writing some meaningful and personal words to exchange during the ceremony.
Wedding Songs to Inspire Vows: Use YouTube to inspire you:
Try reading the lines of favorite songs. Perhaps you have a special couple’s song. Borrow lines and write how you felt when you heard the song. What is it about your favorite song that applies to your relationship?
It is perfectly fine to quote special lyrics, poetry, movie lines, books, anything that holds special meaning to you as a couple. Just don’t sell it as YOUR original work!
“I swear like the shadow that’s by your side I will be there. For better or worse, Till death do us part, I will love you with every singlebeat of my heart, I swear!”
“I hear that song, and it is my promise to you. I love you like that today and I always will!”
Unless you have the ability to channel Elizabeth Barrett Browning or possess the chops to belt out a moving rendition of I’m Everything I am Because You Loved Me…; finding the words to declare your vow of love for eternity may be a scary, seemingly insurmountable task. Stop worrying, we are here to help your heart find its message (pretty good start, huh?)!
Today, more partners are composing their own wedding vows. Personalizing the marriage promise has become a popular, sentimental trend. Many couples choose to write a few simple lines and include them with the Officiant’s reading of the traditional vows, “Do you [name]take [name}…etc., etc., etc.” While other couples take scripting the perfect sonnet to Hollywood production levels.
The goal of writing your wedding vows should be an act of expressing your love, your promise, your vision of this perfect union with the person possessing your heart-you are NOT attempting to impress the Pulitzer Committee. Your words are meant for your special him or her. They may be heard by two witnesses or a congregation of hundreds but your vows are directed at one person and only one person. There is no pass/fail litmus. You will not receive a grade
You will not receive a grade for the effort; a commission check will not arrive in the mail, and chances are-Josh Grobin will not be on the phone begging for the song rights to your words.
RELAX, write what you feel, and capture what your heart is saying to your head. Just write, get something on paper then you can slice and dice the words into the ideal composition.
Try an exercise to get your head moving in the right direction. Compose a few thoughtful answers to these questions: The important thing to remember is being truthful and honest about how you feel. THINK about your life together and write, do not worry about sentence structure or prose. Start with a copy, work on the polish later.
Length of vows
It’s best to keep the vow length below two minutes. Beyond this time frame, you will usually lose the attention of the wedding guests. Two minutes should give you plenty of time to cover the essential points you want to cover.
Format to follow
Write down your essential highlights, to begin with. Then later you can elaborate and modify the outline to reflect your own unique feelings and perspective
A list of 12 brainstorming vow ideas:
1. Write down three to five best characteristics about the person you are marrying and why you love them. Rank those qualities until you have one GREATEST thing about your fiance and draft your answer “[Name}, I see your dazzling smile and nothing can take away the happiness it brings to my world.”
2. What is your favorite memory of the person you are marrying (be specific)? “[Name], I remember the first time I saw you walking across the street wearing those [fill in the blank]. I followed you for six blocks. You walked in the [example/bar] and I forgot where I was going. I could not let you out of my sight. I had to meet you, talk to you; I thought I may die if I didn’t know your name.”
3.Declare your intent regarding how you fulfill your duty or promise be as a husband or wife. What is your promise to this special person you plan to spend the rest of your life with? “[Name], I will be a loyal companion, staying by your side through the good times and bad times, for example. I promise to spend the rest of my life loving, protecting, respecting, honoring, and doing my best to deserve your love. Elaborate and search your heart for ways you will fulfil your special love. Only you know what is in your heart. This will require some reflection on your own unique relationship with your intended.
2. Make a declaration to your intended regarding what you love about them. (be specific)? “[Name], I love your spontaneity, you are dependable, you have been supportive of my goals and aspirations all these years, your sense of humor keeps me sane and laughing. You have made life fun and interesting. You understand me.
3. When did you realize you were in love with the person you are marrying? “[Name], I looked at you [place/sitting at the bar] and I knew I could love you forever.” I could not let you out of my sight. I had to meet you, talk to you; I thought I may die if I didn’t know your name.”
4. How would your life be different if the person you are marrying were not in your life? [Name], I thought my life was pretty full until you entered my world and I realized what an empty existence I would endure without you in it!”
5. When you met your fiance how did you feel? Think back to the special feelings you held in your heart when you met your special someone? Write down your feelings and share them in your own special way.
6. What caused you to fall in love with your fiance? Your intended will love to hear all about why you fell in love with them. It’s the foundation stone and building block of your love and it feeds love and affection.
7. At what point did you know you wanted to spend your life with them and why? Most couples know that certain point when the relationship became more serious and are proud of it.
8. Think of hard times you endured together and how you supported each other through them and overcame them. If you have not experienced difficult times, then great! Otherwise, it’s meaningful to acknowledge you have overcome and worked through things in your relationship already and have a great foundation to start your journey.
9. Have your formed a common vision or goals for the future? If so, write them down and include them in your vows to make them unique. You do have a unique love and you get to tell everyone of the special bond you share here.
10. Write a small list of how your fiance has made your life better. Most people can think of ways their partner has improved their quality of life. After all, you will be friends and companions as well as lovers.
11. When you spend time apart, what do you miss about being around them? Most couples are not around one another 24/7. In fact, a lot of couples spend time apart these days with our busy lifestyles. Think of the many ways you miss them. It nurtures love in a relationship to acknowledge you miss your partner when away.
12. ”What is your vision of the perfect life together after you are married? In other words, what kind of like do you see you and your spouse living going forward into the future? I see us growing old together and I hope that if you live to be 100. never have to live without you ( so in this instance you are allowed to ‘borrow’ from favorite sources like Winnie the Pooh)!
Read through your answers…how do you FEEL? Did the exercise trigger the start of penning something valuable? If so, work with it. You may just have your vows almost finished by carefully pondering those 6 tips. You just need to think carefully about your spouse and how your love is unique. What about him or her makes you feel that special something?
Still Having Trouble Starting the Writing Process – suffering from writer’s block?
6 more tips to help you complete your vows:
There are a few minor considerations when preparing your own wedding vows.
1. Discuss options with your fiance: Consider the tone of the wedding and your partner’s desire for propriety (or lack thereof).
2. Discuss your vows with your wedding Officiant: Do you want to read your own vows, will someone else read the vows, do you plan to pre-record the vows for the wedding ceremony, and other logistical considerations.
3. Decide if you want to remember or read your vows: Make sure a couple of photocopies are handy (like with the best man, Officiant, maid of honor) in the even you draw a complete memory blank when the spotlight hits!
4. Do not include embarrassing or offensive material in your vows: (at least not without your partner’s consent).
5. Do not include your vows in your wedding rehearsal: Save the reveal for the emotion of your wedding day.
6. Try to write from your heart: Your partner will not care if you misspell a word, stumble over a tense, or stutter on delivery, it is the sentiment that counts.
Only one person really matters:
Your wedding is one of the most important events in your life. If you choose to make the ceremony even more special by preparing your own vows, repeating a script, or by simply delivering the words your heart is screaming ad-lib-go for it. Only one person’s approval matters and that is your spouse. You can bet your words will speak volumes to them for the rest of time.
Remember, this is YOUR special day as a couple. I think it’s most important to focus on how you feel about your spouse and what is important to you about your relationship.
Your wedding day is about making your spouse feel prized and special, so your vows should reflect that sentiment. I recommend using wedding vow books to help give you extra ideas and inspiration.
Try Perusing Wedding Ceremony Help Sites:
Reading through online wedding vows for inspiration is a great idea and resource to start with. The Internet is a valuable tool for research and one site that offers a comprehensive list of vows compiled from different cultures and religions. Some vows are considered civil, some are humorous, traditional Christian or straight from the heart with no format.
“Ceremony Differences quoted from wedding website wedding ceremony explanation page: There are many types of ceremonies in this category. I offer only non-denominational ceremonies. They can be civil, which is considered non-religious. The spiritual wedding ceremony strikes a compromise between civil and (traditional or Christian). The Christian ceremony is traditional and what you would expect of a traditional style and wording, reflecting Bible verses and traditions.”
Wedding sites like the Knot offer free ideas and eBooks for composing wedding vows. Fill-in-the-blank forms and recommended formats for material often help give direction and inspirational guidance for struggling writers.
Here is a list of a few free wedding e-books from reputable wedding sources:
So you two have decided to tie the knot and now you are approaching the big event. It is time for the big decisions to be made.
If you are not planning on using your own wedding officiant you know, you may need to interview a potential Las Vegas wedding officiant you don’t know. This might leave you feeling apprehensive, left scratching your head figuring out where to start.
Below are some tips on how to select the Las Vegas officiant that will make your wedding just the way you mean it to be.
Whoever you choose should offer the option to meet with you or at least have a phone consultation before your wedding.
Sometimes it’s not an option to meet your wedding officiant before the wedding day. That ends up being a common experience in Vegas because of the nature of the city and dynamics of scheduling a wedding in Las Vegas.
A meeting to talk about the ceremony will be beneficial but if you are in a situation where you can’t meet with the Las Vegas wedding officiant consider a phone consultation or a Skype meeting. A professional officiant will be able to offer you useful tools to help you along and keep in touch with you during the wedding planning process as well.
If you do decide to meet and have the time your fiance should be at this meeting as well. This article gives you useful directions and tips to help you and your fiance think through the important questions to ask your officiant or Las Vegas Minister.
Come prepared to ask questions and talk to your fiance beforehand. This will help you to have an understanding of the common questions you both have and what is most important to you.
I am passing along my experience to you. Below are some questions I have found most couples have asked me:
1. Are you legally licensed to perform a marriage at the current location?
2.What are the options for customizing a ceremony? What is the process?
3. How much do you charge? What services does this include?
4. How much freedom are the bride and groom allowed to do what they want to do in the ceremony?
5. What interested you in doing this work? Hong long have you been a wedding officiant?
6. How many weddings do you do in a day?
7. Do you have a plan B if you are not able to be at the wedding?
When the Las Vegas wedding officiant asks about your ceremony, here are some things you can be prepared to talk about that might be helpful to you:
• What is the name of the location and address where the ceremony will take place?
• How many quests do you expect at the ceremony?
• How many people are in the wedding party (any children)?
• Your music selection for the procession and recession?
• Traditions you and your fiance don’t like? Things that you do like?
• Your views on marriage vows – and if you will write your own vows or do something traditional?
• How long do you want the ceremony to last?
• Any considerations you want to make regarding parents’ expectations?
• Any ethnic traditions or religious traditions you need or want to include in the ceremony?
• Any ideas you may have gotten from other weddings?
The ceremony is the most meaningful part of the service
Naturally, if you have been going to a certain church for a very long time it is only customary that you use your current pastor or clergy person to perform the service for your ceremony. This is almost a must if both of you have grown up in the same church and you know the minister at the church personally. The minister may then incorporate something personal and private that they know about you into the ceremony.
Ask your officiant if they provide a questionnaire:
Some officiants will provide a method to get to know you more personally and make your ceremony unique. For instance, I offer questions that help the couple think about their relationship such as when did you know you wanted to be together forever, among others. This method will help your officiant to tailor and customize the ceremony to your specific love story and relationship.
Ceremony choices available? Does the Vegas officiant have a collection of ceremonies to choose from? I have been performing and creating wedding ceremonies since 1996. In that time I have collected an archive of different and unique ceremony options for couples to choose from. It’s not always necessary to have a long ceremony to make it unique and meaningful. In fact, many couples prefer a shorter ceremony of 10 minutes because they are having an outdoor Vegas wedding and it can be hot in Vegas.
There are many wedding officiants in Las Vegas that will travel to your location and provide mobile wedding services. It is best to be clear about your expectations when you set out to interview your intended officiant. Will you be needing a pre-consultation? Will you be needing the officiant to organize and perform a wedding rehearsal for you? Hiring an officiant that has experience in these areas is of utmost importance.
Look over this helpful Las Vegas DIY wedding rehearsal wedding article we created. It gives you a very useful ceremony resource to help you understand what the rehearsal will entail and what questions to ask the officiant who will be guiding you in your rehearsal.
A wedding officiant contract option:
How much should you pay a wedding officiant? Ultimately to answer this question it is best to consider the following elements:
Will you be needing a pre-consultation? If so, it is only fair to give a reasonable compensation for their time spent with you and traveling to meet you.
Will they be customizing your ceremony? When customization is done, it takes extra time and professionalism to create a unique ceremony for you. Typically an officiant will charge anywhere from $50 – $100 extra to customize a service for you.
Will you be needing a rehearsal? Rehearsals take expertise and knowledge to perform. There are many elements involved. The wedding officiant you choose should have experience helping you prepare and the ability to pull it together for you. Typically, the extra time helping you plan, to include travel time is anywhere from $50 to $100 depending on how far they have to travel and if it’s done right before the ceremony on the same day or the day before the wedding, for example.
Considering your relatives’ wishes:
This is a very important day in both of your lives but you may also want to take into consideration the feelings of your parents and the grandparents. They want everything to be perfect too. This day is the day where they get to show off their daughter or son and their new daughter in law or new son in law. People will come from miles and miles away just to get a glimpse of the bride and groom. Consider it to be a status symbol for the family and therefore it does matter how it is presented.
What is the next step to confirm? If you liked the person you interviewed, what is the next step?
You will probably need to put a deposit down to reserve their services.
If you do decide to hire someone you interviewed, it is a professional courtesy to inform the other officiants you might have also interviewed you made a decision. Using the email for this is fine. Many people don’t do this but it is a very thoughtful and nice gesture.