"EVERYBODY has a unity candle ceremony. I want something different!" I hear this often, and YES. There are options!
If you're getting married outside, you may especially want to avoid a unity candle ceremony as attempting to light a candle and keep it lit can be very difficult with the slightest of breezes. Would you consider it a bad omen if your unity candle blew out right after you lit it? Or it refuses to stay lit after lighting it several times?
If you really want a unity candle outdoors, there are ways you can try to trick Mother Nature. You can place the candle inside a hurricane lamp, but then lowering a taper down into it can burn your fingers or set a sleeve on fire.
You can use flameless candles, but how romantic is it to reach over and turn the battery-operated switch on?
Sand. Yes, there are many who use colored sand and each member of the family pours their sand into the center container. It's certainly an option, and one that many use in place of a unity candle. Make sure to seal it with silicone shortly after the ceremony to avoid the accidental spillage if it gets knocked over.
Here's how I approach it. Share with me the things that you and your sweetie have in common, and I can create a unity ceremony from just about anything. Do you love wine? I can create a wine ceremony. Have a passion for fishing? Boating? Coffee? Cooking? I've got you covered in all those as well. You can truly create a unity ceremony around anything, if you're creative enough.
Your ceremony should be a direct reflection of you, your love and what you believe. Not something out of a book that someone bought online or was written hundreds of years ago. This is YOUR day, YOUR love, and YOUR life. Celebrate it YOUR way.
Your wedding officiant has asked you if there's a special reading you'd like to have in your ceremony, and you draw a blank. What's a reading? Do I need one? Where do I find one? Can I have more than one? Am I going to have to memorize it and say it myself? Why are there so many decisions to make when planning a ceremony????
No worries! That's what I'm here for! A reading is a way to add personality into a ceremony. It doesn't have to be a passage from the Bible, Quran or Bhagavad Gita, although it can be if you'd like. You can choose to do something other than the usual "Love is patient. Love is kind" passage, even if you decide to do a reading from the Bible.
If you're looking at a more traditional ceremony, you might choose something from sacred texts. There are many passages in the Bible that work well beside 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
You can choose a favorite poem. You can choose the lyrics from a song that means something special to the two of you. Perhaps there's a favorite bit of dialogue in movie you'd like to quote. There are also ethnic marriage blessings that make wonderful readings, such as the Apache marriage blessing. You can Google 'wedding readings' and there is a world of information available. I have a wide selection available for my couples as well.
Who reads the reading? Anyone you'd like to have read it, assuming they're willing to do so. I can be a family member, friend, or you can have your officiant read it. No need to have it memorized - no one expects that. A piece of paper or note card is great.
One or two readings is all you need. If your officiant is writing your ceremony for you, your personality and love will come through many other parts of your ceremony as well, such as a unity tradition, handfasting, rose tradition and more.
This week I agreed to deliver the Christmas Eve (12/24/17) message at Unity Christ Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The service will start at 4:30 p.m. More information will follow as it becomes available.
This Sunday, October 22nd at 10:00 a.m. I will be speaking at Unity Christ Center, located at 1808 Folsom Street here in Eau Claire. My topic will be an interfaith all-inclusive message, followed by a short meditation. All are welcome to attend. Please feel free to like and share this post.
This magazine is published twice a year for brides in the Chippewa Valley area. It includes lots of helpful hints, ideas, vendor advertisements and a detailed workbook to help you plan one of the most important days of your life. Included is an article written by Rev. Ronnie Roll on how to choose your wedding officiant. See page 25.
Click on the "To Magazine" button - not the photograph. Please note this link will open the Reception to Follow website in a new window. To return, simply click on the 'x' in the upper right-hand corner of the new window to close it.
There is no "i" in Love, but there is in Divorce. When working with individuals and couples in marital strife, one often hears "I need..." or "I want..." Following that is usually "He/she just doesn't get it/me."
If one remembers back to when they first fell in love, the pronouns used looked very different, and the focus of them was also different.
Love is a verb that requires one to give, and has little to do with getting. Regardless of whether the feelings are returned, love stands on its own two feet. We love babies before the child can love us. We love our pets, our work, our hobbies and more, without them loving us back, and that's ok. How often we forget this when we draw lines in the sand with our partners. The expectation becomes one of getting what we want or need, and if the other doesn't give it, they don't love us, or don't love us enough.
Marriage creates a third entity between two people that requires regular nurturing. It, above the two individuals (except in the case of abuse), should become the priority. By strengthening and protecting it, the individuals have the foundation from which they can grow, experience, learn and develop as a couple and individually. It provides the strength to be vulnerable as individuals, which deepens the bond of intimacy between the two.
Talking differently to our partner about our needs, wants and desires can mean the difference between drawing those lines in the sand and inviting them to help find creative solutions. The focus is on nurturing the relationship in a healthy way rather than getting what we want. Using words such as "How can we..." and "Share with me.." can go a long way to finding creative solutions that work for both.
Consider what you can GIVE, as opposed to what you may/may not be GETTING.
Working with a professionally trained minister, mediator or counselor to learn new ways to communicate can be a wonderful strength to add to your relationships, personally and professionally. Doing so before you're in dire circumstances will prevent deep wounds that may take a long time to repair.
There was a time when a man and woman came together, got married, and stayed together until death parted them. Life has changed, and our beliefs about what constitutes a commitment, family, and more have changed. So have our desires for how to mark the important milestones in our lives.
Blended families are becoming more and more prevalent. With this, comes a desire to commemorate the joining together, and even to go one step further, to spiritually bless the new family unit. During a wedding, commitment ceremony, or just a straight blending the family ceremony, a ribbon can be passed from member to member, each holding onto it and passing it to another member. Multiple colored ribbons can be used to make it more picturesque. A favorite poem or words from a minister or parents can be said. Afterward, the ribbon can be given a prominent place in the home to signify the new family, or each member can be given a piece of the ribbon on a necklace, bracelet, etc., that they can carry or wear to remind them they are loved and family.
Ceremonies for joining families together can be deeply meaningful and very personalized, and not just during a wedding. A family choosing to be baptized together, or an adoption ceremony can be very moving and make a world of difference to bring a family even closer.
For more ideas on how to bring your family closer together, please contact me.
I am occasionally asked about ways to recreate a unity candle ceremony during an outdoor wedding or vow renewal. It can be tricky to light candles in the wind! The purpose of a unity candle is to symbolize the joining of two individuals into a third, unified being. So here are a couple of suggestions to consider.
Sand - There are many different ways to use colored sand. When a couple has children, the children can be included in the ceremony by being represented by a different color of sand added as well. Once the ceremony is completed, a resin can be poured into the top of the container to seal it and keep the sand from spilling out. The one pictured below can be found at Etsy.com's TheDreamWeddingShop.
Wine - Use a red and a white wine in two wine glasses. Pour some of each into a center decanter, thus creating a rose colored wine. This ceremony can be easily recreated on anniversaries, a date or just over dinner, symbolizing and remembering the joining together of their hearts. The one pictured below can be found at Etsy.com's ScissorMill.
There are many others ways, including a ribbon ceremony that links each of the new family members together, a bowl filled with water that each member floats a flower in, and more. The ideas are endless, and can be personalized for you and your loved ones. Want more ideas? I'm happy to discuss them with you!
Rev. Ronnie was ordained in 2010 as an interfaith minister through The New Seminary, located in New York City. She is available to perform ceremonies throughout the United States, aboard ship or in other countries.