The Unity Sand Ritual has become fairly popular and some say overdone. Many cultures use spices in the wedding ceremony. Here Guest Blogger and Celebrant in Tuscon Arizona, Kristine Bentz, offers a way to spice up the tired sand ceremony a little.~ Alan
Do you want to include a unity ritual in your wedding, yet feel like you’ve seen sand blending or candle lighting happen enough already? Universally and personally, an active ritual to symbolize your union adds depth and interest to the ceremony. (And sometimes, blending sand or lighting candles does fit well.)
Here is a fun alternative to consider: Blending Spices. For this wedding I led between Katherine and Matt, who share a passion for cooking together, we called it their ‘Spice of Life Ritual’. They also share a faith in God, so we incorporated symbolism from the Bible, based on their beliefs. This is an excerpt from the ceremony we co-created:
A Custom Spice Blending Ritual for Matt & Katherine
“Making a commitment to each other through marriage means you combine your gifts and together, you make a greater difference in the world than you would as individuals. Just as spices complete a recipe, you complete each other. You have chosen a few spices to layer in this glass vessel one at a time, signifying your own personalities and talents. In this way, you symbolically combine who you are forever.
Just as the spices become intermingled and will never be the same again, so do your lives as you join in marriage. You will begin and end by pouring in salt, for it is pure and essential. Go ahead and pour the first layer of salt . . . (Couple pours first layer of salt together . . .)
This salt symbolizes love – God’s love for you – and your love for each other. This love will be the foundation upon which you build your life together. In the Bible, covenants of salt were made to insure lasting and permanent pacts, as salt symbolized the eternal nature of the covenant. Your marriage is such a covenant, perpetual and everlasting.
As you pour the following spices, which you will layer between the salt, I will name each and its symbolism:
(Couple begins to pour one spice at a time . . . )
As they held a single glass to pour the spices in one at a time, I read the symbolic meaning of each spice or herb, as follows:
Sage ~ for wisdom and long life;
Rosemary ~ freshly collected from your yard, to symbolize remembrance, love and fidelity;
Paprika ~ for passion;
Poppy seeds ~ for prosperity;
Lavender ~ for calm in the face of difficulties and seeing the opportunities in life;
Thyme ~ for courage and strength.
Now finish with pouring the final layer of salt. What a beautiful work of art you have created! Please keep this in your home as a remind of this special day. Let these spices symbolize the blessings of your joining and how you have combined the essences of who you are, forever.”
During their ceremony and in the preparation for it, this Bride and Groom had a super fun time participating in this spicy unity ritual together. The Groom collected the rosemary himself, from their yard. The Bride and I shopped together for the bulk herbs/spices and had so much fun! The Bride and her now Mother-in-law shopped for the glass vessels. While I set up the ritual prior to the ceremony, the guitarist even enjoyed smelling the lavender. I carried the finished product over to the reception (displayed next to the sign-in book created by Sarah Neyhart) so guests could enjoy the couple’s creation up-close. All in all, we immensely enjoyed co-creating this custom ritual!
Inside the Chapel at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa ~ ritual table front & center.
A peek of the TGR Chapel from the outside ~ so beautiful!
This wedding occurred at the lush and inviting Tubac Golf Resort and Spa in Tubac, Arizona. Everyone enjoyed the setting on a monsoon afternoon in June. Other vendors (with whom I love to work!) included:
Colleen LaFleur of La Fleur Plantscapes
Mark Wilsey on Guitar from Reno del Mar