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symbolic_weddingNowadays many couples decide on different solution to a church or legal wedding. A symbolic ceremony which doesn’t bring any legal result. It is a great idea for couples who simply wants to declare themselves to one another while feeling the state’s marriage in unnecessary or even unwelcomed.

For those who has some legal impediments for previous marriage which not has been resolved before the planned wedding date, in which case the couple signs a waiver stating that the nature of the new marriage is of purely symbolic nature and does not confer the legal status.
There are just a few changes between normal and symbolic wedding. The words such as “marriage”, “husband” and “wife” are replaced with others, such as “union”, “partnership”, “bond” and so on. The celebrant pronounces the couple “united in their love from this day forward” instead of proclaiming them husband and wife.

There are many rituals which will make your symbolic ceremony as much intimate and personalized as you wish. Rituals which derive from different religions, cultures and parts of the world, but have always one thing in common: to symbolize the future path of bride and groom. Here is the list of some of most popular and interesting rituals.

Honey Ceremony (multifaith)

A ritual created by Joyce Gioia, a multifaith clergywoman. Since ancient times honey was a symbolic food  in many cultures. It is a symbol of sweetness in life. During the ceremony, while pronouncing  vows the groom dips his little finger in the honey and touch bride’s tongue with it, and so does the bride.

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Tasting the four elements

It is a ritual adapted from Yoruba tradition. Here the bride and groom are suppose to try four different basic flavors, which are representing different emotions in relationship: sour (lemon), bitter (vinegar), hot (cayenne) and sweet (honey). The tasting of each of four flavors symbolize and demonstrate that the couple will be able to get together through hard times and problems, in the end always enjoying the sweetness of their union.

Candle ceremony

It is often used for not only symbolic weddings, for in catholic religion often happens that couple lit candles, which means joining the couple as a family and merging the two original families. Wiccan candle ceremony focuses less on families, hailing instead the union of two person, who came together, yet remained independent.

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Breaking the glass

It is a Jewish tradition. To crush a wine glass under groom’s foot at the end of the  ceremony has many meanings. A symbol of destruction of First Temple in Jerusalem,  fragility of relationships and of course it remains that marriage changes the couples lives forever. As well the vine drinking may symbolize the joys and sweetness of life, while the glass crushing means hardships.

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Walnuts and honey
It is Mediterranean tradition from some Greek islands. By the end of the ceremony a walnuts and honey are offered to the “just married” on silver spoon. Honey of course means the sweetness of their new life together, while walnuts are chosen because they break in four, symbolizing the couple and their two families.

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