7 Wedding Ceremony Traditions

A bride and groom holding hands in front of their officiant.

Your wedding ceremony is perhaps the most important part of your big day, as it is, after all, where you officially become husband and wife. Planning your ceremony is a fun part of the process, and it’s definitely exciting! But to counter that, with so many different facets to address, it can feel a bit overwhelming. There are an abundance of wedding ceremony traditions that you can choose to incorporate into this part of your wedding. Some ideas for these traditions are below, so see what fits your ceremony best.

1. Rose Presentation

This tradition incorporates the mothers of the bride and groom. The tradition dictates that the bride and groom each present one single rose to their mothers early in the ceremony. This acts as a symbol of love and gratitude to these important women in their lives.

2. Unity Candles or Ceremonies

A bride and groom in a church holding candles for their unity ceremony.

A common ceremony tradition is to do a ceremony that reflects unity. Usually, this is done through the lighting of a candle, referred to as a “unity candle.” It’s also common for this to be done with other symbols, such as blending sand together in a sand unity ceremony, particularly for couples getting married at the beach. This tradition originated with the Christian faith. Here, the bride’s and groom’s parents each light candles, passing them to their children. Then, the couple uses those candles to light a third, larger candle together. This is meant to symbolize the joining of two families.

3. Medallion Presentation

This tradition incorporates children from previous marriages that are entering a blended family with this marriage. Here, the new stepparent presents the child or children with a medallion, charm, or other piece of jewelry during the ceremony. This serves as a symbol of the stepparent’s commitment to the new members of their family and is certainly a sweet gesture.

4. Jumping the Broom

A broom decorated for a wedding

This is an ancient tradition that dates back to the 1800s, however it gained traction in the United States in the 1970s. This tradition takes place at the end of a ceremony after the couple is pronounced officially married. The couple would then jump over a broom, laid down on the ground, before they walk down the aisle out of their ceremony. This is meant to symbolize them “sweeping away” their old lives and beginning a new life together.

5. Love Letters

This ritual has newer roots, but it’s gained traction as a popular ceremony tradition in recent years. In this tradition, the bride and groom write love letters to each other prior to their wedding day. During the ceremony, the couple seals these inside a box. Many couples also opt to include a bottle of their favorite wine or champagne in this box. Then, the box is stored away to be opened at a later time, usually on an anniversary or other milestone. This is a sweet and romantic way to commemorate your ceremony and have something to look forward to in the future.

6. Breaking Glass

The foot of a groom about to break a glass at a Jewish wedding.

This is a ceremony tradition usually associated with Jewish weddings. After the rabbi announces the newlyweds as officially married, the groom uses his foot to smash a cloth-wrapped piece of glass on the floor. After that, guests erupt with applause and exclaim, “Mazel tov!” The tradition states that for as long as that glass remains shattered, the couple will stay together. Some also associate this tradition as a way to remember the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple.

7. Ring Warming

This is an Irish wedding ceremony tradition. Here, the wedding bands are passed around to guests during the ceremony. Each guest is asked to hold the ring for a moment and say a silent prayer. This is said to give the rings blessings prior to being placed on the bride and groom’s fingers.

These are just some of the many rituals that you can incorporate into your wedding ceremony to make it special, while remaining traditional at the same time.

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