How to Incorporate Classic Wedding Symbols into Your Day

A pair of white paper wedding bells hanging on a decorative wood wall.

While weddings have certainly evolved over the years, classic wedding symbols that bring to mind these love-filled affairs still exist in today’s world. There are an abundance of ways to incorporate these symbols into your day, both in subtle and bold ways.

Wedding Bells

The old saying “wedding bells are ringing” is one that many have heard. This symbol earned its mark in religious ceremonies, where in the past a bell would be rung to symbolize a couple’s matrimony. This measure was also thought to ward off evil spirits. There are an abundance of ways to incorporate this symbol into your day, such as having a flower girl ringing a bell as she walks down the aisle or giving the job of ringing a bell at the end of the ceremony to one special guest. Alternatively, you can place wedding bells at each place setting for guests to ring throughout your reception or decorate with vintage-inspired paper wedding bells.

Doves

A bride and groom holding white doves.

Doves are a classic wedding symbol because they symbolize a new beginning. You may choose to release doves (if you can do so humanely, of course) as a part of your wedding ceremony. If you don’t want to have real doves as a part of your event, instead consider incorporating them onto your wedding stationery.

The Infinity Symbol

The infinity symbol is commonly associated with weddings since the intention of a marriage is to bind two people together forever. This symbol can be easily added to your day in a variety of ways. First, the bride and groom can incorporate infinity symbols into their wedding day attire; a bride may wear an infinity symbol necklace while a groom can wear cufflinks sporting the symbol. Another way to add the infinity symbol into your wedding is to arrange candles on tables in the shape. This could make for artful and meaningful decor.

Butterflies

A bridal headband with gold butterflies.

Butterflies are another symbol that stands for new beginnings, referring to the metamorphosis that caterpillars undergo when they turn into beautiful new creatures. For that reason, butterflies are a symbol frequently associated with weddings. There are so many ways to incorporate this beautiful imagery into your big day. For instance, you can have paper butterflies cut to act as escort cards. If you’re feeling really creative, you can even make these to sit atop champagne glasses for guests to take as they enter your ceremony or reception.

Finally, add butterflies into your big day by having guests do a live butterfly release at the end of your wedding ceremony. These can be purchased and given to every guest as they enter the ceremony. This addition to your ceremony is a lovely way to commemorate your new beginning as a married couple.

Rice

A bride and groom exiting their wedding with their guests throwing rice on them.

Especially in years past, it was a common tradition to throw rice at a couple as they exited their wedding ceremony. In some cultures, rice was known to be a symbol of fertility, prosperity, and health. Another possible origin of this tradition comes from the belief that evil spirits were attracted to weddings because they were jealous of the bride; it was believed that these spirits were also hungry, so rice would give them something to eat, distracting them from the bride.

Since rice is not always thrown at weddings these days for environmental reasons, couples frequently look for things to throw in the spirit of rice to maintain the symbolism. Instead, couples can opt to have guests blow bubbles, toss birdseed, or throw dried flowers instead. This still incorporates the idea into the ceremony while being earth-friendly.

Although the times may change, these classic wedding symbols remain. Incorporate them into your wedding with these simple ideas or any other creative way that strikes your fancy.

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