What’s the Difference?
Between a wedding ceremony and a wedding ritual…
These two words are used interchangeably among Celebrants and Officiants. There is no real right or wrong, here. I differentiate between the two just so that it makes things a bit easier for couples (and me) to understand.
A Wedding Ceremony in my way of doing things is the entire enchilada, the whole time we spend doing what we do in front of our family and friends. So from the moment the music starts and the party starts down the aisle right through until the end when the party heads back up the aisle.
A Wedding Ritual is just a ingredient in the enchilada. So the way I start my part of the ceremony (after the party comes down the aisle) is with setting The Intention or the reason for us to be there in the first place. This is a ritual.
When I sit down with a couple I may suggest other rituals. These may include an alternate ring exchange, hand-fasting, sand ritual, cultural/religious ritual, Celtic stone toss (not at the guests, smarty!) or other special rituals. Rituals may be just between the Celebrant (good ol’ me) and the couple. They may include other family members or guests. Last summer I did a hand-fasting that included the parents wrapping the cords and then each parent spoke a blessing on the couple. It was sooooo cool! The more people participating, the more colour, the more personal the ceremony.
Another way of thinking of it is like this. You have a 24-hour period of time. This can be called your Monday ceremony. Within that Monday you have rituals that you do. These may include hitting the snooze seventeen times, turning on the coffee, showering (please do!), breakfast, dressing, starting the car, going to work, etc… You see what I mean.
Have you ever wondered about what kind of rituals there are? You can even invent a ritual just for you! Just Google Wedding Rituals or even Wedding Ceremonies. Here are a few links to look at: