Ceremony of the Rose (The First Gift)

Couples may choose to add a Rose Ceremony to honor their mothers, and thank them for raising the couple and bringing them to this joyous occasion. The Rose Ceremony can also be incorporated as a Remembrance.  Brides may place a rose on a chair for their mother (or the groom’s mother) if either have passed away. Even though this may be difficult, it is an elegant and dignified way to honor a beloved family member, now departed.

Version 1

The Ceremony of the Rose symbolizes the merging of the Bride’s and Groom’s families. When the Bride enters, she has in her possession two roses, usually red. As she approaches the altar, the Bride will stop and offer a rose and a kiss to her mother or significant mother figure. In doing this, she is expressing her gratitude for preparing her for this moment and for receiving the man she is about to marry into her family.

When the wedding ceremony has ended and she and the Groom exit, the Bride will stop and offer a rose and a kiss to the Groom’s mother or significant maternal figure. In doing this, she is expressing her gratitude for preparing her new husband for this moment and for receiving her into the Groom’s family. A variation you may consider is to present both roses either upon the entrance or upon the exit.

Version 2

(The Officiant says): Groom and Bride have chosen to give each other a rose which is their first gift as husband and wife.

(At this time, the Officiant will give both the Bride and the Groom a rose, and they, in turn, will present their rose to each other.)

This rose was born of the tiniest of seeds and has blossomed into the beautiful flower that it is today. And so it is with your relationship. It began as a small feeling that grew and eventually blossomed into something beautiful.

And now you stand before us today to make a commitment to each other as husband and wife. Since you know that love must be shared, it is your desire to share these first gifts with two very special people, two people who helped to prepare you for this moment and molded you into the individuals that you are today.

The Bride and Groom turn and present their roses to their mothers or significant mother figures and offer a hug or a kiss.

Version 3

(The Officiant says): Today you will receive the most honorable titles that exist between a man and a woman—the titles of husband and wife. You have chosen to give each other a rose as your first gift. In the language of flowers, the rose was considered a symbol of love, and a single rose meant only one thing: “I love you.” So it is appropriate that your first gift to each other as husband and wife will be a single rose. Please exchange your gifts.

(The Bride and Groom present each other with a rose.)

Groom and Bride, because you both have given and received this symbol of love, I would encourage you to choose one very special place in your home for roses. Then on each anniversary, you both may take a rose to that special place as a recommitment to your marriage, and express with this symbol that your marriage is a marriage based on love.

In every marriage, there are times when it is difficult to verbalize certain feelings. Sometimes, we hurt those whom we love most, then find it difficult to say, “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” or “I need you.”

When you simply cannot find these words, leave a rose at your specially chosen place, and let that rose say what matters most—”I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words that cannot be found, and remember that the unspoken love is the hope you share and the faith you have in your future together as husband and wife.

The Rose Ceremony is simple yet profoundly moving. The bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other

La Biblia, las Arras, y el Lazo (a Hispanic Tradition)

The Bible, Coins, and Cord (La Biblia, las Arras, y el Lazo) are Hispanic traditions most often associated with Mexican weddings, although Spain, the Philippines and other Latin American countries use variations of these, as well. They are symbolic of the spiritual, physical, and emotional elements in a marriage

The Bible symbolizes the religious guidance and wise counsel for life’s decisions—the spiritual element. The thirteen coins represent the financial support and blessings for their home—the physical element. The cord signifies the union of their lives and hearts as one common destiny—the emotional element.

Bible (la Biblia)—Spiritual

After the Bride and Groom exchange their vows and rings, Sponsors, or Padrinos, bring forth a white Bible and a Rosary and place it in the hands of the Bride and Groom.

While they are holding it, the Officiant will bless the Bible, after which the Sponsors take the Bible and Rosary and sit back down.

Coins (las Arras)—Physical

The Coin Sponsors bring forth the box of coins and empty it into the Groom’s hands.

The thirteen coins are a symbol of the care that the Bride and Groom will give in order for their home to have everything it needs. The coins also are a sign of the blessings of God and all the good things they will share together.

The Officiant blesses the coins. The Groom drops the coins into the Bride’s hands and says a short vow promising to provide for the family’s needs.

The Bride responds, accepting the Groom’s gift of dedication, and promising that everything provided will be used with care for the benefit of their home and family. The Sponsors then take the coins and sit down.

Cord and Veil Ceremony – Emotional

In Filipino wedding tradition, the Cord and Veil ceremony is usually done at the end of the wedding, after the couple has been pronounced husband and wife.

The veil symbolizes living under God’s protection and being clothed as one. The Veil Sponsors, usually a male and female from each side of the family, place a white veil over the shoulders of the couple, who are traditionally kneeling.

The Officiant explains the significance of the veil, after which it is removed by the Veil Sponsors.

Finally, the Cord Sponsors place the cord in a figure eight around the shoulders of the kneeling Bride and Groom. The Officiant blesses their union, after which the Cord Sponsors remove the cord and sit down.

Forever, Together is pleased to offer this elegant wedding tradition, in both English and Spanish, at no additional cost.

The Blessing Stones (Wishing Stones)

The ritual of the Blessing Stones, or Wishing Stones, as they sometimes are called, is a wonderful way to include everyone in the wedding by way of offering blessings and good wishes to the newlyweds. It also is a good way to ensure that everyone will make contact with the Bride and Groom at some point during the day. This ritual may be performed at the actual ceremony itself (before the blessing), or at the conclusion of the service (in a receiving line manner), or later at the reception.

When the guests arrive at the ceremony, they are given a Stone along with a note card with words printed on it such as: `”My wish for you is…”, “May you be blessed with..” or “May God bless you with…”

During the ceremony, the Officiant explains the significance of the Blessing Stones.

(The Officiant says): Today is a very blessed occasion in the lives of (Groom) and (Bride). You have been invited here today because of your special relationship with them. When you arrived, you received a stone along with a note card. These are called “Blessing Stones.”

Since we all desire nothing but the best that life has to offer this couple, I ask each of you to complete the sentence on the card and sign your name, so your best wishes and your blessings for (Groom) and (Bride) always may be a reminder of your love for them on this day of celebration.

At some point (either during or after the service), the guests will share their blessing or wish with the newlyweds and toss the Blessing Stone into a Blessing Bowl, a Wishing Well, a Fountain, or whatever is chosen to hold the water. They then may place their “love note” into a basket or box for the couple to reflect on at a later time. Many couples keep their Blessing Stones in a special place in their home (a vase of flowers, around a candle, in an aquarium, etc.) to remind them of all the love, good wishes, and blessings they share because of their family and friends.

A variation of this ritual would be at an outdoor wedding near a body of water (lake, pond, ocean, etc.). Stones either are gathered at the site or provided for the guests. After the ceremony, everyone follows the Bride and Groom’s recessional to the water, makes a wish or blessing for them and casts their stone into the water.

(The Officiant says): The ripples that are made in the water represent the love and good wishes not only for this couple, but for all the world. For as our ripples cross and recross one another’s, so our love and good wishes touch and retouch all those around us and all those with whom we come into contact throughout our lives. (This also may be said at the indoor ceremony).

You can be as creative as you want with this ritual. Here are some ideas:

  • Stones—you may use decorative stones, rose quartz stones, which symbolize love, or other pebbles from a special place.
  • Container for water—you will need a Blessing Bowl (any decorative basin, bowl, or bucket will work), or a table top fountain, or a Wishing Well (as large and elaborate or as small and simple as you wish).
  • Love Notes—buy decorative, ready-made note cards from a stationery or craft store and print your opening blessing phrase on them, or, for an even more personal touch, design and print your own note cards at home on your computer. Remember to begin your blessing phrase with: `My wish for you is…” or `May you be blessed with…” or `May God bless you with…”