“My wish isn’t to mean everything to everyone, but something to someone.” – Oscar Wilde
The ritual of the Blessing, or Wishing Stones, as they are sometimes 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 makes contact with the Bride and Groom at some point during the day. This tradition may be performed during the actual ceremony itself (before the blessing), at the conclusion of the service (in a receiving line manner), or at the reception.
When the guests arrive at the ceremony, they are given a “Blessing Stone,” usually a round, flat and dark-colored stone, along with a small note card with words printed on it such as: `My wish for you is…” or “May you be blessed with…” or “May God bless you with…”
During the ceremony, the Officiant explains the significance of the Blessing Stones.
“We all recognize that 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. The stones are called “Blessing Stones.”
Since we all wish nothing but the best that life has to offer this couple, I’d like to ask each of you to complete the sentence on the card and sign your name, so your best wishes and your blessings for the bride and groom may always be a reminder of your love for them on this day of celebration.”
At some point (either during or after the ceremony), the guests share their blessing or wish with the newlyweds and toss the Blessing Stone into a “Blessing Bowl,” a “Wishing Well,” or whatever vessel is used to contain the water.
After the guests have disposed of their Blessing Stones, they place their “love notes” into a basket or box for the couple to reflect on at a later time. Many couples keep the 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 tradition would be at an outdoor wedding near a body of water (lake, pond, ocean, etc.) or fountain. Stones are either gathered at the site or provided for the guests. After the ceremony, everyone follows the wedding party’s recessional to the water, makes a wish or blessing for the couple, and casts their stone into the water.
The Officiant then 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 may also be said during an 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…”