Rituals: A Guide to Alternative Ceremonies


Ritual and tradition are at the heart of all wedding ceremonies. With the rise in secular or non-religious weddings, couples are returning to some lovely ancient rituals that are truly meaningful and allow for a beautifully personalised ceremony. Here are some of the most popular rituals amongst couples today.


Probably one of the most recognisable ceremonies, this ancient Celtic practice originated in pre-Christian times. Ribbons, fabric or material which can have a special or sentimental meaning is tied around the hands of the couple and formed into a knot. This binding ritual is actually where the phrase “tying the knot” comes from.

The Wine Box Ritual

Perfect for the wine connoisseurs, this ritual involves placing a bottle of wine along with handwritten notes or love letters into a sealed box. Depending on how long you wish to wait, the box is opened on your 1st or 50th! Wedding anniversary. Read the letters to each other and enjoy a glass of wine as you reminisce about your special Day.

The Sand Ceremony

This ritual incorporates grains of sand from areas of significance for each person, (a childhood beach for example). The grains of sand are poured into a vessel symbolizing combined lives and destinies. The thinking behind this one is that grains of sand, just like the couple getting married, can never be separated. This ritual can also be carried out with soil or water.

Read about more wedding rituals in The Spring Edit of GalwayNow, on shelves now.