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The most wonderful part of my job as a wedding officiant is to creatively, co-create a ceremony to fit the personalities of each couple I work with. So every ceremony I design is different and fresh. As a ceremony designer as well as a qualified officiant my job is to help merge the traditional with a contemporary flair. I enjoy taking a traditional theme and weave it into something new, especially for the Unity Ritual.

A marriage ceremony is a ritual that honors the couples legal union. Through sub-ceremonies/rituals a couple can express their cultures and beliefs. A unity ritual usually takes place right after the vows and rings have been exchanged but can also be put in a different order, depending on the flow of the ceremony. Through my process of getting to know a couple I usually can get a good idea of what they hold sacred and what they enjoy doing together. This is where my knowledge of other traditions and my creativity come in to whip something together that becomes magical, alive and true to the couples spirits. I like to use objects that have meaning and an energy to remind the sub-conscience¬†when gazing on the object to help the mind re-visit a feeling of that special day. Often times the wedding day is filled with so much love and joy and the unity ritual object can bring the couple right back to that day. Let’s face it, life happens and we can get lost in the everyday tribulations of life. Having an object present in the couples home can be a reminder of why they got married, why they love and admire about each other. That object could be the saving grace to a rough spot in the marriage.

I will be blogging about different types of rituals in the next few months that you can use and make them your own.

My first one I want to share is “The Blanket Wedding Ceremony”. This is a Native American tradition but can easily be reconstructed to create an idea of your own. When I think of a blanket in general it gives me a warm, cozy feeling. Several ideas come to my mind about using a blanket. Each person might have a special blanket that they have had for years that gave them comfort. Perhaps each couple parents could walk down holding the blankets symbolizing their love for their children. During the unity ritual each parent can wrap each child with the blanket and then the couple would take them off as a symbol of honoring and thanking the parents for their love and support over the years. (Certain wording would be used here by the officiant) Then the parents or the couple themselves can have a new blanket that would be wrapped around them symbolizing bringing each other comfort and love. (So many options here)

The Blanket can then be displayed in their home as a reminder of the comfort they bring to each other. Maybe when they have a rough spot they can wrap each other in the blanket. This blanket then becomes a heirloom that can be passed down to other generations.

Gives me happy chills just thinking of the possibilities of using this ritual.

Written by Debbie Belaus

Debbie Belaus

I am a Life Cycle Officiant and ordained minister. I received my Celebrancy diploma from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in 2010. I am highly trained in the art of ritual, ceremony, world and faith traditions, ceremonial writing, public speaking and presentation.