As expected…while I was back home over the Labor Day weekend I was bombarded with wedding questions.  Most of them were typical, where’s the wedding gonna be, what does your dress look like, what type of flowers will you have…and then there’s my mom.

She tends to ask the most detailed questions and when I stare at her funny she says, “well people are asking!”…to which I reply…”really mom…people are asking you if we’re going to have programs for the ceremony?”  Not that this isn’t a legit question…in say 8 months when we are actually thinking about ceremony programs!!!  How am I supposed to think about programs when we don’t even know what our ceremony is going to be like?!

Truth be told…I actually have thought about what I want to include in our ceremony.  Along with the traditional stuff…music, vows, readings…there are a couple other “things” that have caught my eye recently…

Tree Planting:

Similar to the unity candle and the “sand mixing” alternative….in the Tree Planting Ceremony the bride and groom plant a tree together!


The general idea is to have a small tree in a pot, and then have the bride and groom both add soil.

found here

I have also seen where the mothers then come up and add water to the tree…to symbolize the parental guidance over the couple and their commitment to helping the relationship “grow” …so to speak.  I think this would make for a really cool take-away from the ceremony…once you get home you can plant the tree in your yard and watch it grow over the years…and every time you see it you’ll be reminded of the vows you made to each other on that special day!

Hand Ceremony:

Now this idea I fell in love with long ago.

image found here

When I read Mrs. Cherry Pie’s version of a handfasting ceremony I instantly knew I wanted to include something similar.

Kat, take Justin’s hands palms up,
so you may see the gift that they are to you:

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

Now Justin, please take Kat’s hands, palms up,
so you may see the gift that they are to you:

These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young, and carefree,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as she promises to love you all the days of her life.

Now, please join hands so that they may be fasted in the ways of old.
Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…

[Cords are held aloft]

The love already shared by your hearts
Has been strengthened by the vows you have taken
You will be bound by your love as you are bound by your clasped hands
From now until the end of your days

[As the following is recited, the couples hands are wrapped with cords]

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as you build your future together
These are the hands that will hold you whenever illness, fear, or grief may find you.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children
These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours
[Binding is finished and cords are knotted] Bless these hands that you see before you this day.
May they always reach out with love, gentleness, and respect.
May they build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
May they always be held by one another.
If you follow these words and heed this sacred binding,
your hands will heal, protect, shelter, and guide.
Now, you may remove the cords,
but remember the knot as a lasting symbol of your binding and commitment

[Cords are removed stowed]

*taken from Mrs. Cherry Pie’s ceremony on Weddingbee

I have found several variations of the hand ceremony out there in internet-land.  There are generally two different types:  one where your hands are physically tied together with a ribbon or fancy rope, and the other is where the bride and groom take turns placing their hands palms up in the others’ hands while the passage is read accordingly.


I think you could easily combine the two different styles (like Mrs Cherry Pie did!) and make it unique to you as a couple!  Similar to writing your own vows…you could easily add in some of your own lines to personalize it.  Like say for instance…I might add a line in with my hands saying

“These are the hands that will high five you each time the Vikings and Huskers make a touchdown”

So yeah…I definitely think we will include some rendition of the hand ceremony as part of our service.

Does anyone else plan to either do a Tree Planting or Hand Ceremony?  Likewise if you DID include either of these as part of your ceremony I would love to hear what you thought about it!!