After photographing weddings for over 17 years, I’ve seen and captured a lot of different wedding traditions. It’s always interesting to see what traditions couples turn to and make their own. Christian wedding traditions are so widely used in other religions too. Some of these do in fact pop up in different religions as well, and even make appearances in non-Christian weddings. Today I wanted to share 12 essential Christian Wedding Traditions that have stood the test of time.
While it’s common for other religions to sing as part of their services and Christian wedding ceremonies as well. The Christian Bible encourages its followers to sing in times of praise, joy, sorrow, and helplessness. The songs in a Christian wedding are sung in a joyful tone.
Another word for service. During a Christian wedding, it’s pretty typical to include a homily or service by the officiant. In more modern ceremonies, the officiant will reference passages to the couple and how the words can guide them. However, in more traditional ceremonies, the message can be broader and more extended, resembling more of a full church service. Depending on the couple’s denomination, this part of the ceremony can vary.
Tying of the Rope
There are so many different types of unity ceremonies performed, but the threefold rope is one of my personal favorites. In this ceremony, the couple braids three pieces of rope together to show that each of them becomes one. It also shows that a rope with this strength will not easily break, which symbolizes the importance of their marriage.
Another popular unity ceremony that is included in many Christian Weddings is the Unity Candle. Lighting candles have widely been regarded as representing Christ- the light of the world. Lighting the candle represents their faith in their unity.
The Wedding Dress
Most weddings, religious or not, include at least a white wedding dress, and may also include the veil. This tradition does actually stem from the Christian faith as well! White is a color of purity in the Christian faith and is meant to represent the bride’s, pure heart.
The Groom Entering First
The groom entering the ceremony first is meant to symbolize the groom’s dedication to the bride. It is one of the Christian wedding traditions that is used throughout all religions and weddings.
The Bridal Veil
In its simplest form, the veil is meant to represent modesty. In Christianity, many couples choose to save themselves for marriage, and the veil is a physical representation of purity.
Father Handing Off the Bride
Walking your daughter down the aisle is something many fathers look forward to as their child grows up. In the Christian faith, the father handing off his daughter indicates passing off the responsibility.
The Passing of the Rings
For some Christian weddings, the rings are passed around, then to the couple to exchange. Why is that? Besides logistics, this order ensures the blessing of the rings before they are exchanged by the betrothed.
Presenting the Couple
When a couple is married, they are assuming a new identity with each other. When the officiant presents the couple, it is drawing attention to their new identity as a married couple.
In many religions, celebrations or victories are marked with a meal shared between friends and family to mark the occasion. Many couples choose to say grace before the meal to bless the couple on their new journey.
The Wedding Ring
Last but not least, the wedding rings. Rings are another tradition that is used in nearly every wedding ceremony, regardless of religion. Rings represent an unbreakable, never-ending bond. The rings are a reminder of a promise made to love and cherish each other for the rest of their lives.
Contact me for more information if you’d like to learn more about the different types of traditions.