Wedding Ceremonies

A curated episode list by

Creation Date September 21st, 2019
Updated Date Updated November 27th, 2020
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About This List

As a wedding officiant and life-cycle celebrant, I create rituals to celebrate the cycles of nature and the milestones of life. Among the milestones are weddings and baby blessings. Check out episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, and 20.
  1. Can't have everyone you want in your wedding party? Don't give those special people boring tasks! Give them a meaningful role in your ceremony. How? With a creative wedding ritual.  Here are 3 of my "gift-giving" rituals. One involves bamboo and is based on the couple's love of Giant Pandas. One uses lifelike, laser-cut moths. One was inspired by the groom's profession as a pastry chef. That ritual is based on the mythological properties of flours.  See episodes 5, 6, and 10 for other gift-giving wedding rituals.  Not planning a wedding? These rituals can easily be adapted for birthdays, retirement parties, and other occasions.  
  2. Unity candles and sand ceremonies are lovely but couples do have other options. On this episode, you'll find ways to personalize the meaning of the traditional rituals and discover new rituals inspired by the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Any ritual can fall flat without context. For example, the fire of a Unity Candle can symbolize the porch light a parent leaves burning until her "child" -- of whatever age -- arrives home safely. That same flame will mean something else to an Eagle Scout who had to learn how to make fire to survive.   For a water-inspired unity ritual that blends wine, look to Wine Spectator magazine. Draw some wedding wisdom from what they have to say about the top wines of the year.  Use silk-like butterflies for a ritual inspired by air. Unite the couple and all their guests in a unity ritual around the Om chant. Plant a tree for a ritual inspired by earth. Or, designate personal meaning to the colors poured in a sand ceremony. Or talk about the origin of the sand if that's what distinguishes is. 
  3. Include prayer flags for a visual wedding ritual or meaningful activity with children. Create fantastical blessings inspired by visionary activist Caroline Casey. Get Zita's take on what really happened when Dorothy Gale clicked her ruby slippers 3 times.  See: Caroline Casey at
  4. How to use the physical and metaphysical properties of butterflies to create rituals for wedding ceremonies, funeral services, and memorial celebrations of life.  Did you know that in some Native American traditions, a butterfly is thought to be a living piece of a rainbow? That's just one of several nuggets from folklore and cultures around the world used to create the "Butterfly Blessings" ritual.  Originally created for a wedding, the ritual is easily adapted for birthdays and as a self-affirming activity for children.  The Butterfly Blessings ritual uses butterflies made of feathers, cloth, or paper. No live butterflies!  See the book, Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by the late Ted Andrews.   For other gifting rituals, see Garden Gifts (Episode 5) and Gifts from the Trees (Episode 6).  
  5. Did you know that unicorns like ash trees? That the locust tree represents strength and the will to live? That planting a juniper by the front door is said to protect the home from thieves? What magical gifts do the trees in your neighborhood offer?  Gifts from the Trees is a ritual that can be used for woodland weddings, unity rituals, birthdays, retirement parties, croning ceremonies, memorial services, and more. Looking for a simple ritual to bring love into your life? Step 1: Cut an apple to reveal a star, symbol of Venus, Goddess of Love.  See the shownotes for more, including photos and helpful resources. Go to
  6. Should an officiant add a "bad weather" clause to the contract?  The Bride and Groom chose to be the ushers at the end of the ceremony.  JP feels odd about the ceremony on a balcony.  Renewal of Vows includes a very cool "Pre-Nup".

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