Fall inspires creativity with its breathtaking colors, brisk air, and the promise of holidays to come. If you have wedding planning on the brain, perhaps you’re wondering how to channel that feeling of excited anticipation by inviting the holidays into your ceremony.
Here are a few holiday-inspired ceremony ideas to consider.
The Hindu Festival of Lights is celebrated in autumn, and denotes the victory of light over dark, good over evil. The five days of celebration offer rituals easily incorporated into wedding festivities: Feasts, family, fireworks, and favors.
- Consider a row of lanterns, candles, or more authentically, oil lamps made of clay, in your ceremony space.
- Ask each member of your wedding party to light a candle and offer you a blessing as they do.
- In keeping with the celebration, incorporate bright colors of red and gold, traditional colors for Indian weddings.
There’s so much to be thankful for when a wedding is about to happen!
- Breathtaking colors of reds and oranges make a beautiful backdrop to an outdoor ceremony space.
- Add to the beauty of nature by painting the landscape plum, apple red, or peach with wedding party attire.
- Cornucopias make great décor for tables and remind us that life is full of abundance. Tailor your vows to include what you are thankful for.
- If you prefer a more traditional look, use white pumpkins, candles housed in hurricane lamps, white flowers, and crystals for your tables.
Borrow some of the beauty of the Jewish holiday.
- There’s nothing more impactful for a ceremony space then an elaborately adorned chuppah. Traditionally the arbor symbolizes the home the couple will build together. For instance, the chuppah can include branches, garlands of flowers, flowy fabrics, crystals, and delicate white lights.
- A menorah celebrates a miracle, when a one-day supply of lamp oil lasted eight days and nights. Let the menorah’s nine branches (eight for each day of light, plus the helper in the middle) inspire you to include candelabras in your ceremony. You and your partner might each light one of the candles in the candelabra and share something you love about each other as you do. Alternate lighting the candles, so your acknowledgements weave in and out of your ritual like a dance.
- Blue and white are associated with the Jewish holiday. Their meanings have evolved over time, but are considered to be symbolic for truth and wisdom, and purity and light, respectively. Fun fact: Blue was the most popular color this year for country weddings. And white, well, we don’t have to tell you about that.
If you grew up waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve, this holiday may make you nostalgic.
- Incorporate that feeling into your ceremony with colors of green and red, garlands of holly, and crystals to represent snow. Kiss the Bride under mistletoe.
- Use decorated Christmas trees to create a festive border on either side of your ceremony space. Choose ornaments in colors that support your wedding theme, or simple crystal snowflakes to represent the time of year.
- Walk down the aisle to an instrumental version of Oh Holy Night.
The African-American culture honors 7 principles with the lighting of candles: Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith.
- Ask your JP to incorporate these core principles in your ceremony to define who you will be for each other in marriage.
- Kwanza means first fruits, and celebrates family, community and culture. It’s considered a harvest celebration. Decorate your ceremony space with baskets of fruits, nuts, and vegetables to represent the gathering of family and affirmation of bonds between them.
- Walk down the aisle on a mkeka, a mat made of straw. A mkeka represents hard work and gathering of people in joy, sharing, and unity.
The holiday of love is perfect for a love-themed wedding.
- Select the familiar sonnet written by Elizabeth Barret Browning in 1850, How Do I Love Thee?, as a reading to bring Victorian romance to your ceremony. A passage from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 defines love with a more spiritual tone.
- Red roses say, “I love you.” Use them in your bouquet, boutonnieres, aisle runners, arbor, or in tall crystal vases to define your wedding space. In this case, too many is just right; you can never say “I love you” enough.
- The first Valentine’s Day card was sent in 1806. Ask your JP to share his or her thoughts about the role that love has in a successful marriage. Select words from heart-warming Valentine’s cards that inspire you.
The Justice of the Peace or notary you selected to officiate your wedding has a wealth of knowledge. Tap into this resource as you incorporate traditions, rituals, and words from the holidays you love. Each wedding ceremony is unique, and your JP has witnessed many. Together, brainstorm ideas to make your holiday-inspired ceremony everything you’ve dreamed of.
Find your perfect JP at findaJP.com
Cindy Dumont is a Justice of the Peace in North Hampton, New Hampshire.