Non-Denominational Wedding Officiants
Many wedding officiants have canceled their contracts because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving brides and grooms in a panic.
Has your minister canceled on you? Don’t fret! Give me a call!
Get in touch with me at 440-623-8754. Tell me the details, and I’ll be there on your big day to marry you to the love of your life.
All our officiants are licensed by the state of Ohio.
The following officiants perform religious, secular, and civil ceremonies in Central Ohio and Columbus.
Wedding Traditions—Where did they come from?
From engagement rings to something blue and something borrowed. Have you ever given a thought to where these wedding customs came from?
Here’s the lowdown on the origins of all our favorite wedding traditions—some of which date back to many centuries ago.
The Diamond Engagement Ring
Engagement rings date back to the Roman era when men “bartered” for their wives. The engagement ring was given as a sign of commitment to marry her.
Engagement rings weren’t always made of diamonds, but as the world realized the value of the precious gems and they became known for their unmatched beauty, diamonds were considered to be the ultimate symbol of love.
The Bachelor Party
Bachelor parties are a way to bid goodbye to the future groom’s life as a single man. They can be small and simple with a few of the groom’s closest guy friends or wild and chaotic with a large party.
Back in the day, the groom-to-be and his friends enjoyed a night of gambling during bachelor parties. This was because after a man got married, his wife monitored his finances, so a bachelor party was the last night for him to enjoy his money.
The Bridal Shower
Bridal Showers are a beautiful occasion for a bride’s loved ones to give their best to her by gifting useful household items she may need as she starts a new chapter in her life.
Although bridal showers considered a celebration of the bride-to-be, they weren’t always a joyous occasion.
The concept of bridal showers began when a father refused to pay a dowry for his daughter’s marriage, so all the village people gathered and gave gifts she’d need in the future, consisting of household items.
The Best Man & Bridal Party
The custom of the bridal party and the best man dates back to the tribes of Europe. Whenever a woman was to be married, it was assumed that intruders were lurking around to take her away. The groom and his “best man” were supposed to fight the intruder and protect the bride.
In the meantime, the bride and her friends dressed the same to confuse the intruder. It was later decided that the bride should wear white to represent her purity and innocence. The groom and the Best Man dressed similarly to protect his identity and prevent intruders from harming him.
The Dowry, Trousseau, and Hope Chest
Centuries ago, marriage wasn’t just a union between two individuals; it was an exchange between two families.
The groom’s family paid a fair amount of money to the bride’s family, and in return, the bride’s family gave the couple a dowry consisting of vital household items.
Prior to the wedding, in preparation for her marriage, the bride collected various items as part of her dowry, such as clothes, embroidered linens, jewelry, etc. She stored all these in a “hope chest” built by her father.
The trousseau consisted of all the property and clothes the bride brought with her. Modern-day trousseaus contain bridal shower and wedding gifts, and anything else the bride purchased for herself.
Banns of Marriage
The banns of marriage are announcements made by the Catholic Church for three successive Sundays. The purpose of the banns was to let the public know that the couple intended to get married and prompt anyone who objected to the marriage to come forth.
The Wedding Band
Compared to engagement rings, wedding bands are simple. They’re made out of precious metals for their durability and value.
The circle represents eternal love between the pair and their commitment to each other. The ring is worn on the ring finger of the left hand (after the engagement ring is moved to the other hand) because people believed that it connected directly to the heart.
The Bridal Gown
Brides didn’t always have a special dress made for the big day. Before the 17th Century, brides just wore their favorite gowns for their weddings. Bridal dresses didn’t exist until 1840 when Queen Victoria had an elaborate white gown made for her wedding.
The white gown quickly became a global trend and has stuck around since then.
The Bridal Veil
A wedding dress looks incomplete without a bridal veil. Today the veil is just an accessory for the bride, but traditionally, they represented virginity and modesty.
Bridal veils are removed after the couple has been wed and can enjoy their reception as husband and wife.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
The phrase was part of an English rhyme. The old and new items represent the bride’s transition from singlehood to married life. The borrowed item symbolizes her loved ones’ approval, and the blue item represents fidelity.
The Bride’s Bouquet
Bridal bouquets were initially made of herbs and flowers; many of them contained dill because they were said to kindle feelings of lust between the couple.
Modern bridal bouquets no longer have herbs, but they’re made of beautiful flowers representing new beginnings and purity.
Seating Family and Guests
Couples take days planning their seating charts, making sure that all guests are happy and comfortable during the wedding.
Seating family and guests wasn’t as complicated before; the bride’s side was seated on the left of the hall, and the groom’s loved ones sat on the right.
Elderly loved ones are seated in the front seats, closest to the altar.
Not all couples feel the need to make children a part of the ceremony, but many include flower girls and ring bearers to represent innocence.
White Aisle Runner
Aisle runners are laid down to represent a path to God’s holiness. Among many religions, marriage is seen as a pious act.
The groom stands to the left of the minister/officiant during the ceremony. Bridesmaids arrive holding the left arm of the Groomsmen. The Best Man enters with the Maid of Honor holding his left arm.
Next, the Flower Girls come, followed by the Ring Bearer. The bride and whoever is giving her away come right at the end.
Dropping Rose Petals On the Isle
In traditional weddings, Flower Girls drop rose petals on the isle keep evil spirits away from the ceremony.
Giving the Bride Away
The concept of giving away the bride originated from the arranged marriages that were very common in ancient times, but the meaning has evolved over the years.
The father “giving away” the bride is a declaration to all the witnesses (the guests) that he has chosen the groom for his daughter and believes he will make her happy. The ritual also represents the father giving something precious (his daughter) to the groom.
Everyone’s Position at the Altar
The bride stands on the groom’s left because traditionally, the right hand must remain free in case he needs his sword.
The Officiant/Minister always stands in the middle, facing the guests because he’s responsible for declaring them as a married couple.
In Judaism, couples stand under a huge decorative canopy representing nomads’ tends from Israel and the home the couple will share.
Usually, we let ladies do things first—but not at weddings. Grooms walk to the altar and say their vows before the bride because, in the older days, men were the initiators of covenants. By doing so, he also takes on more responsibility (being the primary breadwinner).
Holding Each Other’s Right Hand
The right hand symbolizes purpose, strength, and resources. Holding each other’s right hand means the bride and groom can rely on each other.
Breaking glass is a Jewish custom that symbolizes the demolition of the temple in Israel. Couples often keep a piece of glass that was broken at their wedding ceremonies.
At traditional weddings, the bride and groom each hold a small candle and light a “unity candle” to represent the union of their families.
The smaller candles are often lit by the mothers of the bride and groom prior to the ceremony.
After the ceremony, the bride and the groom exit the hall first, followed by Ring Bearer and Flower Girls. The Best Man and the Maid of Honor follow them, the Groomsmen and the Bridesmaids go next, and the Officiant/Minister leaves last.
Walk Through the Arch Of Swords
The custom of walking through an arch of swords is most common in military families. It represents the newly-weds safe path to their new lives.
At traditional weddings, the wedding party threw rice as the newly-weds walked out of the church as a symbol of goodwill and blessings.
In some cultures, wheat and rice were thrown to symbolize fertility.
Most modern couples don’t have the receiving line, but traditionally this was a chance to greet the bride, groom, and their parents.
At some weddings, the couple, and their closest loved ones gather in a private room to toast the newlyweds before heading to the reception.
Signing The Guest Book And Wedding Documents
The Guest Book is a keepsake for the bride and groom; the guests give their best wishes to the newly-weds. Guests typically sign it after the wedding ceremony.
At some point, the couple signs wedding documents, so their union becomes a part of the public record.
Pronouncing the Couple “Man and Wife”
Once the Officiant/Minister pronounces the bride and groom “Man and Wife,” they are officially married.
Kissing the Bride
In the Roman era, the groom kissing the bride after the ceremony sealed the legal bond; without the kiss, the wedding was considered null and void.
The Wedding Reception
The wedding reception is the celebration of the wedding ceremony. The wedding party drinks wine to represent the couple’s bond with God. The newly-weds cut the wedding cake as a symbol of their unity.
The couple thanks their guests by giving them mementos of the big day.
Tossing The Bouquet
The tradition of the bride tossing her bouquet originated in England. It was a way of the bride passing her good fortune to the other single ladies at the wedding. Whoever catches the bouquet should be getting married next.
Throwing The Garter
The custom of throwing the wife’s garter is the groom’s way of sharing his good fortune with the single men at the party. The man who catches the groom is expected to get married next.
Leaving The Reception
Old shoes are tied to the back of the couple’s car to symbolize the “transfer of property” (the bride going from her father to the groom).
In traditional weddings, bells ring, horns are honked, and firecrackers are lit to keep evil spirits away.
Now that the wedding is over, the couple can enjoy some time away from their loved ones by going on a trip.
In the Middle Ages, the couple’s friends gathered outside the room and banged pots and pans, and fired gunshots in the air to playfully disturb the bride and groom on their wedding night.
Groom Carries The Bride Over The Threshold
The romantic gesture of carrying his new wife over the threshold protects her from evil spirits that hid underneath. He picks her up and safely moves her into their new home to start the next chapter of their lives.
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