Your wedding ceremony is the most important part of your special day.

It is the time when you will publicly make your vows of commitment to one another and exchange rings. Yet many people spend months planning every other aspect of their wedding, and leave the ceremony itself to chance.

It doesn’t have to be like that. By having a symbolic wedding, or wedding enhancement, you can ensure that the ceremony reflects your personalities and wishes, just like the rest of the day hopefully will.

I provide personalised Symbolic Weddings in Cyprus, such as Wedding Blessings, Wedding Ceremony Enhancements and Renewal of Vows. By liaising with you beforehand, I am able to provide a unique and tailor-made ceremony for you. This can include readings, symbolism, music or pretty much anything that you would like. It can be very traditional, or can reflect your personalities, beliefs, culture and personal wishes. You can write your own vows, or I can provide you with some examples to choose from; and you can include family and friends in the ceremony.


What is a Symbolic Wedding?

A symbolic wedding is a ceremony that has no legal status. This means that there is more flexibility and in fact pretty much anything is possible.

As an Independent Celebrant I am not restricted to any particular actions or set of words and can include music, readings, symbolism and liturgy from anywhere of your choosing. It can be religious, spiritual or non-religious. We can draw on your culture, background and heritage; it can be formal and traditional, or you may choose to do something totally “off the wall.” The choices are endless.

The important thing is to create a ceremony that enables you to mark your special event in the way that is most appropriate to you.

Couples may choose to have a symbolic wedding because:

  • They are getting legally married first, perhaps even in a different country, then at a later date have a symbolic wedding or wedding blessing with all their guests in Cyprus, as if it was the real thing. This means there are no time constraints and greater flexibility to make their special day uniquely reflect their personalities and wishes.

  • They have family and friends in Cyprus who can’t attend the legal wedding, so have a second, symbolic wedding largely for their benefit. This means they can incorporate local tradition if they choose to do so.

  • They have their heart set on a particular date to get married in Cyprus but for whatever reason, the legalities are not sorted out in time, so they have a symbolic wedding with all their guests present, and then have the legal wedding at a later stage, perhaps closer to home.

  • They are having a symbolic gay wedding in Cyprus, just the way they want it!


What is a Ceremony Enhancement?

A Ceremony Enhancement is like the ‘icing on the cake’ that makes your legal wedding really special.

Perhaps you don’t want to separate out the legal wedding from the rest of it, and wish to do it all on the same day. In which case, when the Registrar has finished, I will step forward and continue with a more personalised, uniquely crafted touch, to make sure your ceremony is just the way you would like it to be. Here, we can include readings, symbolic rituals such as Sand Blending or Handfasting, and anything else of your choosing.


Renewal of Vows or Celebration of Relationship

Renewing of wedding vows can be deeply meaningful and personal. If approached with care and thoughtfulness, a renewal of vows ceremony can help to cement the bond of love which already exists between you, and be a real celebration of your relationship, drawing you even closer together.

You may choose to renew your vows for a number of reasons:

  • You wish to celebrate with family and friends who were not able to attend your actual wedding.
  • You want to celebrate a special anniversary by re-affirming your love for one another.
  • You have been through some difficulties together and want to declare your continued love and commitment to each other.
  • Your wedding was not as you wanted it to be and you would like to do it right this time.
  • You just want to tell the world how much you love each other!
  • Perhaps you are not married and don’t want to be wed, but you do want to celebrate your relationship and mark it in a significant way.

As with a symbolic wedding, there is no legal status to a renewal of vows or celebration of relationship. Therefore pretty much anything is possible.

You may choose to invite your friends and family to a grand and formal event. Or you may prefer to find a quiet location, by yourselves or with a few chosen people, and make your commitment or re-commitment to one another using words and symbols that are meaningful to you.

When I am conducting a ceremony, whatever the occasion, my aim is always to make it as personal and special as possible, enabling you to mark your special event in the way that is most appropriate to you.


Some ideas you may want to include:

Sand Blending

The bride and groom each has a container of different coloured sand representing your unique personalities and what you personally bring to the marriage. At a given point during the ceremony, sands are poured together into a communal vase that has been engraved with your names and the date of your ceremony.

As the sand is poured, the colours blend together in a unique and beautiful way that can never be undone. This of course symbolises the two of you coming together and the new relationship that is being formed by your marriage. Just as the sands are blending to form a unique and colourful arrangement, so the two of you are creating something new, beautiful and exciting.

If you have children, they can also have a container of coloured sand each to pour into the communal vase, helping them to feel included in the ceremony and in the marriage.

You keep the vase as a memento of your wedding in Cyprus, carefully wrapped to ensure safe travel back home.


Unity Candle

The bride and groom each light their own candle at the beginning of the ceremony, representing what you bring to the marriage. Towards the end of the ceremony a third, larger candle is lit from the 2 smaller ones symbolising the union of your two hearts and lives.


Handfasting

Handfasting has its roots in ancient Celtic tradition and is commonly used in Wiccan and Pagan ceremonies, but is a lovely ritual for any couple to include in their wedding.

During the ceremony – before, during or after reciting your vows – you will have your hands gently bound together with a ribbon or cord, to symbolise your connection and devotion to one another and the binding of your lives in love and unity.


Dove Release

I can incorporate a dove release during or after your ceremony. Doves mate for life and symbolise love, peace, unity and fidelity. Releasing doves represents the married couple as they begin their life’s new journey together in purity and with no regrets of their past.

It symbolises the beginning of a journey of two lives working together towards the same goal: flying through life together. The doves are specially trained and attend with their handler to assist.


Common interest or Theme

The ceremony can also be based around a lifestyle that you share. For example, if you both enjoy being in or on the water, you might like to consider exchanging your vows on a boat or even on the sea-bed! Cyprus is the perfect place for water-based wedding ceremonies.

Alternatively, if you are both hooked on a particular lifestyle or TV show, you may want to plan your ceremony around that theme. You can be as wacky and off the wall as you like!

Of course, if you have any other ideas that you would like to consider, I am very happy to discuss these with you. Just about anything is possible!


What To Do Now

Get in touch with me here or see my Alternative Ceremonies Facebook page (below) and tell me what you are looking for. Then we can arrange a time to discuss it with you in more detail.