for any ceremony

Ancient rituals…

… New ideas

Your Wedding Ceremony can have a character of its own

By adding a small ritual, mini ceremony or indeed readings and music, your ceremony will be brought to life.

Ceremony enhancements help create a theme or set a mood. They can also act as a way of including family or friends.

Sand Ceremony

A sand ceremony is the perfect additional mini ritual to perform together on the beach. Ideally using the sand from beneath your feet.

Coloured sand if used in the ceremony, can represent each member involved in the ceremony. Every colour having its own meanings and symbolism.

And just as life needs a little top up of love now and then, so will your bottle. Just as a marriage settles over time, so will the sand in your bottle!


There are many variants of this ceremony depending on who you wish to be involved, how long you wish it to be and what personal elements you wish to include by way of pledges and vows.


  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Explanation of ceremony
  • Love story told by friend or Father of the Bridegroom
  • Couples sand mixing
  • Guests sand mixing
  • Pledges of guests to honor couple
  • Congratulations
  • Moment of reflection
  • Photo opportunity


Sample introduction words for your ceremony.

“As we stand here under the vast sky of love’s possibilities, beside the ocean wide and deep, we give expression to our intention that our marriage will grow stronger through the seasons.”

“We honor earth and ask that this union be abundant and fruitful. We honour wind and ask that this couple be lifted up to soar through life, safe and calm. We honor water to cleanse and soothe this union, that it may never thirst for love.”

“Under this wonderful canopy of nature, on this beautiful shore, with the sounds of the ocean, we witness our vows and pledges and ask that happiness will surround this couple for as long as their love shall last.”

Sample vows for couples to say

“Our hearts are like these grains of sands, merging with each other. We are together forever like the sand. We are now one.”

OR “My beloved, as these grains of sand are joined together, so are our hearts, our bodies and our souls. I offer myself as your husband/wife forever.”


Let me be your Wedding Planner and create a truly wonderful ceremony with you both, fulfilling your dreams. Let me take you to cloud9.

Loving Cup or Toast

Drinking together and making a toast symbolically seals the vows and pledges made. It is a beautiful addition to any ceremony.


Loving Cup with a Quaich

Couples may choose to use a Quaich an old styled Scottish two handled shallow saucer cup. The Celebrant invites the couple to drink from a Loving Cup.

Each drinks separately and then holds the cup, so that the other may drink. This symbolically seals their vows, and shows a trust in sharing, emphasizing need for a balance between apartness and togetherness in their future life together. Many couple purchase their own Quaich and have it engraved with a date and names to commemorate the day.

Loving Toast with separate drinking vessels

Some couples choose to have separate drinking vessels. They may drink different beverages or simply prefer a different method of toasting. They often purchase a pair of glasses, goblets or vessels to use in the ceremony. These are then used later within their wedding celebrations.

 Cloud9ceremonies has three different quaich available for loan. Glenda also has twin goblets for loan; silver, pewter, wooden or plastic! A Viking horn, and various silver trays.

Whatever your idea we can work together to incorporate it into your ceremony.

Glenda rehearsed the way we were to hold and offer the Quaich, but we still managed to spill the mead!

Cake and Ale

The drinking of a beverage and eating of a ‘cake’ within the ceremony, symbolises trust and is the first shared food and drink as a couple.


Traditionally the Cake and Ale ritual is done following the taking of vows. It symbolizes a trust between the couple. This lovely ritual is good to include in a Handfasting ceremony, but could be adapted in a 21st Century take on this old ritual. Traditionally Cake was eaten, and Ale was drunk.


However, modern couples are creating twists on the old traditions! They often choose an assortment of beverages ranging from water, lager, wine and champagne to a cup of tea!


The Cake ritual would no doubt have originally been the breaking and eating of a simple loaf that later evolved into confetti! The ritual then used a simple honey- mead cake.Today couples make very varied choices of cake; shortbread biscuits, brownies, donuts, custard creams, bourbon, fruit cake etc. The choice does not stop there. I have had couples actually cut their wedding cake in the ceremony. A small slice is then removed for them to share in the ritual and the rest is later cut and shared with guests.


The telling of the story behind the couple’s choices adds to the personalisation of the ceremony.


Whatever your ideas we can work together to incorporate them into your ceremony.


“Our cake was made by my mother and was so special. Glenda created wording to permit her to cut it and offer it to us as part of the ceremony. It is lasting memory for us at the Avebury Stones!”

Oath Stone

Making vows and pledges while holding a stone, the couple will set their oaths to one another in stone.


An Oath Stone is selected by a couple to hold and express their solemn promises one to the other. They hold the stone in their joined clasped hands. By making their promises on the stone they will symbolically set their oath in stone committing themselves to the promise (s) they make.

Couples may choose a stone form their homeland or their natural environment. It may have been selected from the beach or from a country walk. The selected stones come with sentiment and history.

The actual stone could be engraved or written on for prosperity, with details of the date and day and couples names or initials.

The telling of the story behind the couples’ stone will add to the personalisation of the ceremony.

Whatever your idea, we can work together to incorporate it into your ceremony.

…because of Glenda, we had the most special and unique Oath Stone ceremony, one which we’ll never forget. She made a special effort to give us privacy and shielded us from guests, as we said our own intimate words of love

Jumping the Broom

An ancient ritual performed to symbolise a union and new life together. Hand in hand a couple jump the broom together into a new life together.


The couple may choose to Jump the Broom!

This symbolizes the effort required to make a committed relationship work.

The broom jumping is a bit of light heartedness at the end of the main ceremony and is a practical reminder that married life is not all romance but also requires the sharing of chores and housework!

The besom broom is traditionally used but other styles of country brooms such as a corn broom (Micky Mouse) are used. I have had coupes who have made their own besom brooms! Brooms can be decorated with cords or ribbons and flowers to co-ordinate with your ceremony theme.

The Bridegroom may carry his new wife over the broom or they can jump it together as a couple, signifying a new beginning.

The telling of the story behind the couples’ broom will add to the personalisaton of the ceremony.

The telling of the history of jumping the broom and its connection to witches and folklore is often a great part of the story telling script. It has its roots in Celtic history and is a great addition to any ceremony.

Cloud9ceremonies has both besom and corn brooms available for loan.

Whatever your idea we can work together to incorporate it into your ceremony.

“…this was such a highlight to the end of our Wedding Ceremony. Glenda guided all our guests to exit before us and confetti was thrown as we ran down the aisle and the besom broom was held high and then lowered as we jumped into our future together with cheers and wolf whistles”

“The ceremony itself was completely magical, and Glenda made us and our guests feel so welcome and loved… The words and actions throughout the ceremony were beautiful, and its a memory we’ll always treasure…”

Elemental Blessings

This ritual varies depending on the spirituality of the couples taking part and the guests attending. The style of Handfasting Ceremony will also dictate how much or little is drawn upon.

The elements are those of our human home, planet earth.


The Elements are those we experience here on earth. They are – Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Each gives life and without any one of these elements, there would be no life. A pentagon of five points gives direction to each; Spirit is at the centre and heart of all.

East, South, West, North.

East-Air. South-Fire. West-Water. North-Earth.


Each element is physically represented in a large or small way.

Air in the East – a small bell or large wind chimes

Fire in the South – a small lit candle or large fire pit.

Water in the West-a small bowl or the backdrop of a natural waterfall or lake.

Earth in the North – a gemstone or rock salt or a mountain!

Cleansing rituals also occur with the use of fragrance burning of sage or incense.


The elements are used to offer blessings on the couple.


Blessings can be evoked with musical instruments. The elements are also used to bless the space and area used for the ceremony. Within the circle or area of ceremony all is peaceful and calm enveloped in love.


The blessing can be simple or much more involved. A full elemental blessing is used in a traditional Handfasting Ceremony.

A Traditional English wedding that includes a Handfasting, may merely include a simple blessing from the elements.


A couple want their ceremony to be unique, yet open enough so that each guest will be able to relate to it.   

Cloud9ceremonies will be able to advise and offer ideas for creating an elemental blessing within your Handfasting Ceremony.

Cloud9ceremonies has many items that can be borrowed and used within an elemental blessing. These include two circular ’alter tables’ with various cloths. A large rope for defining the circle. 

Whatever your idea we can work together to incorporate it into your ceremony.

“ Glenda created beautiful words that truly echoed our beliefs with those of the four elements… both my husband and I are very spiritual; journeying in this life plane together. We shall be together for all eternity. The blessing at the start of our Handfasting really put us in the ‘right place’ for what was to follow.”


A ring may be given and received during our ceremony or if rings are already being worn then the rings could be blessed.

The ancient and traditional way of sealing a wedding contract is by the giving and receiving of rings and most couples choose to mark their Wedding or Handfasting in this way.



The significance of rings in a ceremony, can be talked about. Other ideas for using rings in your ceremony:-

  • Presentation of rings
  • New from old
  • Lost rings
  • Blessing of rings
  • Passing of rings


Display and Presentation of rings.


As an experienced celebrant I have learnt much over the years, not least the importance of the wedding ring within a ceremony. Your best man/women has been honoured and has the great responsibility of representing the rings. However, as the rings are such an important part of the Wedding Ceremony or Handfasting I do like to see them on display. I suggest to my couples that they create a special item to use. The most popular form of presentation is a ring cushion. Other ideas could be leaving the rings in their boxes and placing them on a wooden or silver tray befitting the ceremony location and surroundings.

I have seen rings presented inside scallop shells, at a beach ceremony. I have had rings presented on top of small flower pots by a couple who were both keen gardeners. Another couple made a copper dish together in evening classes and the rings were placed on that. The underside was engraved with the wedding date and names.

Having the rings on display permits the photographer to take a shot or two of them on the ceremony table before they are given.

Cloud9ceremonies will be happy to offer suggestions to you.

New from old.

Couples rings often have a significant history, such as the creation of new rings from old gold jewelry or the inheriting of the rings from relatives. Some couples have attended classes and made the rings themselves. A story of any such significance could be told prior to their exchange.

Lost Rings

Some couples do not have the actual ring. A substitute is used, and again an explanation is required as to why the Bride is receiving (for example) a plastic Mickey Mouse ring or the bridegroom a ‘washer’ ring!

Whether the ring is made of precious metal or is plastic, it will be worthy of a word to the assembled guests!

Blessing of rings

The rings are symbols of lasting commitment and enduring love. A couple may have already exchanged them during their legal marriage and are already wearing them. There is no reason why the couple cannot clasp and touch hands, while they exchange words reaffirming their love and commitment.

Additionally, a blessing with appropriate words and an essence or fragrance can be used. I personally like to use ancient frankincense in a Handfasting ritual but have used rose essence and thyme.

Passing of rings

Before the couple actually exchange the rings they may like to pass them around amongst their guests. This is an opportunity for family members and guests to not only admire the rings, but also to add their own personal blessing and wishes. As the rings pass they may like to use this time for quiet reflection, prayer or musical entertainment. 


The children of the couple or another young person special to them, could become responsible for passing the rings around the room and ‘shepherd’ the ring cushion.

Cloud9ceremonies has two small ring cushions for loan, and a variety of small silver trays and natural wooden vessels for displaying the rings. 

Whatever your ideas we can work together to incorporate them into your ceremony.

“.. we made and crafted a special copper dish in evening classes, prompted by Glenda’s suggestion to present the rings and have them on display during the ceremony. Probably a bit  over the top but we now have a lovely reminder our ring exchange. Glenda also told the story of how we had melted down the rings from both our Grandparents.”


Candles can be lit at any suitable time during the ceremony, depending on who is going to participate. If Mothers are involved, they can be lit prior to the bride’s arrival, or if children are involved they can be lit following the exchange of rings.


Many couples are now choosing to light candles symbolising their union in marriage and the merging and joining of their two families.

Traditionally, three candles are used-a large central one and two side candles, in a ceremony known as The Unity Candle.

The Unity Candle. The couple’s mother’s may each light one of the side candles. The bride and bridegroom then each take one of the side candles and together light the central candle. They may then blow out their individual side candles to symbolize the extinguishing of their two single lives. Alternately they can be left lit.

The celebrant’s words will endorse what is being carried out in the ritual. Words can be exchanged and the celebrant can include words of explanation and direction, as the lighting occurs.

However, it is rather lovely if the candles burn throughout the ceremony to indicate that their individuality is not extinguished, even though they are united in marriage.

The lighting of the candle can be accompanied by music or singing.Many variations of this ritual can be adopted.

The candles can be specially decorated with the date of the wedding and names of the participants.

Children may also be included: Each child could light their own candle with their name on, if they wish, and join in lighting the central candle.

Cloud9ceremonies can loan a unity candle holders. I am also able to advise on the purchase of items.

Whatever your idea we can work together to incorporate in to your ceremony.

“Glenda provided (having made) a beautiful candle that was on display and burning throughout our Wedding Ceremony. It was a lovely reminder of my late father who was unable to walk me down the aisle.”

Children Participating 

Children at Wedding ceremonies can be delightful and including them in the ceremony can be enchanting and special.


If either the Bride or the Bridegroom has children from a previous marriage, or if they already have children together, it’s important to include them in the ceremony to show their importance to the couple’s future.

Children can be included in many ways. Asking them to be page boys are bridesmaids is a traditional way to include them.

A perfect way to show your children that they are an important part of  your lives is to give them a role on your big day. When the couple are announced as Mr. and Mrs. at the end of the ceremony, I would also say The xxx Family.

Cloud9ceremonies would be very happy to discuss with you how this can be done as there are numerous other ways.

Whatever your idea we can work together to incorporate it into your ceremony.

“The end of our ceremony was so special. Glenda invited us to stand as a couple, while she read a most beautiful love poem. She then invited both of our children to join us. She announced us as Mr & Mrs Mahony the Mahony family. Glenda made so many suggestions for including both our children in the ceremony but this was the most special.”

Love Story

A couples Love Story told within the ceremony can add insight and warmth to the day.


The telling of a couple’s love story can be so beautiful when told to highlight the key moments in their romantic journey and dating. It is after all, this story that has led them to be where they are standing in front of friends and family making vows and pledges for a lifetime of commitment.

Asking family and friends a few key questions about you will produce honest and often fun and humorous answers. These answers when used in the ceremony, will add a really personalized touch.

Cloud9ceremonies will work with you both to include this section into your ceremony. A ‘Personal Questionnaire’ will support you to easily do this!

Whatever your idea we can work together to incorporate it into your ceremony.

“We had always talked about celebrating our wedding with a Handfasting and Glenda made our dream a reality. I had seen lots of glowing recommendations for Glenda’s work online and on the day the telling of our love story was so special for all of our guests who really had no idea about how we met and fell in live.”

Miscellaneous Enhancements

There are numerous other enhancements that can be added to a ceremony whether a Handfasting or a Wedding celebration.



As your celebrant I will be able to advise you and together we can work out the very best place in the ceremony to include the ritual you select.

Research and understanding the ritual, will lead to the explanation of the ritual, as well as the creation of beautiful wording to accompany it. If you are in a multicultural relationship you may have a ritual from your homeland that you wish to include.

Maybe the extra ritual has a relevance in your belief system. Including a ‘religious’ ritual is certainly a yes from me!

Other rituals may include:-

Mothers Kiss

Washing of Feet

Bouquet Making

Rose Giving

First Kiss-Last Kiss

Cocktail Mix

Cake Cutting

Handkerchief Giving

Cloud9ceremonies would be very happy to discuss with you how any of the above can be done..

Whatever your idea we can work together to incorporate it into your ceremony.

Glenda was an absolute joy to deal with throughout the planning – giving us plenty of guidance and taking the time to understand us as a couple to make sure the ceremony was personal. She gave us numerous options but knew exactly what we would say yes to!”

If you think any of these ceremonies are for you then please discuss your options with Glenda.

 Anywhere – Anytime – Any Style!



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