Wedding inspiration and Christian ceremonies. As a bride and groom, you want to incorporate and enhance certain priorities in your wedding. Let me share just a little about my wedding. I was married in one of the old churches that are still located in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee side. A long, long time ago — when I was married — weddings were almost always held in the family church. My family has direct ties to the ancestors of the national park before it became, well — a national park. At least that was the tradition of families having a southern wedding, and probably other areas as well. Tennessee was, and still is, in the center of what is called, The Bible Belt. However, with that passing of time, diversity and different cultures, tourism and industry, has brought people of varied faiths in the area. This particular blog will focus on ideas for a traditional wedding of the Christian faith — and perhaps the origin of the tradition. This is a photo of what the interior of the Cades Cove Primitive Baptist Church looked like when I got married (1975) and still looks today in 2021. It kinda looks like rustic/farm/vintage was trending since the mid-1800s. But I’m getting off subject and chasing the white rabbit down a hole. There are many traditional observances at a wedding of the Christian Faith. I am going to mention the most noted in this post and in no particular order. Visit https://smokymountains.com/park/cades-cove/primitive-baptist-church/ for more information about this historic church and other churches in the Great Smoky Mountains and Cades Cove.
It would be remiss of me to state emphatically, that for a Christian service of any kind, there should be either a physical or verbal reference to the Cross of Christ. The trend currently seems to favor a physical Cross to be used within the ceremony itself. Easily crafted and designed by a skilled friend or family member, a simple cross can be the center of the ceremony site and the focus of the union. It could be decorated with a floral arrangement, tied with cords in the center, draped with cloth from east to west, or left simply, unadorned.
I really enjoy this next idea for a Christian ceremony. It is very fitting. The “handfasting” ceremony probably originated with the Celts. The old saying, “tying the knot,” might have evolved from this handfasting ritual. The couple stands together with their hands bound together with a cord or piece of cloth or tartan. In modern days, handfasting can be incorporated into Christian service. The saying, “a cord of three strands is not easily broken” is rooted in the handfasting ritual. And if the rains, a cord of three strands only grows tighter and more secure. There are other ideas to incorporate which can lend themselves to a message of faith. Those include, but are not limited to, the Unity Candle, a Sand Ceremony with various colors representing the bride and groom, planting a tree to represent growth and deep roots for the future of the marriage,
There is also a trend of having signs designed with the couple’s favorite Bible Verse. The most recognized is “I have found the one whom my soul loveth” taken from Songs of Solomon 3:4. There can be multiple signs with different verses lining the ceremony aisle as guests find their seats. Wooden signs can be placed on each side of the altar, or above the altar — depending on location and accessibility. The ring bearer can carry the “rings” on a Bible. The Bible could be a new one with which to bring into the new marriage or perhaps, a Bible which belonged to a loved one who is no longer living. This would represent the “something old.” I saw a lovely way to use a Bible as a guest sign-in book. Each guest would highlight their favorite verse in a keepsake Bible and write their names beside the verse. I love this idea!
Many couples choose to share in the Lord’s Supper and end the service with foot-washing. Of course, this represents and reflects on being humble and having a servant/steward attitude within the marriage — to care for one another in the marriage. And, at the end of the ceremony, before the couple is pronounced as man and wife, there could be an “anointing” by the ministers with members of the bridal party and immediate family to lay hands on the couple and join in a closing prayer. As with most any type of service, the bride and groom can make it their own and incorporate precious reflections of their faith as they are inspired to do.