A Unity Candle is a fantastic way to symbolically join yourselves to one another in marriage. Two individual taper candles are lit, and then you both light the center candle together. If you choose to do so, you may include your parents in the ceremony by asking them to light the tapers for you.
A sand ceremony allows you to create a beautiful piece of art to serve as a reminder of your commitment to one another. Sand ceremonies are also an amazing way to include your children, so that your wedding ceremony is about joining two families into one. There are plenty of decorative vases available to use during this ceremony, including picture frames like the one shown in the photo.
If you would like to write your own vows, but the idea of speaking in front of everyone you know terrifies you a bit, you may want to consider a Wine and Letter Box. These boxes act as a sort of time capsule, containing a bottle of wine and letters to one another to be opened as part of a future anniversary celebration. This is another beautiful way to include friends and family, since you can ask parents, best man/maid of honor, etc. to write letters to be placed into the box as well.
Wine ceremonies start off with a single decanter of wine for each of you, and an empty center carafe. You begin by pouring some of your individual wine into the empty decanter, symbolizing your two individual lives joining as one. Then you pour one another a glass of wine from the center carafe and raise a toast to each other as you start your new life together. This ceremony can also be adapted to use bread instead of wine.
Handfasting dates back to the ancient Celts, so this ceremony is a great way to reference your Irish heritage. Your hands are clasped and fastened together with three cords or ribbons to form an infinity symbol. (It is believed that this practice is where the phrases "tie the knot" and "the bonds of holy matrimony" originated.)
Perfect for small, intimate ceremonies! A tradition borrowed from the Quakers, the Gather 'Round invites guests to circle around the couple and to share their blessings and best wishes for their marriage. Guests may be told about the ceremony beforehand so that they have a chance to prepare a few words.
This is just a small sample of the rituals and traditions that you can include in your wedding ceremony. If you already have something in mind, I can certainly help you to make it work with the ceremony we plan together.