Wedding traditions offer richness and color to enrich your wedding ceremony and to transform your life! And what’s more fun is that they can be remade to suit your life.
The tradition behind strewing flower petals before the bride is rooted in the notion that no dirt should cling to her before she makes it to her groom (unsullied!) Quaint, but not so appropriate to today’s world. So why not turn it on its head?
Leave your wedding ceremony on a carpet of flowers. Walk into your future on a path of petals. Let those flowers symbolize the love (and its beauty) that protects you from the roughness of the way and that transforms every path into one of joy? Sail down that aisle awash in the love of your friends and secure in your love for one another.
What to do? (This works whether or not you have an aisle runner. Aisle runners just make cleanup a little easier, if you scatter things that can’t be left to rot. Hint: local leaves or flowers are always a good idea!)
- At the end of the wedding ceremony, have the children (yep, all the children) come to the front and retrieve baskets, bags, bowls of flowers. Then have them parade out, making sure they understand that the entire length of the aisle should be covered with petals. (you’ll need a lot of petals and a lot of children!) They can do this in solemn silence, to quiet music or to the encouragement of their parents. NB: as with every wedding event involving children, make someone (not the bride and groom) responsible for helping them achieve their goals.
- Once the path is colorfully and lavishly strewn, step out into your future. So often couples stand in the front, unsure what to do, other than to try to get down the aisle. Now you have a job. You are to walk mindfully into your future, hand in hand with your beloved, aware of the beauty that lies before you. Smile a lot; it’s a good thing. Smile at your community who will be cheering for you.
- If you want, stretch a length of ribbon from your hand to those of your attendants. Pull them down the aisle with you on the glorious path that is your future. Because it is true: when we are joyous we pull the world along in our wake. That’s a worthy goal for any marriage! In fact, you might want to put celebrating joy as part of your responsibilities undertaken in your wedding vows. That will make the withstanding challenges part of the promises a whole lot easier.
Move forward into your future with grace and joy and the well wishes of your entire community. This metaphor of the flower strewn path is one that happens in real life.
Flowering trees and bushes lose their blossoms and cover the world in beauty. Every time that happens, every time you see a picture of that, you will remember your wedding ceremony and your wedding vows, and you will be reinforced in your love for one another. (In fact: look actively for pictures of this beauty. Cut them out, tuck them in your beloved’s pocket as a memory. Or find cut flowering branches to put in the house and let them stand until they carpet the table with beauty.) Go be happy together!