If you like the idea of a unity candle but would prefer to go a different route on your wedding day, review the following ideas. Unity candles are frequently utilized for weddings that blend two families into one big unit, though they also work well for previously-unmarried couples starting their lives together.
Consider any of the following ideas:
Cord Of Three Strands
The Cord of Three Strands, also known as God's Knot, uses three strands of twine or similar material to create a braid. In traditional ceremonies of this kind, the bride and groom braid the strands to symbolize their union with each other and God. The braid is often displayed in the home of the newly-married couple as a reminder of their love and devotion.
Love Letter Ceremony
This ceremony involves the couple writing love letters to each other and locking them in a special box, usually with two wine glasses and a bottle of vino. The couple opens the box on their 5th or 10th wedding anniversary to read the special words and share happy memories.
Tree planting requires the happy couple to plant a sapling in a special pot that is blessed by the pastor or officient. They take the little tree home and find a place for it in their yard so it can grow and flourish as the relationship does.
The wine ceremony is another great unity candle alternative. A bottle of wine is blessed by the pastor or officient, who uncorks the bottle. Wine is poured into one or two glasses, after which the couple take a sip. As the couple sips the wine the offiicent says how "good wine is like a good marriage" in that the best grapes are those that enjoy nurturing and have time to grow.
Do any of these unity candle alternatives inspire you?
A blended family wedding involves the union of two groups of people moving forward as one. If you would like your wedding ceremony to mention and celebrate this union, read on. Consider using any of the following quotes and readings, or turning them into inspiration for your own readings.
The secret to blending families is there is no secret. It’s scary and awesome and ragged and perfect and always changing. Love and laugh hard. Try again tomorrow. But that’s life advice, right?”--Mir Kamin
Together we make one beautiful family--Author Unknown
We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.--Dr. Seuss
Family means putting your arms each other and being there.--Barbara Bush
The following readings are religious in nature, so feel free to change the wording if you wish.
May they nurture their family with devotion, see their children grow in body, mind and spirit,
and come at last to the end of their lives with hearts content and in joyful anticipation of heaven.--Church of England prayer book
Lord, in your providence, you have provided the family as a place where people can experience love, learn important life lessons and find unequaled encouragement. May your design be reflected in this new family. I pray that you would unite and bind this family together; even in togetherness, may there be space to be individuals. Help each person to love, respect and encourage others within the family. May the care and hospitality within the family be extended to those outside; that others might see your presence.--Chelle, Letters From the Heart: Prayer For A Blended Family
Hope these quotes and readings inspire you! Enjoy using the above ideas and others to create the perfect blended family wedding.
The lighting of a unity candle is a wonderful way to express your love and devotion during your wedding. It typically involves the lighting of one candle with two separate tapers to symbolize commitment. If you are considering a unity candle ceremony for your upcoming wedding, use the following tips to get started.
Place the unity candle on a small table close to the alter before the ceremony starts. Consider lighting the candle for a moment, as it makes it easier to re-light during the actual ceremony. Keep matches or a lighter on the table as well to prevent "Anyone gotta light?" questions during your wedding.
Taper Candle Lighting
Decide how you want to light the taper candles. Have your parents come forward to light them as a symbol of two families joining together, or ask the maid of honor or best man to do the honors. Asking the minister or officient to light the candles is another possibility, as is lighting the candles yourselves using a candle on the alter.
Extinguishing The Candle
Determine if you want to extinguish the unity candle or not. Some believe extinguishing the candle represents your commitment to each other, while others believe leaving the tapers lit is symbolic of your individuality within your union. Whatever you decide, find unity candle readings that speak to you. Plenty are available for extinguishing the candles or letting them burn.
Remember, your unity candle ceremony is personal, so feel free to get creative! You may want to make the ceremony one everyone attending your wedding can participate in by handing out candles upon their arrival. Have a bridal party or family member light the first candle, then allow the flame to "go down the line" until every guest has a lit candle. It is a great way to symbolize the joining of everyone in the room as one big family.
Second marriages often involve children. If you want to involve your children on your Big Day but are struggling for ideas, consider the following poems. Your children can read them on your wedding day, either during the ceremony or at the reception. Poems and other readings are excellent ways to get the kids excited about the wedding!
'On Your Wedding Day', Author Unknown
Today is a day you will always remember
The greatest in anyone’s life
You’ll start off the day just two people in love
And end it as Husband and Wife
It’s a brand new beginning, the start of a journey
With moments to cherish and treasure
And although there will be times when you both disagree
These will surely be outweighed by pleasure
You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
When the secrets of marriage were spoken
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside
Where the bond of true love lies unbroken
So live happy forever as lovers and friends
It’s the dawn of a new life for you
As you stand there together with love in your eyes
>From the moment you whisper ‘I do’
And with luck all your hopes and your dreams can be real
May success find its way to your hearts
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys
But today is the day it all starts
'This Day I Married My Best Friend,' Author Unknown
This day I married my best friend
... the one I laugh with as we share life's wondrous zest,
As we find new enjoyments and experience all that's best.
... The one I live for because the world seems brighter
As our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter.
... The one I love with every fiber of my soul.
We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.
'Family Comes Together,' Glaedr the Poet
Family comes together
For always and forever
In sickness and in health
In poverty or in wealth
Family comes together
For always and forever
Without any reason
Anytime or any season
Family comes together
For always and forever
In death or in life
In happiness or in strife
Family comes together
For always and forever
In anger or in kindness
Whether all seeing or in blindness
Family comes together
For always and forever
Whether for work or for play
They somehow find a way
For family to come together
Because families are forever
Have fun with these and other poems on your wedding day!
Planning a second wedding often means the blending of two families. If you want to include your children in the wedding or otherwise make it clear that two families are coming together as one, consider the following quotes and readings. Add them to your wedding ceremony to demonstrate your love for one another and your excitement in bringing your families together.
“May they nurture their family with devotion, see their children grow in body, mind and spirit,
and come at last to the end of their lives with hearts content and in joyful anticipation of heaven.”--Church of England prayer book
"The secret to blending families is there is no secret. It’s scary and awesome and ragged and perfect and always changing. Love and laugh hard. Try again tomorrow. But that’s life advice, right?”--Mir Kamin
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”--Unknown
“We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”--Dr. Seuss
“Having a place to go is a home. Having someone to love is a family. Having both is a blessing.”-- Donna Hedges
"Lord, in your providence, you have provided the family as a place where people can experience love, learn important life lessons and find unequaled encouragement. May your design be reflected in this new family. I pray that you would unite and bind this family together; even in togetherness, may there be space to be individuals. Help each person to love, respect and encourage others within the family. May the care and hospitality within the family be extended to those outside; that others might see your presence.” -- Chelle, "Letters from the Heart: Prayer For A Blended Family"
Getting married for the second time often means thinking long and hard about your dress. Keep in mind that you can do whatever you want, whether you want to wear a white princess dress or a sophisticated pantsuit. It's your wedding, so wear what makes you comfortable! Use the following tips to help make your decision.
Queen Victoria wore a white wedding dress to marry Prince Albert, resulting in a trend that has persisted. White wedding dresses traditionally symbolize purity, and there was debate about whether second-time brides could wear white for a long time. However, that debate is essentially over, as white has come to symbolize joy. Besides, most first-time brides are NOT virgins these days! If you want to rock a white wedding dress for your second wedding, go for it!
Tone And Theme
Whatever dress you decide on, ensure it goes with the tone and theme of your wedding. For example, you wouldn't wear a linen dress if your theme is black-tie! Find a dress that matches your personal style and create your wedding theme around it. It may be easier to plan your wedding once you have the dress situation figured out.
Despite the go-ahead with white wedding dresses, it is considered poor taste to wear a veil for a second wedding. Blusher veils that cover the face are traditionally for very young, first-time brides. Such veils are rarely worn anymore, with many brides opting for tiaras that include veils cascading down their backs. If your wedding is super-formal, you can use this veil option. A beautiful hat is another possibility, as is a lovely hair ornament or flower.
As a second-time bride, you likely have plenty of wedding planning experience. Use this experience to pick the dress you want and create the wedding of your dreams.
Getting married for the second time often means the blending of two families. This can be a challenging time for the children, whether they are in elementary school or even college. Keep in mind family blending takes time, and it may be years before everyone settles down. That's okay! It is completely normal and expected. However, there's plenty you can do to help the process, such as giving the kids wedding gifts on the Big Day. Yes, gifts do not instantly make you a family, but they do show that you want to share your day with them. Review the following gift ideas to get started:
Consider purchasing engraved jewelry or watches for the kids. Pendants are always a good one, as are bracelets. Have the items engraved with the kids' initials and present the gifts during the reception or immediately after the ceremony.
Buy a few beautiful books, such as leather-bound books of classic fairy tales or other timeless stories, to give to the children. Include lovely inscriptions, whether they are favorite quotes or from your own brain.
Birth Stone Jewelry
Go the birth stone route, such as giving the gift of birth stone bracelets. Include information about each birth stone so the kids learn a little about the gem associated with their birth month.
Opt for plush toys if dealing with very little children. Each toy can feature an engraved dog tag to turn the gift into a keepsake. Give a different animal to each child, such as a stuffed bear, cat, dog, zebra, etc.
Find a great picture of all of you and make copies. Put the photos in pretty frames, and make sure each child has his or her own unique frame. Go the extra mile if you want by decorating plain frames with embellishments based on the kids' likes and interests.
If you are getting ready to marry for the second (third, fourth, etc) time and want to include the kiddies, breathe easy knowing many options are available to you. Use the following ideas for inspiration, and feel free to get creative!
Get the kids involved by asking if they would like to hand out programs and help people to their seats. Working as "mini-ushers" will make them feel important and even powerful, as they are in charge of getting people to the right spots. Even little 'uns can hand out wedding programs!
Give the kids disposable cameras and tell them they are members of the "photography team." Encourage them to take candid photos throughout the reception, such as those of guests dancing or talking at their tables. They can also have fun setting up shots by asking guests to pose for them.
Research sand ceremonies and consider incorporating one into your wedding. The ceremony generally involves each family member pouring sand, then blending the sand together to symbolize the blending of two families. It's a great way to get the kids involved in the ceremony and show them how important they are to you.
Ask your older children if they want to pull their younger siblings down the aisle in decorated wagons. This is another way to get the kids involved in the actual ceremony, plus it's just too cute. Have fun decorating the wagon or wagons together as a family.
Request your kids' help in creating wedding decor if going the DIY route. Have them help you make floating candle or flower centerpieces, or anything else you want for your wedding. The internet is chock-full of simple, pretty ideas for wedding decor, including wedding favors.
Have fun experimenting with these and similar ideas!
If you know you would like to remarry someday or have someone in mind to say "I do" to, keep the following tips in mind. All are designed to help your second marriage be a successful one that will not have you visiting your divorce lawyer yet again. Read on and be enlightened:
Wait Before You Date
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to wait two to three years after divorce or the death of your spouse before you remarry. Getting into a new relationship too soon can halt the healing process and make it difficult to fully move on and enjoy your new relationship. Give yourself plenty of time to heal so you can give your new spouse the attention he or she deserves.
Date For At Least Two Years
Date your prospective spouse for at least two years before remarrying. This gives you enough time to truly get to know the person and decide whether being together is something you both want. Keep in mind that dating is hardly the same thing as remarried life, and jumping in too quickly can result in many unpleasant problems. If children are involved, you will need to spend some time with them as well. Keep in mind younger children tend to attach to stepparents quicker than teens do.
Let Your New Family Develop
Do not force your new family to come together before they are ready. Give everyone time to get to know each other and settle into their new roles. Be as patient as possible and remember there are no quick fixes. It could take five years or more for your blended family to do just that--blend.
Don't Expect Your New Spouse To Feel The Same Way About Your Kids As You Do
Remember, your spouse probably isn't going to feel the way you do about your kids, at least not right away. Prepare for potential disagreements about parenting styles and decisions, particularly if the ex-spouses are heavily involved.
Let The Kids Know It's Okay
Let your children and your spouse's kids know it is okay to feel confused about what is happening, that it is normal to feel sad about the divorce or death of a parent, and that taking sides is unnecessary. Keep the lines of communication open!
If you and your partner have made the decision to marry, read on. The following questions to ask each other and discuss in detail are extremely important to the health of your marriage, especially if you have both been married before and do not want to endure another divorce. Keep the following questions in mind to enjoy many years of wedded bliss.
Question #1: Where Would You Like To Live In Five Years?
Talk about where you both see yourselves living in five years. In the same town/city? Across the state? Across the country? Out of the country? Come up with a plan that makes both of you happy, such as staying where you are and traveling frequently or saving your money to move overseas.
Question #2: How Long Do You Expect Both Of Us To Keep Working?
Determine how long both of you want to keep working. Does it make sense for both of you to work up until or past the retirement age? Should one of you stop working to attend to other matters, such as planning a fabulous trip around the world? if one of you wants to retire early and the other doesn't, that is something to talk about as well.
Question #3: What Is Your Stance On Credit Cards?
Discuss how many credit cards you both have, what kind of credit card debt you are looking at, and whether it makes sense to cancel or consolidate some of your cards. Choose which cards should remain in your wallets and what kind of payment plan works best if debit is high.
Question #4: What Should We Do With Our Cars?
Make a decision about the current vehicle situation: is it necessary to keep both of your cars, if applicable? Is one a junk pile that needs to make a final visit to the scrap yard? Discuss what kind of vehicle you would like to drive in five or 10 years as well.
Question #5: Will Our Joint Income Accommodate Our Current Standard Of Living?
Have a serious discussion about your current living standards and how you expect them to change once you get hitched. You will be thankful you did!
Keep these and similar questions in mind--after all, money is one of the biggest marriage points of contention in existence!
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Melding Together a Blended Family
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