A tree planting ceremony may be part of a Wedding Ceremony or a Naming Ceremony. The plant/s may be put directly into the ground or placed in decorated pots.
When considering an outdoor ceremony, having a planting ritual is a beautiful addition to any eco-friendly garden/nature lover!
A symbolic ritual, a planting is demonstrating that the two of you are starting your married life with an emblem of strength, hope & growth.
If you choose a plant which is flowering – year after year it is a lovely reminder of your wedding day - coming to life in blossom.
If you have roses, for example, in your bouquet – you might choose to plant the same type of rose bush for the ritual.
This can be a great ritual to include others within the ceremony – parents, children or friends. They can participate by joining in with the actual planting, putting soil around the plant, or just giving the plant its first drink of water..
Although the planting is best for outside… it can still be a consideration for an indoor ceremony. Obviously, some precautions are needed (both inside & out, due to the possible mess!). Inside though, you could still perform the ritual using a small plant – or seeds.
There are many variations on a tree planting ceremony which can be made to suit the couple, the ceremony and the meaning behind this special ritual. But, no matter what, it’s a great way to have a “keepsake” from your marriage ceremony that will last a lifetime with you two!
Table for carrying out planting, if using pots
Large decorated pot (for the plant to be put into – filled with compost)
Two pairs of gardening gloves (Preferably new - to save getting hands dirty!)
Trowel (or similar)
Small pot/bowl with extra compost
Apron (for the bride! Depending on the size of the plant – the bigger it is, the higher chance dirt might be flicked around)
Wet-wipes / towel
Watering can, with a little water in it
Take into consideration the size of the plant – obviously, the bigger it is, the messier/longer it will take in the ceremony. A good size is a small shrub/bush or even just seeds.
If it is a “tree” or larger plant that you wish to use – it might be better to have the plant already potted before the ceremony – then, on the day, you can place some more dirt around the plant & water it together
When choosing a plant to be potted, it could already be in a pot, or wrapped in hessian/material ‘bag’.
It is best if the plant is pre-prepared, so ready to be put directly into the new pot. eg; bare-rooted, or (if already in a pot), loosened so easily removed.
Consider also the time of year for the wedding, some plants don’t fend well if planted/re-potted during certain seasons.
Example types of plants; Fruit trees, Rose, Azalea, Camellia, Bulbs, Hydrangea, Lilac, Rhododendron, Bonsai etc..
Example of How a Tree Planting Ritual would be performed:
Celebrant explains what the planting ritual symbolizes, it’s meaning & importance in the couples’ lives.
A brief explanation on what the Bride & Groom (and participants, if applicable) will be doing during the ritual itself
During a specific song or reading, the bride and groom together pot the chosen plant.
The couple (or chosen participant/s) can water the plant together to finish the ritual
(Celebrant); This tree is dedicated to (name) and (name). May both it & they grow and mature together, enduring whatever may come.
It is planted in the hope it will grow tall and proud and nurture the earth. As it grows, the roots will provide strength; as the branches reach towards the sun –it will offer stability and balance, and the leaves will offer a canopy of shade and protection.
On this whole planet, (names) now have one very special place that is theirs, one that will depending on their need, provide peace and a sense of belonging.
So it is hoped that (names) will leave their mark upon the world in a positive way and also, that they, in turn will continue this tradition and hopefully plant a tree for any children in their future
(Celebrant); Now (name) and (name) are going to plant a (name of plant) to symbolically represent the growth of their love.
Like this plant, their marriage will be resilient. It will weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like this plant, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment. As (name) and (name) provide the sun, soil, and water for this plant, they will provide the encouragement, trust, and love needed on a daily basis to consciously nurture and nourish their connection to each other.
(Celebrant); (Name) and (Name) will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each other's family today.
Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love richens our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change.
(Name) and (Name), would you please plant the sapling?
Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow and be strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed.
Let the branches of the tree reach out, grow beautiful leaves and flowers. Let it shelter, give & protect life.
(name) and (name), would you please water the sapling?
Remember to nourish, encourage, support and nurture each other, with words of trust and love. This is needed on a daily basis so you each can grow and reach your fullest potential - just like this tree.
(Celebrant); (Name) and (Name) will now join together and take part in a Planting ritual. This symbolic use of this beautiful tree reminds them of the roots of their original families, and the strength of the roots of their growing relationship.
Like the journey of this young tree they both envisage a healthy and growing relationship of marriage. Following the life of the tree, their marriage will be firm foundation, growing and changing into a more beautiful existence maturing with grace. They have chosen (their favorite tree / name of plant) for this moment.
Can you now please plant your tree.
We hope that this tree symbolizes for you a love that will further grow. When rain and storms come, we hope it reminds you of the shelter you are for each other. Like your marriage the tree will be exposed to the daily challenges of life over a long period of time and we all wish you strength for any difficult days.
Can you now please water your tree.
Just as this water nourishes this new tree, your marriage is a partnership based on nurturing one another. May the blossoms and fruit bring you joy, happiness and satisfaction.
WINE BOX & LOVE LETTER RITUAL
This ritual is about creating your own time capsule from your marriage.
The purpose being, that later in your marriage – beit for a pre-determined anniversary, or at a time which you both feel that your relationship needs some guidance, you would both open the box together – and whatever you had placed into the box would be presented to you both to remember the love that you felt for each other on the day of your wedding.
To perform the ritual, you would require the following items;
1 Bottle of wine. Be sure that the wine that you choose is one of quality, which will keep well until you have decided to open it. Alternatively, you could use a good quality Spirit, Port etc..
A wine box. Preferably something sturdy & strong. Perhaps one that you can either lock or seal closed in some way. Boxes can be purchased online, some wooden boxes can be inscribed or decorated. Ensure the box is big enough for your bottle, plus some padding, to ensure it is safe.
Letters & envelopes
Something to seal the box closed. Hammer & nails, ribbon, padlock & key etc…
To complete the ritual during the ceremony you and your spouse both write a love letter to each other, and sure that you don’t read to each other ahead of time.
In those letters, you include what makes them so special to you – their personalities, quirks, lovable smile, perhaps a few things they do that make you feel loved. You may also want to include things such as how you’ve grown since you’ve met, the day you realized you were meant to be, and what your hopes and dreams are for your relationship in the future.
After writing it, you place it into an envelope and seal it, giving it to either your Maid of Honor &/or Best Man, your parents, or your officiant to pass to you during your ceremony.
An alternative would be for your parents and/or bridal party also write letters to you both also. They include their hopes, dreams, wishes, words of encouragement and perhaps a little bit of their own favourite marital advice. Within the box also, you could place a copy of your wedding vows which you said during your ceremony.
(Officiant): (Names) have chosen to perform a Wine Box ritual.
This box will contain a bottle of wine, two glasses and a love letter from each to the other, and a copy of their vows. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reason that they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry.
The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written.
They have created their very own romantic time capsule. Which they will open on their (number) wedding anniversary.
They will keep this box on display in their home, but in safe keeping, as a reminder of their commitment to each other.
(Names), should you ever find your marriage enduring insurmountable hardships – then before you make any decisions about your union, you are to, as a couple, open the box. Sit and drink the wine together. Then separate and read the letter the other wrote to you. And then read over the vows you said to each other when you were united on this day, as a couple in marriage. Remembering how you felt on your wedding day towards each other.
By reading these love letters you will reflect upon the reasons you fell in love, and chose to marry each other here today.
The hope is, however, that you will never have a reason to open the box. And, if this is the case, you are to open it to share and enjoy on your (number) wedding anniversary. Then you should replace the bottle of wine to again open the box on your (number) anniversary… and so on…
So now, I ask you both to come forward, and place your love letters and vows into the box. And seal it closed.
(Officiant): At this time, (Names) would like you to witness an untraditional tradition. The fact that it is untraditional is probably why it appeals to them so much. Here’s how it works:
(Names) have written love letters to each other. In these letters they have detailed why they fell in love and what they truly admire about the other person. These letters were sealed before they could be read.
Here at the front, we have this box, into which they will place the letters, along with a good bottle of wine. They will then nail the box closed.
The idea is that if ever they find their marriage has hit a rough spot, they will bring out the box, they will open it, share the wine, and read the letters reminding them of the love that brought them together and the promises they made to each other here today.
It is their hope and belief that they will not need the box except in celebration of an anniversary (they hope to hold out until their XX anniversary)–but if they do need it, it’s there.
This may not seem like the most romantic thing to do on a wedding day–to think about the days when things will be hard–but it’s important to (Names) that their ceremony and promises to each other be realistic. They know that marriage is hard. They know it is a lot of work. They mean every word that they have said here today, and they do not take lightly the words “as long as we both shall live.”
So earlier, they gave (parents/bridal party) their letters for safe keeping. I would like to ask them both to now receive their letters, and if you would both step forward, place your letters into the box with the wine, and seal the box closed.
** some couples prefer to not have any “negative” commentary in the text. This can be very easily removed.
An alternative opening reading for the Wine Box Ritual;
Most people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful box full of all things they have longed for; companionship, intimacy, friendship, love etc..
The truth is, that marriage at the start is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out.
There is no love in marriage. Love is in people
And people put love in marriage
There is no romance in marriage. You have to infuse it into your marriage
A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, to keep the box full.
If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty
WINE / WATER DRINKING RITUAL
Many cultures have customs or traditions of some sort of beverage being served in a ritual as a symbol of sharing and offering. We often think of a well-known custom of Toasts, as an example of this.
During the ceremony itself though, some couples like to participate in the physical offering of mixing/having a drink together as their first gift exchange. This can be done with just the couple themselves – or could include parents, as in the beautiful Chinese Tea ceremony or Japanese Sake ritual.
If you decide to incorporate a more cultural ritual, such as the Chinese or Japanese, we do suggest that we include an explanation of the tradition – so that your guests have a little back-ground understanding of the meaning & origin of the ritual.
(Officiant): (name & name), will you each pick up your glass and bring to mind your promises, the honor and integrity with you have made them and your shared hopes and dreams… and toast to one another.
(Couple raise their glasses toast and drink)
And will you offer of yourself and your promise to the center glass…..
(The couple pour some of their wine into the center glass)
If you will now pick up the center glass, the one that was just an empty vessel before the strength of your promises to one another, and drink of one another’s vow, of your shared commitment and take these in that they as your marriage may become a part of who and what you are.
(The couple then together pick up the center glass as Officiant continues)
As the wines in the glass have intermingled their essence so do your spirits join as you drink of each others love. Neither of you shall ever again thirst for total Love, understanding, or companionship, for as food and drink nourish the body so does Love nourish the soul. In this manner so shall each of you be as sustenance to the other.