A Stone Ceremony- tradition, room to personalize, room to romanticize, includes all your guests and zero waste- what’s not to love?
A stone ceremony is a great way to include all of your guests in your ceremony.
For a stone ceremony each guest holds a small stone in their hand for the duration of the ceremony and makes a loving wish for the couple and their future while holding the stone.
The stones are gathered at the end of the ceremony and make a lovely memento for the couple of their ceremony.
The stones used in the ceremony should be no bigger than is comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand.
The stones can be natural or polished, which ever you prefer. A simple way to add shine is to oil the stones. Any vegetable or fruit oil can be used. I have seen sunflower, olive and almond used.
If you like you could ask guests to inscribe their stone. Examples that I’ve seen of this are names, names and a word or two that embodies their wish for you or just their wish for you.
You can gather the amount of stones that you need yourself, and they may be more meaningful to you this way. Even small children can help to gather suitable stones and feel an important part of your ceremony. Also, small children are great at gathering stones that are just the right size. If my son had his way, all of our shelves and windowsills would be full of stones that he has collected.
Where I live, in Co. Clare Ireland there are many small rivers- I grew up playing in one in East Clare and stones from this river or one of my faveorite beaches in Co. Clare or Co. Galway would be a lovely place to include some stones from. Please note that the Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland is a national heritage site and you cannot remove stones from there.
Another option is to buy the stones- this certainly takes a lot of the work away. Polished river stones or pebbles can be bought at most garden centers and would work well for this purpose.
There are a lot of ways that you could display your ceremony stones afterwards, I’ll give a few ideas here as examples.
- Display stones in vase or jar. A traditional take, very pretty, works well for plain or inscribed stones.
- To decorate a flowerbed, flower pots or add to a rockery. A more practical approach for someone who takes pleasure in being in his or her garden (its my happy place).
- Decorating your special place in your home or garden.
- Around your hearth or fireplace (the ancient heart of the home).
A really great aspect of this ceremony enhancement is that it is, or can be if you choose to make it so, zero waste.
Another interesting and alluring aspect to the Stone Ceremony is its relation to the phrase ‘set in stone’. It was believed, in times gone by, that vows said near stone or water had more strength. They were set in stone. This piece of folklore brings weight to the ceremony and this as part of the ritual of a ceremony can then be very touching, especially given the fact that all of your guests are participating in a wedding ceremony with you.
This now brings me to the…
Oathing Stone Ceremony
This is an old Scottish tradition, as I mentioned above, that said that vows made near stone or water were stronger- set in stone.
The Oathing stone is a stone that is held by the couple as they say their vows to each other.
It is large enough for two people to hold.
Many people like to use a stone from a favorite beach or river.
You can have the stone engraved, for example with the infinity symbol, a Celtic knot, tree of life, your wedding date or initials, a love heart….
As above, a good way to shine the stone is to oil it using vegetable or fruit oil.
This ancient ceremony is a great inclusion in a ceremony, especially for anyone with Scottish ancestors.
Thanks for reading!