Symbolic Gestures

Suggested gestures for the beginning of the ceremony

Wedding Band Warming

Before the bride arrives, the wedding bands are passed around the assembled guests and each person attributes a message or well wishing, thus ‘warming’ the rings.

This is a good way of involving your guests and adds to the significance of your ring exchange.

The Mexican Hug

You’ll be aware of the tradition in some churches of shaking hands with the people around you during a service - a more modern twist on that is a Mexican hug.  A Mexican hug starts with the bride and groom giving each other a hug, they will then hug the people next to them, who’ll hug the person next to them and so on, until every single person in the room has been well and truly hugged.

This can be a fun way to begin your ceremony and is a great way of bringing your guests together!

Candle lighting

Three candles are needed for this ceremony - a member of each family/friend group will light a candle to represent the individual lives of the couple to be married at the beginning of the ceremony.  The couple will then go on to take a light from each side and light one candle together to represent their joining as one, later in the ceremony.

Suggested gestures for during the ceremony:

Parent’s Well Wishing

Parents/family members of the bride and groom are asked to declare their trust in their soon to be new daughter or son-in-law to care for each other.

Drinking from a Quaich


This is particularly lovely after the schedule has been signed and can contain a variety of drinks!  You may have your own Quaich or use ours which we will bring on the day.

Hand Fasting (Tying the Knot!)

Two cords, traditionally tartan or something that represents the two individuals getting married, (we have used ‘do-not-cross’ tape for police officers, baler twine for a farmer, hand knitted ribbons, among others!) are used to bind the couple’s arms together – the knotted ribbons can be kept forever!

We explain the tradition as we perform the fast and the resulting knot is a little bit of magic!

If you wish to have and keep your own ribbons, we recommend the following source (although there will be many more out there!)


Huntly Business Centre
Gordon Street
AB54 8PG

If you wish to make your own, we ask that they be around 1m to 1m 40cms (this is the width of a standard bale of fabric) and around 5cms across.  (They are not the narrow ribbons that you might, for example, tie in a girl’s hair.)  Please get in touch if you have any questions about this.

Alternatively, we carry our own hand fasting ribbons that you are very welcome to use on the day itself.

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© Bryan Begg