Marriage is the symbolic union of two people who decide to unite their lives, promising to love each other forever. If the religious rite is not the way you wish to celebrate love alongside your partner, a symbolic wedding is what you are looking for. It is a ceremony that celebrates the love that binds the two lovers, stepping outside the box and conventions of traditional marriage. With the symbolic wedding you can say a totally tailor-made “Yes”. You can decide every aspect and detail of the celebration and organize it as you prefer. Let’s see how.  


The symbolic marriage is not a legal union, and is usually preceded by a civil ceremony in order to make it legal. However, there are also those who prefer to perform only the symbolic rite without a civil marriage. The ceremony has no fixed ritual, but is based solely on the sacredness of the couple’s love and history, retraced through memories and important symbols. The symbolic ceremony is not recognised by any religion, but it takes on great meaning for the two people who decide to unite their lives. In addition, it gives enormous flexibility in terms of organization, the spouses can decide to celebrate the union in any location and they can create an arrangement that incorporates the values, ideas and preferences of both. In Italy, symbolic marriage has begun to spread especially in recent years. Nowadays there are many people who decide to use this rite to get married, personalizing the ceremony even more.  


There are different kinds of rituals to celebrate a symbolic marriage, each couple can choose the one that best reflects their union. Here are some examples:
  • Sand rite
  • Ceremony of light or candles
  • Ritual of the tied hands or handfasting
  • Symbolic Chuppah ritual
  • Tree planting ceremony
  • Ring Warming or rite of love infusion
  • Ritual with the oath stone
  • Ritual of the memory box
  • Sugar rite


Symbolic marriage is free from dogma and rules, so couples have a lot of leeway in planning the event. However, it is good to include some elements to make the ceremony a meaningful event for both partners.   What to prepare for a symbolic wedding? -Writing vows – The vows are the most important part of the symbolic wedding, as they symbolize the promises made by each partner. There are no fixed rules for the vows, except that they should be said from the heart. -Exchange rings – Couples can choose to exchange rings just as in civil and religious weddings. -Have a witness – Even a symbolic wedding should be witnessed, to make it even more meaningful for the couple and those attending the event. -Have a celebrant – He/she can be a professional but also a close friend, a family member or someone the couple considers important.  


Even a symbolic wedding needs the right organization and a budget from where to start, so that the ceremony and the subsequent celebrations can be perfect. After choosing the right location,  we move on to the set-up, which should reflect the wishes of the bride and groom and the character they have decided to give to their event. Decorations can include the arch, altar, path, chairs, flowers, and anything else that is in line with the chosen style. The music that accompanies the bride toward the altar cannot be missing, and should be chosen carefully in order to make the moment of the “YES” even more emotional. However, as we have already said, there are no rules, the symbolic wedding leaves you free to handle everything according to your wishes. As a wedding planner, I assist the bride and groom in all kinds of wedding rituals. Contact me if you want to free yourself from the commitments related to organizing the ceremony and setting up the location where you will hold the reception.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash