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Unity Rituals and Symbols Ideas: Crowning Ceremony

Updated: May 1

Unity Rituals and Symbols Ideas: Crowning Ceremony!


What is a 'Crowning Ceremony'?

A 'crowning ceremony' derives from ancient Greece. The wedding crowns symbolise the couple as the 'king(s)/queen(s) of their marital home. As 'monarchs' they must rule with justice, love, wisdom and integrity. The wedding crowns are joined with ribbon, to symbolise their unity in this role and marriage.


Where does the 'Unity Crowning Ceremony' originate from?

This is a wedding tradition, deriving from ancient religious and cultural traditions, namely from Greece and other 'Orthodox' Christian denominations. These wedding crowns are referred to as 'Stefania' in Greek.


The natural materials of the crowns, originally made from olive branches with woven lemon blossoms, were dedicated to the goddess of love, Aphrodite.


Traditionally, the crowns would also be worn by the wedding guests. They would be kept in pace for a week, followed by another ceremony to withdraw the crowns. Another reason to celebrate with your guests!


There is also a different type of 'crowning ceremony' at Jewish weddings. The bride's mother may take part in a mezinke tanz, a Jewish ceremony honoring parents who last child is getting married. The crown of flowers is often placed on the mother's head during a dance. This dance is also known as krenzel (Yiddish for "crown"). The proud parents may be sat on chairs in the middle of the dance floor. The couples' friends and family dance around them, in a circular shape. So this happens after the wedding ceremony. So a slightly different tradition.


How can you make your 'Unity Crowning Ceremony' unique?

The crown designs and materials can be unique, following your ceremony theme or colours. Whether a more natural circular crown, with greens and earth tone colours, or a full flower crown, with vibrant colours and visual shapes.



What happens during a 'Unity Crowning Ceremony'?

Typically the celebrant will explaining the meaning and symbolism of the ceremony. The two wedding crowns will be placed onto the rear of the couples’ heads. These are joined by a long ribbon, unifying and joining the couple. The crowns are exchanged three times by anyone in your wedding party, a great way to involve those closest to you! The religious reasons for the exchange of wedding crowns, three times, is to receive and invoke the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). For Humanist or non-religious couples this symbolism reminds them that they are 'betrothed' (the placing of the crowns upon their heads in a Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony is the actual moment to signify the marriage) and a united couple.



Why would you incorporate a wedding crown ceremony?

  • Crowns and crowning have been an important ritual to signify the importance of the person/couple and their newly honoured status, where a new monarch or married couple.

  • This ceremony can be adapted to be appropriate for the couple and their families: a religious, cultural or Humanist ceremony. You may have Greek heritage, or having an elopement ceremony in Greece. Or you may wish to have a modern twist, flower crowns are becoming ever increasingly popular.

  • It allows important members of the wedding party to be included in the ritual and the meaning, including parents, siblings, best friends or children.

  • You will be able to adapt and design the crowning ceremony to your own requirements and meaning.

  • It is a ritual and symbolism of unity of two individuals becoming one couple.

  • You may wish to keep the wedding crowns to have a keepsake, to display as a visual reminder of your wonderful ceremony.

Can you have other Unity Symbols and Rituals along with a Unity Crowning Ceremony?

Yes you can! It is your ceremony, so you can include what ever sections have meanings to you. A celebrant is not constrained to the typical 15 mins of a civil registrar. Although, the caterers do need some guide of the length of the ceremony, if you add some of these! So the choices are yours: jumping the broom, unity candle, handfasting, tree unity planting or any others! (Please see my other blogs for additional ideas!)


'Your Day, Your Ceremony, Your Way!'


Donna x

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