Blessings for a happy wedding and other positive thoughts are popular wishes for the bridal couple on their big day. Learning about the different traditions of blessings for a wedding throughout the world can help you find the perfect one.
Weddings the World Over
Just like the menus and styles of dress found in weddings all over the world, blessings and wishes vary from culture to culture. America is a beautiful place to wed, as it is the ultimate melting pot of countless creeds and traditions, providing you with the unique opportunity to blend ideas from varying places around the world, bringing it all together for one special day here on the home front.
In countries like Ireland, blessings, wishes, and positive words are given to the bride and groom in the poetic form. One timeless Irish wedding blessing begins:
May the road rise to meet you… May God be with you and bless you; May you see your children's children. May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings, May you know nothing but happiness…
This is only one of the many poetic wishes bestowed upon Irish couples. You can easily find more by visiting a website such as LollySmith.com, which specializes in all things Irish.
Also following the poetic stance, but in a much simpler form, American Indian wedding blessings focus upon the basics of a marriage - shelter, warmth, and love. One example comes from the Apache tribe:
Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other…
This blessing and others go on to describe the natural elements in relation to the security found in lifelong companionship. Even the most ancient of people groups understood the importance of the marriage union, and how it is a sacred tradition worth celebrating.
Perhaps you are more focused on a particular faith rather than culture, which is often seen in the United States where couples are such a blend of nationalities that singling out one or two heritages would be impossible.
If you are Catholic, or would like to receive a blessing from a Catholic priest or relative, you will most likely receive an elaborate prayer, aimed toward God or the Virgin Mary. While the prayers may differ in length and style, they are almost always formal, recognizing God as your marriage witness and eternal provider, and ending with an "amen" and acknowledgement of Christ.
Protestant blessings are more informal. Often, the wedding blessings wishes and prayers during a Protestant ceremony come from the officiating pastor in a spontaneous prayer. The blessing is more candid and customized, rather than a Catholic's formal recitation. Scriptures from the Bible are also often quoted during Protestant blessings, especially those from popular love-based passages, such as the book of 1 Corinthians.
Alternatives for Wedding Blessings, Wishes, and Wise Words
Perhaps you would like to stay away from culture and religion altogether, and just have a feel good moment of blessings and wishes at your reception. This is easy to accomplish with a little creativity. Some couples have a wedding wish tree, which can be small enough to fit on a gift table. Purchase small fabric bags at your local craft store, and have pens and small strips of paper available to guests. Then, at their convenience, your reception attendees can write their well-wishes on the paper, slip it into a bag, and hang it on the tree. The couple can then remove the bags and read them on the way to their honeymoon or on their return home. Similarly, guests can be invited to write their wedding wishes in a guest book, on a photo mat that holds a wedding picture, or in a giant wedding card.Spontaneous toasts are also becoming more popular at weddings. Once reserved for only honor attendants and the father of the bride, many couples are now opting for "open mic" time where any guest can volunteer to bestow words of wisdom, blessings, positive wishes, or a funny memory about the couple for all to enjoy.
Wedding blessings wishes can be anything you imagine. Remember, it is your special day, and there are no rules to what you can and cannot do. Discuss with your fiancé what fits your wedding best, and if you are a guest, ask how you can bless the newlyweds in your own special way.