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Symbolic Rituals for Children & Families

For making your special day truly memorable

Symbolic Ritual ideas for Children & Families: beautiful and memorable ways to visually welcome the little ones in your life…

These can be interactive for you as a family, but you might also want to include other members of your family or friends – such a great and memorable token to leave your guests feeling how personal you have made this special day for your child or family.

 

This is a real chance to show off individuality and creativity through rituals. And they have so much significance you can talk about for years to come.

 

Working with For Life’s Journey & Tuirenn Hurstfield, we are happy to help you personalise a traditional ceremony element, or create a brand new one based on what makes you feel special and unique!

 

The descriptions below will help you begin imagining what kind of visual and symbolic gesture might fit into your particular ceremony. We can then help fill in the details of meaning and methods for any of them.

OUR MAIN SYMBOLIC RITUALS

If you want to include an additional ritual beyond the number offered in your package fee, there will be a £25 charge for each additional ritual desired.

If additional charge is stated, this is to cover cost of materials for making this particular ritual happen. You can choose to purchase your own materials instead but if you do, then please note: we will have no responsibility nor ability to conduct the ritual on the day if the materials you have self-purchased are not present or are not fit for purpose or are non-compliant with regulation or health and safety law.

Letters of Love
Ritual

The Wish Knot
Ritual

You will write four separate Letters to your child/children which will be kept secret until they reach certain ages. These will contain your hopes and dreams for them, wishes for what you want for them, and a reminder of your special bond with them:

The First letter is a Letter to be opened on their tenth birthday.
The Second letter is a Letter to be opened on their thirteenth birthday.
The Third letter is a Letter to be opened on their eighteenth birthday.
The Fourth letter is a Letter to be opened on their twenty-first birthday. 

You can also offer advice for how your child/children might face the challenges associated with this age (e.g. getting ready to go to big school, or setting off in the world on their own). You will give these to your celebrant in advance of the ceremony for them to seal with wax. These will be presented during the ceremony.

No Materials Charge

The Wish Knot is a literal weaving together of  families through the twisting and knotting of coloured ribbons or cords. It is a perfect ritual element for the bringing together of two separate families, or the introduction of an adopted child into your family. It creates a lasting memento and reminder of how you are bonding your family unit together, and welcoming others into your lives. 

A colour is selected by each of the family members being included in the ceremony, and the colours are chosen by grandparents or Supporting Adults for the child/children who are not old enough to choose a colour that represents themselves as an individual.

Prior to the ceremony, these will be given to the celebrant who will begin the knotting process.

During the ceremony, the family will complete the act with the final strands being woven together and the wish knot seals it at the end with a united pledge to each other.

No Materials Charge

Letters of Love
Ritual

You will write four separate Letters to your child/children which will be kept secret until they reach certain ages. These will contain your hopes and dreams for them, wishes for what you want for them, and a reminder of your special bond with them:

The First letter is a Letter to be opened on their tenth birthday.
The Second letter is a Letter to be opened on their thirteenth birthday.
The Third letter is a Letter to be opened on their eighteenth birthday.
The Fourth letter is a Letter to be opened on their twenty-first birthday. 

You can also offer advice for how your child/children might face the challenges associated with this age (e.g. getting ready to go to big school, or setting off in the world on their own). You will give these to your celebrant in advance of the ceremony for them to seal with wax. These will be presented during the ceremony.

No Materials Charge

The Wish Knot
Ritual

The Wish Knot is a literal weaving together of  families through the twisting and knotting of coloured ribbons or cords. It is a perfect ritual element for the bringing together of two separate families, or the introduction of an adopted child into your family. It creates a lasting memento and reminder of how you are bonding your family unit together, and welcoming others into your lives. 

A colour is selected by each of the family members being included in the ceremony, and the colours are chosen by grandparents or Supporting Adults for the child/children who are not old enough to choose a colour that represents themselves as an individual.

Prior to the ceremony, these will be given to the celebrant who will begin the knotting process.

During the ceremony, the family will complete the act with the final strands being woven together and the wish knot seals it at the end with a united pledge to each other.

No Materials Charge

Bitter Sweet
Ceremony

Honey & Lemon
Ritual

*NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER FIVE*

A deliciously simple way of uniting a family together and making promises to support each other in times of good and in times of bad.

The fruit juice (or wine if you’d prefer, but remember the child/children need to drink from the same drink) represents all of the sweetness of life, the ups and the successes. The dark chocolate represents all of the bitterness of life, the lows/downs and challenges you may face together. 

Together you will each taste the same sweetness and bitterness, and know that you are there for each other through everything. 

The materials charge for this is for a special box of dark chocolates for you to enjoy together after the ceremony.

£5+ Materials Charge

*NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER FIVE*

This is another take on the Bitter Sweet Ceremony, and has some added humour when everyone bites their wedge of lemon!

The honey represents all of the sweetness of life, the ups and the successes. The lemon represents all of the bitterness of life, the lows/downs and challenges you may face together. 

Together you will each taste the same sweetness and bitterness, and know that you are there for each other through everything. 

The materials charge for this is for a special glass honey pot and dipper, and you will leave with a beautiful organic honey to use in your first breakfasts/meals together as a family.

£15+ Materials Charge

Bitter Sweet
Ceremony

*NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER FIVE*

A deliciously simple way of uniting a family together and making promises to support each other in times of good and in times of bad.

The fruit juice (or wine if you’d prefer, but remember the child/children need to drink from the same drink) represents all of the sweetness of life, the ups and the successes. The dark chocolate represents all of the bitterness of life, the lows/downs and challenges you may face together. 

Together you will each taste the same sweetness and bitterness, and know that you are there for each other through everything. 

The materials charge for this is for a special box of dark chocolates for you to enjoy together after the ceremony.

£5+ Materials Charge

Honey & Lemon
Ritual

*NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN UNDER FIVE*

This is another take on the Bitter Sweet Ceremony, and has some added humour when everyone bites their wedge of lemon!

The honey represents all of the sweetness of life, the ups and the successes. The lemon represents all of the bitterness of life, the lows/downs and challenges you may face together. 

Together you will each taste the same sweetness and bitterness, and know that you are there for each other through everything. 

The materials charge for this is for a special glass honey pot and dipper, and you will leave with a beautiful organic honey to use in your first breakfasts/meals together as a family.

£15+ Materials Charge

Seashell
Ritual

Aqua of Life
Blending Ritual

The seashells are collected by your guests as they enter the ceremony space.

 

During the ceremony they will be asked to do certain actions with the seashells by the celebrant. But all the way through they are pouring their love and good wishes for your family and/or child into their unique shell.

 

The shells will be collected, and placed in a beautiful presentation bowl for you to keep your family/friends’ wishes in your own home thereafter.

£20+ Materials Charge

The creating of a new colour together from the mixing of other colours (representing each member of your new family) symbolises the new union of you as one unit.

The Unity Water ceremony incorporates small glasses of different coloured water and a larger glass or carafe into which the smaller glasses are emptied creating a brand new colour.

You should experiment with the coloured water long before the ceremony, to find a combination that creates a colour you really like. You may even be able to use the colours from your ceremony theme.

If this is simple merging of two established families, each child may be included and given a smaller glass of the same colour water of their particular parent to pour into the container.

£35+ Materials Charge

Seashell
Ritual

The seashells are collected by your guests as they enter the ceremony space.

 

During the ceremony they will be asked to do certain actions with the seashells by the celebrant. But all the way through they are pouring their love and good wishes for your family and/or child into their unique shell.

 

The shells will be collected, and placed in a beautiful presentation bowl for you to keep your family/friends’ wishes in your own home thereafter.

£20+ Materials Charge

Aqua of Life
Blending Ritual

The creating of a new colour together from the mixing of other colours (representing each member of your new family) symbolises the new union of you as one unit.

The Unity Water ceremony incorporates small glasses of different coloured water and a larger glass or carafe into which the smaller glasses are emptied creating a brand new colour.

You should experiment with the coloured water long before the ceremony, to find a combination that creates a colour you really like. You may even be able to use the colours from your ceremony theme.

If this is simple merging of two established families, each child may be included and given a smaller glass of the same colour water of their particular parent to pour into the container.

£35+ Materials Charge

Money Box Wish
Ceremony

Unity Candle Lighting
Ritual

This is a gorgeous take on the age-old Christening tradition of giving your child a silver money box. 

Rather than just simply giving them a money box or piggy bank, include special wishes and pledges from each of your guests.

You are your partner each place 18 silver coins (5p, 10p, 20p and 50p) into the box together with important words, as a representation of each year of childhood.

In the mean time, each of your guests holds a silver coin and warms it in their hands while blessing it wit wishes of good fortune, luck and love for your child. 

At the end of the ceremony, they each place their blessed silver coin in the silver money box for your child to spend when they are old enough.

£35 Materials Charge

This is a very popular ritual act that has so many creative opportunities for you to make it unique and personal to you. This is a perfect ritual for slightly older children to participate in too – especially if this is a merging of families or an adoption. Please note: there may be problems if yours is an outdoors ceremony…

You can include your wider family as well, and the lit candles in a dull room always look beautiful.

 

The usual method: the family could light each other’s candles, and together they light the main one (that the rest of the wider family lights theirs from). The merging flames will show their unity and strengthened love and shared lives together as a strong family unit. 

 

But there are so many variations to this ritual element. Let’s make it work for you!

£45+ Materials Charge

Money Box Wish
Ceremony

This is a gorgeous take on the age-old Christening tradition of giving your child a silver money box. 

Rather than just simply giving them a money box or piggy bank, include special wishes and pledges from each of your guests.

You are your partner each place 18 silver coins (5p, 10p, 20p and 50p) into the box together with important words, as a representation of each year of childhood.

In the mean time, each of your guests holds a silver coin and warms it in their hands while blessing it wit wishes of good fortune, luck and love for your child. 

At the end of the ceremony, they each place their blessed silver coin in the silver money box for your child to spend when they are old enough.

£35 Materials Charge

Unity Candle Lighting
Ritual

This is a very popular ritual act that has so many creative opportunities for you to make it unique and personal to you. This is a perfect ritual for slightly older children to participate in too – especially if this is a merging of families or an adoption. Please note: there may be problems if yours is an outdoors ceremony…

You can include your wider family as well, and the lit candles in a dull room always look beautiful.

 

The usual method: the family could light each other’s candles, and together they light the main one (that the rest of the wider family lights theirs from). The merging flames will show their unity and strengthened love and shared lives together as a strong family unit. 

 

But there are so many variations to this ritual element. Let’s make it work for you!

£45+ Materials Charge

"Secrets of Life"
Ritual

Wishing Tree
Ritual

This is a lovely and highly personal way for your guests to provide your child/children with their own personal wisdom for living a long and happy life.

 

The guests are all given a pen and three coloured pieces of card: one white, one pink, one blue.

During the ceremony the guests will be asked to write a one sentence piece of advice to help you in particular moments of your child over the course of their life. The colours will correspond with those moments where you will need help and support.

Other children can also participate by drawing something for the celebrated child at the same time.

At the end, the guests will place their cards in a treasure box (which they can also bless) for your child/children to keep and reach for their guidance when they might most need it.

 

This is such a personal and touching symbolic gesture, with real practical meaning later in life.

£50+ Materials Charge

Another truly personal ceremonial act. Your guests write your child/children a message of love and best wishes, or could be asked to write something about the new family themselves, on a leaf or tag which is attached to a symbolic or actual tree.

Their giving of words is a marvellous and different way of collected your guests’ messages in place of the traditional “guest book” if you so chose to. Although many families want to have both elements.

You can add even more spice to this act too: by asking your guests to bring a small trinket/gift (ideally costing no more than pennies) that is personal representation of what your family means to them, they attach a ribbon to their leaf and trinket to adorn the tree.

This one is very personal, and can give you some really funny memories with the creative choices of your guests!

£55+ Materials Charge

"Secrets of Life"
Ritual

This is a lovely and highly personal way for your guests to provide your child/children with their own personal wisdom for living a long and happy life.

 

The guests are all given a pen and three coloured pieces of card: one white, one pink, one blue.

During the ceremony the guests will be asked to write a one sentence piece of advice to help you in particular moments of your child over the course of their life. The colours will correspond with those moments where you will need help and support.

Other children can also participate by drawing something for the celebrated child at the same time.

At the end, the guests will place their cards in a treasure box (which they can also bless) for your child/children to keep and reach for their guidance when they might most need it.

 

This is such a personal and touching symbolic gesture, with real practical meaning later in life.

£50+ Materials Charge

Wishing Tree
Ritual

Another truly personal ceremonial act. Your guests write your child/children a message of love and best wishes, or could be asked to write something about the new family themselves, on a leaf or tag which is attached to a symbolic or actual tree.

Their giving of words is a marvellous and different way of collected your guests’ messages in place of the traditional “guest book” if you so chose to. Although many families want to have both elements.

You can add even more spice to this act too: by asking your guests to bring a small trinket/gift (ideally costing no more than pennies) that is personal representation of what your family means to them, they attach a ribbon to their leaf and trinket to adorn the tree.

This one is very personal, and can give you some really funny memories with the creative choices of your guests!

£55+ Materials Charge

Stone Blessing
Ritual

Sand Unity
Ritual

Stone Blessing is a great way to bring not only the unity of your new family into your ceremony but also include all of your guests.

Similar to the seashell ritual above, your guests make a wish for your family’s happiness and bless the stone while warming it throughout the ceremony. You could even have small markers for each guest so they can write their name on the stone. The rocks are collected together, each rock representing a wish and an individual present just for you as a family on your special day.

Then, the family can save the tokens in a nice container as a keepsake. Also, some families combine the elements of other unity ceremonies (such as the “Sand Unity Ritual”) and pour their sand over the collected stones. The many variations of this stone ceremony are only limited by your imagination.

£60+ Materials Charge

Legend has it that the sand ceremony began in Hawaii when couples would marry barefoot on the beach. During the ceremony they would reach down and take a handful of sand from beneath their feet and pour it into a single container symbolising their oneness.

The ritual is adapted to now usually comprise of different coloured sands representing the family members’ individuality – as representation of all that they were as individuals. The blending of sands during the ritual is representation of all that they are in this moment. The finished ritual provides a lasting visual token of all that the family will become.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into individual containers, the family is blessed to remain together, and that any fight or decision to separate can only be fully manifested if each grain of sand is separated once more.

£65+ Materials Charge

Stone Blessing
Ritual

Stone Blessing is a great way to bring not only the unity of your new family into your ceremony but also include all of your guests.

Similar to the seashell ritual above, your guests make a wish for your family’s happiness and bless the stone while warming it throughout the ceremony. You could even have small markers for each guest so they can write their name on the stone. The rocks are collected together, each rock representing a wish and an individual present just for you as a family on your special day.

Then, the family can save the tokens in a nice container as a keepsake. Also, some families combine the elements of other unity ceremonies (such as the “Sand Unity Ritual”) and pour their sand over the collected stones. The many variations of this stone ceremony are only limited by your imagination.

£60+ Materials Charge

Sand Unity
Ritual

Legend has it that the sand ceremony began in Hawaii when couples would marry barefoot on the beach. During the ceremony they would reach down and take a handful of sand from beneath their feet and pour it into a single container symbolising their oneness.

The ritual is adapted to now usually comprise of different coloured sands representing the family members’ individuality – as representation of all that they were as individuals. The blending of sands during the ritual is representation of all that they are in this moment. The finished ritual provides a lasting visual token of all that the family will become.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into individual containers, the family is blessed to remain together, and that any fight or decision to separate can only be fully manifested if each grain of sand is separated once more.

£65+ Materials Charge

Time Capsule
Ceremony

Tree Planting
Ceremony

A ceremonial time capsule is a heartfelt and enduring gift that lasts for generations to come. Imagine your child opening their personal and unique time capsule on a special day or anniversary in the future and being able to reminisce on just how special they have always been to you since this unique day!

Items you can include:

  • Lock of hair from each of the family members (before it turns grey, or goes away completely).
  • A local daily and national newspapers from the day of the ceremony
  • Ceremony programme from the ceremony
  • Copy of your ceremony invitation
  • Copies of your promises
  • Copy of your ceremony certificate
  • The cork from the toast
  • Current family tree (from the day of your ceremony)
  • Popular music or tv show recorded from the day of your ceremony
  • Items from your child’s pregnancy or adoption process (baby scans, petition for adoption etc)
  • A current postage stamp
  • Messages from guests at your ceremony reception (have them fill out “Message to the Future” letters to the child predicting their future, like what their career may be etc)
  • A representation of each of the child given by their parents – could be a childhood toy, or photographs of their youth so far
  • A message to your child written on the night before the ceremony…

The list is endless. But depending on what you choose to put in there, the time capsule can be sealed and possibly even buried as part of the ceremony.

£70+ Materials Charge

If you are having your ceremony outdoors, in a park, even your own garden, there is a way to keep the memory of your special day alive year after year with a Tree Planting Ceremony.

Do you want something that will grow as your child and family grows over the years – building strong roots together, and not the usual keepsakes from your special day that can be forgotten?

The Supporting Adults can contribute soil from their own homes in glass containers – you can have the containers decorated and placed on a table near where you will stand for your ceremony. The soil can also come from other family members which represents a blending of lives.

You can plant the tree directly in the ground, or you could also have a small container with a tree planted inside where you all add the soil.

 

The joy of the tree planting, while a little more intricate than many of the other ceremony rituals mentioned above, is that it becomes a real and lasting legacy of your special day. It can be given special meaning too by combining other rituals to it (the “Aqua of Life” ceremony, the “wish tree” ceremony etc)

 

£75+ Materials Charge

 

Time Capsule
Ceremony

A ceremonial time capsule is a heartfelt and enduring gift that lasts for generations to come. Imagine your child opening their personal and unique time capsule on a special day or anniversary in the future and being able to reminisce on just how special they have always been to you since this unique day!

Items you can include:

  • Lock of hair from each of the family members (before it turns grey, or goes away completely).
  • A local daily and national newspapers from the day of the ceremony
  • Ceremony programme from the ceremony
  • Copy of your ceremony invitation
  • Copies of your promises
  • Copy of your ceremony certificate
  • The cork from the toast
  • Current family tree (from the day of your ceremony)
  • Popular music or tv show recorded from the day of your ceremony
  • Items from your child’s pregnancy or adoption process (baby scans, petition for adoption etc)
  • A current postage stamp
  • Messages from guests at your ceremony reception (have them fill out “Message to the Future” letters to the child predicting their future, like what their career may be etc)
  • A representation of each of the child given by their parents – could be a childhood toy, or photographs of their youth so far
  • A message to your child written on the night before the ceremony…

The list is endless. But depending on what you choose to put in there, the time capsule can be sealed and possibly even buried as part of the ceremony.

£70+ Materials Charge

Tree Planting
Ceremony

If you are having your ceremony outdoors, in a park, even your own garden, there is a way to keep the memory of your special day alive year after year with a Tree Planting Ceremony.

Do you want something that will grow as your child and family grows over the years – building strong roots together, and not the usual keepsakes from your special day that can be forgotten?

The Supporting Adults can contribute soil from their own homes in glass containers – you can have the containers decorated and placed on a table near where you will stand for your ceremony. The soil can also come from other family members which represents a blending of lives.

You can plant the tree directly in the ground, or you could also have a small container with a tree planted inside where you all add the soil.

 

The joy of the tree planting, while a little more intricate than many of the other ceremony rituals mentioned above, is that it becomes a real and lasting legacy of your special day. It can be given special meaning too by combining other rituals to it (the “Aqua of Life” ceremony, the “wish tree” ceremony etc)

 

£75+ Materials Charge

 

Want a Symbolic Element Not Listed Here?

We can always develop new ideas or adapt ceremonial rituals you have discovered yourself into your special day. Making it even more awesome for you! Just be aware that there may be additional materials charges...

Let's Discuss Your Needs

Starting with an informal chat, we'll take it from there...

TUIRENN

An Irish Name
pronounced:
TEER-an

BASED IN CHESHIRE

But willing to travel worldwide.

Most of our ceremonies designed & delivered in Cheshire East, South Manchester & North Staffs

Let's Discuss Your Needs

Starting with an informal chat, we'll take it from there...

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Children & Family Ceremonies

Make Your Little One Even More Special

Welcome your latest family member

When 2 families become 1

Celebrate your new arrival

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Always Choose Qualified

Check that your celebrant is FULLY qualified to ensure the best service!

The Perfect Ceremony

Memorable ceremonies are created through sharing what makes you “you”…

Celebrancy FAQs

All you need to know about working with a celebrant…

Always Choose Qualified

Check that your celebrant is FULLY qualified to ensure the best service!

The Perfect Ceremony

Memorable ceremonies are created through sharing what makes you “you”…