We can choose to throw stones, to stumble on them, to climb over them, or to build with them.
The power of stones to evoke spiritual and magical meaning is written in our history. Stonehenge, the stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai, the sword in the stone, the Blarney stone and the Stone of Scone to name but a few. Then there are the precious and semi-precious stones which have their own meanings and traditions within our culture. The engagement ring with its stone setting is really a stepping stone to the wedding ring. It is not therefore surprising that a relatively new trend has seen stones being used in wedding ceremonies.
A simple but effective ritual is for the couple to hold in their hands a specially chosen stone while they say their promises to each other. The vows are thus being set in stone and the couple can keep their special stone as a reminder of those vows and their very special day. An extension to this ritual would be for the stone to be passed between guests before it is used in the ceremony. The passing of the stone between guests warms up the stone and allows each guest to invest a small wish for the future of the couple while they hold the stone.
The stone itself can be chosen from a beach or place of special significance. Some couples will choose to leave the stone as nature presented it to them while others will add paint to decorate it in a way that is meaningful to them. The couple’s names, the date, a love poem or artistic pictures are all possibilities.
Another alternative is for guests to be given or to choose a pebble or already painted small stone to hold during the ceremony and to invest their wishes for the couple in the stone they hold. At the end of the ceremony these stones can be placed in a jar for the couple to keep.
There is a growing trend for guest participation within ceremonies and stone warming is an easily understood and meaningful act that guests will engage with. A similar ritual can of course be perfomed with the wedding rings and ring warming is also increasingly be added to the rituals performed in a ceremony.
If you have an outdoors wedding and are next to the sea or a lake you could consider casting your stones into the water. The ripples on the surface representing the spreading of those wishes that had been invested in the stones.