A. Howard – Week Three – Description of a Ritual

Section One: The perfect wedding day is every woman’s dream from the perfect dress, to the decorations and even the freshest flowers. The most important aspect of a wedding of course is the day of rituals to live by. A traditional wedding can encompass a variety of things but these are the most important aspects I have encountered. The bride and groom must spend their last night as single adults apart to give them good luck for the big day. The bride must be wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. The church must be set with beautiful decorations as the ushers escort the guests into the church thirty minutes prior to the ceremony as beautiful music plays in the background. The mother of the bride is seated last in the front closest to the ceremony. The minister, groom and his best man will then enter the church and stand at the front where the ceremony will take place. The processional music will begin as the bridesmaids escorted by the groomsmen enter the church then the maid/matron of honor, ring bearer and the flower girl(s). The processional music will begin for the last escort: the bride. The bride will be escorted in by her father who will reveal her beautiful face and hug her at the end before handing her over to her groom. The minister will say a brief prayer then do a few readings from the bible. The bride and groom will then exchange vows followed by the exchange of rings. The minister will then pronounce the bride and groom as husband and wife and say “You may now kiss the bride.” The guests will cheer and the music will begin to play again as the wedding party processes out. The wedding party will immediately go to the discussed location for professional wedding photos. The bride and groom will sign their marriage license and proceed to take pictures. The ushers will escort the guests out row by row to proceed to the reception. Guests will be seated in the reception area and enjoy some refreshments before the wedding party and the newlyweds enter. By the time the procures are done and everyone is seated, the newlyweds are announced and the celebration begins! A reception can have multiple traditions but the ones I am most familiar with are the newlyweds first dance, the father daughter dance and the newlyweds cutting the cake and sharing the first slice.


Section Two: All in all, the wedding ceremony is one of the most splendid rituals of them all. I believe wedding ceremonies are to showcase your new lifestyle and partner to your closes family and friends. It’s a celebration. A wedding ceremony is personal and intimate because it also showcases your beliefs and values. The community is definitely strengthened because the bond of two families has just been formed. The wedding is important for all parties involved. The groomsmen and bridesmaids are usually a bride and grooms’ most trusted friends and family. Even if some parts of a wedding are untraditional, each wedding is special and sacred in its own way.

4 thoughts on “A. Howard – Week Three – Description of a Ritual

  1. This was a perfect description of a traditional wedding ceremony. The weddings I go to are more religious and circled around our culture. They are Indian Orthodox weddings where there is a prayer for the bride and groom in individual houses before the actual ceremony and the service lasts for about 2 hours. The wedding is separated into two parts of the blessing of the rings and the blessing of the crowns, which are cross necklaces that are placed on the bride and groom. Everyone attending the wedding must also stand along with the couple, joining in the prayers being read and singing the hymns provided in the books with the choir. The entire environment feels pure and blessed, while everyone is smiling and happy for the beautiful couple. I have never been to an American wedding, but it is not difficult to imagine from all of the movies that show exactly what happens in them. Although, I would like to go to one of them someday.

  2. I really enjoyed your description of a wedding, you highlighted a lot of the ritualistic points. I think that you could have made it more personal though, by talking about a specific wedding that you have attended. I also don’t think that you placed your ritual in a typology, which would mean that you didn’t explain why you would put it in that category. You did answer some of the other questions though in second section, which tied it off nicely for your ritual description. One thing that I thought you could have added to in the second section would have been to say, ‘you described a church wedding but there are many other types of weddings like the one that Estelle described in the comment above. I’ve witnessed a none church wedding and while they had a lot of the same rituals there were a few that were different like not using a priest, or presenting their wedding vows differently. It is also interesting to think that while there are a lot of rituals for weddings that you don’t know about until you get married.

  3. I like that you include details about a classic, traditional wedding. But I think you should include who this is traditional to, because this is not a traditional Jewish wedding so to say it is simply traditional is inaccurate. I am assuming what you are describing is a Catholic wedding. I like the description of all the planning and things that go into making a wedding special. It takes a great deal of planning and so many things are often overlooked, such as floral arrangements that take a great deal of time to plan. I am most familiar with the traditions you described as well. I also think that weddings are not only to showcase your new lifestyle but a way to show your devoted love to the other person. I do believe that weddings are sacred and special even if untraditional as well. I do believe a weddings is the first step in spending the rest of your life with someone.

  4. It’s amazing how different every wedding is from another. I’m curious as to what religion or belief system you are referencing when you talk about it being a traditional wedding or how the most important part is the rituals to live by. In many Christian weddings I would consider the “rituals to live by” as the bride and groom making their vows to each other and promising eternal love through health and sickness, life and death.

    I sense this wedding to be both a rite of passage as well as a rite of intensification. The bride and groom are “transformed”, they are now considered to be one unit in a religious standing. Oftentimes wedding rings are exchanged to symbolize the bride and groom’s unity. I’ve also seen the bride and groom light a single candle together or pour sand into a glass together, symbolizing their lives becoming intertwined and unable to separate. The wedding also strengthens the family and community ties by gathering everyone to witness the ceremony as well as to have a big celebration.

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