A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage.
Although traditions and customs vary greatly, there are some common elements shared by many cultures. These include the exchange of wedding vows by the couple, the presentation of rings and the public proclamation of marriage by a religious leader or other authority figure. Special garments are often worn and the ceremony is followed by a wedding reception.
The most universal symbol of marriage is the exchanging of rings, as a sign of love, faithfulness and commitment. Although the origins of this tradition are not entirely certain, it could be due to the circular shape of the ring standing for perfection and never-ending love.
The Western custom of the bride wearing a white gown is a symbol of purity, originating from the Victorian era. Under this tradition, it would have been considered inappropriate for a widow or divorcee to wear a white dress and veil for a subsequent wedding.
Home Gifts: Birdhouse
If your friends have a garden or balcony, give them a birdhouse or bird feeder, along with some birdseed, to say "May the bluebird of happiness land at your door!".
Journal: Story of a Lifetime
Preserve your most precious memories for the next generation: write your own story of your life. Chronicle all the important events and relationships, milestones and challenges for a fantastic keepsake present which is great to pass on to future generations.
Plant: "Growing Old Together"
A plant or bonsai tree, with a note to say "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be" makes a long-lasting and personal gift for many occasions.
It can also be a great gift for a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary, wishing them a long and happy life together.
Huge photo album with a family history
The gift was not only a gorgeous album - made of leather and engraved with my name and the date stamped on the front in gold - but it was full of photos of me and my family from my birth up to my marriage. The sentimental value made it such an amazing gift.
Scrapbook with pages from each of my close friends.
Each of my girlfriends put a lot of thought and time into crafting a scrapbook that reflected the history of our friendship. I liked that the gift had a personal touch and didn't cost a lot of money to create. It is something that I will keep forever and makes me smile every time I look at it.
Like all girls I too love jewelery and especially diamond jewelery. My husband gave me a diamond pendant in shape of a heart on our 5th wedding anniversary.
It was my wedding gift from one of my best friends. Not only did it bounce costing me a $20 bank fee, but my friend apologized and told me to go ahead and re-deposit it. Guess what? It bounced again costing me another $20 bank fee.
Planting periwinkle in the garden of a couple's first home will ensure a long and happy life together.
Wheat is a symbol of an abundant harvest and used to wish for fruitfulness.
Roman wedding cakes were made of plain wheat. Bride and groom tasted the first piece, while the rest of the cake was crumbled over the head of the bride to ensure for a bountiful life.
Sun & Moon
The sun is known as the ruler of the heart and the moon is known as the ruler of the head. The two combine to symbolize a balanced and happy life.
A long marriage is two people trying to dance a duet and two solos at the same time.
The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through eternity.
At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.
A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.
Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.