Blog: A Latino-themed Wedding (Part 1)

bride-and-groom

Latin America comprises a colossal area of the American continent, which expands from Mexico all the way to Argentina. In a way, it is a cultural version of the EU, with countries united by a shared history, language (or very similar language, as in the case of Brazil), general values and beliefs. Latino weddings tend to be full of meaning and symbolism which highlight love, commitment, family and spiritual values – and fun. Small or grand, Latino weddings are usually lively, full of colour, music, food and traditions, both for the reception and the wedding ceremony. Some of these traditions are shared with Europe and the United States, such as wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue; and the throwing of the bouquet and the garter to see who will marry next. Others are exclusively Latin American, and in some cases, limited to one or two countries. Here are a few customs that can help you create a beautiful, Latin America-themed wedding.

The asking for the blessing. In the old days (and still done today in some places) the groom would ask the parents of the bride for her hand in marriage. This would be a solemn occasion, with the man and the parents talking behind closed doors while the woman waited for the decision. Nowadays, both bride and groom come together to ask for the blessing from both sets of parents. The affair is much more light-hearted and it may include a lunch or small family gathering to celebrate. This is usually the start of the whole wedding preparations and, in some Latin American countries, takes the place of an official engagement.

The one ring. In Chile and Argentina, the use of an engagement ring is rare. What most couples do is to use the wedding ring when they get engaged, but they place it on their right hand. During the wedding ceremony, they exchange it to the left, to mark the transition from engagement to marriage.

The walk to church. Although going to the ceremony venue in a decorated car (sometimes vintage) is the most common way for the bride to get to the wedding, in some parts of Mexico and other small Latin American villages, the custom is to walk to church or registry office (particularly if the distance is short). The bride is accompanied by her bridesmaids, family and friends – and on occasions by a small band or a few musicians. Some people prefer an alternative: having the newlyweds walk with the wedding party and guests to the reception. The idea is to share the joy with the community and receive its blessings and well-wishes.

The coins. The “arras” are thirteen golden coins originally given to the bride by the groom to indicate that he would share his material wealth with her. Nowadays both bring a share of the coins and exchange them from hand to hand until there is only one pile, which they both hold as the priest blesses the coins. For some, the number thirteen signifies Jesus and the apostles, hence the church’s blessing and support to the couple; for others they signify being together during the good and bad economic times (as 13 is taken as an unlucky number in this context.) In general the symbolism has to do with the sharing of prosperity and working together for the well-being of the family. The coins are usually kept in a beautiful small chest, as a token of this commitment. Some families give one or two coins to their children when they get married, to spread the luck, express co-operation towards the newlyweds and keep the family ties strong.

.

Advertisements

Wedding & Civil Partnership Blessings

Jesmy y mark w 4

We wanted a ceremony that was both personal and moving and we were very pleased as that’s exactly what we got. Karem was friendly, approachable and helpful at every stage and listened closely to what we wanted. The ceremony had been specially tailored to us and we were delighted with the result. I highly recommend Journeying Soul and Karem as an officiant.”    Daniel & Amanda Jupp

A wedding or civil partnership ceremony is a magical moment in time, when two people come together and affirm their love and their commitment to each other, held in the support of their loved ones. A bespoke, non-denominational wedding/civil partnership ceremony can be one of the most personal and meaningful events you can experience and share with your friends and family. I offer wedding and civil partnership blessings, handfastings, commitment ceremonies and vow renewals.

I will listen to your requirements; I will honour your values and deep-held beliefs; and then I will craft a ceremony that reflects all that you, as a couple, truly are. Your wedding/civil partnership ceremony can be as creative, inclusive, original and personalised as you wish. It can be as secular, spiritual or multi-faith as you want. It can include other members of the family, such as children – and even pets! And it can be worked around your wedding theme.

 Currently, I can conduct legally-binding weddings in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire. In England and Wales, and elsewhere, you need to complete the legal formalities through the Register Office. If desired, this element can often be integrated into the wedding ceremony itself. I can officiate wedding blessings, commitment ceremonies, vow renewals, civil partnership blessings and handfastings almost anywhere. I also offers weddings in Spanish or a combination of English and Spanish.

I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. My core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.

jesmy y mark w

Handfasting

Amanda and Daniel w1

We thank you for conducting our handfasting to perfection. We will always be grateful.”

Jesmy and Mark.

A handfasting is an old Pagan custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts. A handfasting was originally more like a trial marriage, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves for a year and a day. The couple could then either split as if they had never been married or could decide to enter permanently into marriage (through a further handfasting ceremony).

Today, many followers of the various Pagan paths have embraced handfasting as a part of their wedding ceremony. A handfasting in itself is not (yet) regarded as a legal marriage in UK, it can still be performed either as a ceremony alongside the legal formalities or as a commitment for “as long as love shall last.”

A handfasting ceremony can be tailor made to suit the couple. There are many variations of the traditional handfasting. After the bride and groom both declare their intent to enter into this union, the hands of the couple are clasped and fastened together with a cord or cords just before, just after, or during their vows are made to one another. The wrapping of the cord forms an infinity symbol. The handfasting knot that is tied is a symbolic representation of oneness between the couple. In a show of unity, they become bound to each other.

Many non-Pagan couples are adopting this old custom, much like when couples borrow from other traditions to craft their own ceremony to match their distinctive personalities.

 I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. Myr core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the handfasting ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.  

 

 

Vow Renewal

Karem at vow renewal ceremony 2

“Thanks Karem for such a beautiful ceremony. It really reflected our values and everyone commented on its originality. We never imagined a vow renewal ceremony could be so touching and special. Thank you for making the second time around as good – if not better – than the first.”  Barbara and John Breadman

A Vow Renewal ceremony is a beautiful way to express a love that has stood the test of time. The occasion may mark a special anniversary, be a spontaneous expression of feeling given as a gift to a partner, or it my mark the return to each other after a time apart. Or sometimes there may come a time when for one reason or another one or both partners may feel they have lost touch – a painful time when the future may seem unclear. Then realisation dawns that love and commitment still exist between you, and you enter a new phase in your relationship. This could be the ideal time to renew your wedding vows in a special ceremony built around your own wishes.

Vow Renewal ceremonies can be conducted along similar lines to a wedding ceremony, or they can take the form of a more intimate, private event.

I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. My core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.  

Baby Naming

Karem baby blessing 1

Our baby naming ceremony was lovely and all our individual requests were taken into account. Karem was very creative in constructing our baby naming ceremony and we couldn’t have asked for better. There is nothing I would change about the service we received”. Alanna Anderson-Cheshire

In spite of the name, this ceremony can be for older children too. It celebrates the arrival of a new member of the family, be they biological or adopted. It also serves as support to the parents, siblings, sponsors/godparents, as it creates a beautiful sense of community. At a bespoke baby naming there is no limitation to the choice of words or number of people involved; nor do you have to share your special moment with other families that you may not know. It can take place anywhere, any time and different kinds of rituals can be included, from the blessing of the water by all the guests to signing and releasing of an eco-friendly lantern

 I offer a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes. My core service includes follow-up consultations, crafting and delivery of the ceremony to your requirements, and commemorative certificate and documentation.“Our baby naming ceremony was lovely and all our individual requests were taken into account. Karem was very creative in constructing our baby naming ceremony and we couldn’t have asked for better. There is nothing I would change about the service we received”. Alanna Anderson-Cheshire

Rites of Passage

ordination ceremonony 1a

 I believe that marking those important stages in life is important for spiritual and emotional well-being. For this reason, I take pride in creating ceremonies that may not be mainstream, but which certainly are significant for people. A rite of passage bespoke ceremony is crafted to please and fulfil you; to be an outer expression of your very unique and beautiful self and to help you achieve inner balance and peace.

As for all other ceremonies, Rites of Passage can be as spiritual, multi-faith or secular as you wish. We also embrace inclusivity and adaptation. Hence, people of different faiths – or none – can be part of the ceremony and aspects of different traditions can be incorporated. Mark these important stages of life by honouring your true self, true ideals, true vision and true beliefs.

SOME EXAMPLES

Puberty.  Traditionally, people celebrate the arrival of adolescence in a way that is meaningful and empowering for the young person. Ceremonies that acknowledge this new stage can be created to reflect life-views; connect the young person to his or her inner strength; pass on family wisdom and traditions; open a new era in the communication between parents and children; bestow privileges and responsibilities that acknowledge that the person is no longer a child, and so forth.

Graduation. Graduation is an achievement that should be recognised at many different levels. A graduation blessing brings together all the well-wishes, hopes and aspirations of the new graduate, his/her family and friends in a joyful, heart-felt and special way.

Adulthood/coming of age/home leaving. Following the idea of the puberty ceremonies, these rites of passage mark the beginning of a new, more responsible cycle, when parents must let their children fly the nest and relate to them as peers.

 

FAMILY COMMITMENT CEREMONIES

Amanda and Daniel w4

Originally intended for newlyweds with children from previous relationships, this ceremony can also be for all types of family. It opens a space for each member to express the ways in which they are prepared to support the family relationship and commit to its success. It can also provide an opportunity for people to express their appreciation for each other and their hopes for the future as a family. A family commitment ceremony is also a lovely way to start a co-parent relationship with a former partner or spouse, showing the children that, independently of circumstances, their parents are there for them and are willing to work together to offer them a loving, supporting network as they grow.

 

Inspirational Talks

K Affirmation Workshop4

We all need a little inspiration occasionally: hear words that remind us of the beauty, courage, joy, creativity, empowerment, fellowship and more that is there in the world, but sometimes we fail to see. I craft inspirational talks, thematic or custom-made, to open a space of optimism and reflection for people and, hopefully, leave them up-beat and/or ready to reflect more about their lives and the world around them. I incorporate stories, anecdotes and sometimes even songs to the talks.

Depending on the audience I can also make them interactive, creating a mini workshop feel. Although I take these talks seriously, my delivery style is friendly, unassuming, and even a bit laid back. I create and deliver this chats from the heart and my greatest satisfaction is that through them I contributed a little to make someone’s day more cheerful, gentle, positive and inspiring. These talks can be prepared for groups, companies and families and friends looking to make an important occasion even more meaningful and memorable, such a new home,  clubs or businesses anniversaries, reaching a mile stone o creating a new group or starting a new phase.

Personalized, purpose-driven meditations, visualisations and affirmations.

inspirational poster seven affirmation

 

After a deep conversation about your present goal(s) or life issues, I  will craft bespoke, personalized guided meditations, visualisations and affirmations that help you clarify your vision, find inspiration and fortitude to do the work and sustain you during the challenging phases of your journey. This service can be part of a self-realization coaching session or a stand alone experience. Once I have created the tools, I will guide you on how to implement them in your every day life, either personally, via Skype/phone or MP3. Changes can be incorporated as you move on closer to your goal. I can also be of aid in the creation of vision boards and power centres (what some would call shrine or altars) to help you in your meditation or to keep your focus on your desire.

These mind tools can be use for personal, business or spiritual development. They can be crafted following a particular spiritual tradition, be of a more eclectic nature or be completely secular in form. If you have no previous experience in the use of guided meditation s, visualisations, affirmations, vision boards and power centres, I will include an additional session (s) to teach you the best way to use and incorporate this practices in your life.