The beautiful part of getting eloped is the freedom you have to customize the ceremony in any way you want. One of the biggest draws of getting eloped is that feeling of not being tied to tradition and expectation.
Your ceremony is truly yours.
This means that many couples who elope tend to draw traditions and parts of all kinds of wedding and unity ceremonies in order to create what to them is the perfect or ideal marriage ceremony.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a unity ceremony is a non-traditional extension of a wedding, that typically symbolizes the coming together not just of a couple, but of their families and communities as well.
Some common unity ceremony traditions include burning a unity candle, or some kind of handfasting, where the couple has their hands symbolically tied together.
So what does planting a tree have to do with getting married?
Planting a Tree as an Act of Unity
These days, with so much talk of climate change and the rapidly escalating perils of an increasingly unstable environment, people everywhere are encouraging us to perform conservation activities, including plantings trees.
No matter what your reason is, planting a tree is indeed an important act. There are no drawbacks and numerous benefits from our neighborhoods having more green in them.
But what does planting a tree mean for a couple tying the knot?
Well, trees and wood have a long history of being used in weddings and marriage ceremonies.
Trees specifically are beautiful, long lasting, and symbolize growth and strength.
A couple can watch the tree grow as their marriage grows. What starts as a sapling will end up as a healthy, stable, and tall adult tree in 30 years.
Planting a tree together is a healthy, visceral activity, something that says “I’m in this for the long haul.”
Anyone can exchange an object, but when you symbolize your marriage with a “new life,” one that you know will grow with you as your marriage gets older, this holds powerful and potent symbolism.
Not only that, it’s a ceremony that is designed to bring whole families together. Over time the tree will come to be a recognizable symbol of your marriage. Your family members will remember the tree, they will be able to visit it, read under its shade, perhaps even enjoy fruit from it.
It’s a palpable, physical expression of your union.
This is why tree planting unity ceremonies are on the rise. They can be powerful, beautiful representations of a couple’s love and the coming together of two families.
So what better than to incorporate such a ceremony into your elopement?
How to Add a Tree Planting Ceremony to Your Elopement
Just because elopements tend to be more simplistic and light on the rituals, doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate something special and significant like a short unity ceremony into it.
Even if you are planning a more intimate ceremony with only a few friends and family, you can still plant a tree together during your elopement that symbolizes your union as well as your families coming together.
But here’s a quandary: it’s common for couples to hold their elopements in faraway cities or resorts. First of all, it’s unlikely that you would want to plant a tree in some park 1000 miles away from where you live, and one wonders what the requirements for something like that would be anyway.
You’re not going to be getting eloped in Hawaii and planting a coconut tree in the backyard of your hotel.
So when exactly do you plant a tree during your elopement if you want to hold a unity ceremony?
You have two main options: before or after the actual elopement.
For instance, you could plan your actual elopement and get married the way you want, and then after you get back home, plant the tree during an after party or after-ceremony with your family and friends involved.
You could also decide to plant the tree before you even go anywhere. Almost as if the unity ceremony symbolizes a journey that you are about to embark on. This also could serve to appease the family and friends who feel left out that you are flying to the other side of the country to get married and they won’t be invited.
Ultimately, your unity ceremony should feel like a natural extension of your elopement. If you are getting eloped to “get away from it all” and not involve too many family members or deal with too many obligations, you always can opt for a simple, pressure-free unity ceremony.
Your intentions are what counts in this instance. Maybe a full-fledged unity ceremony is not something you think fits your elopement, but you still want to do something that celebrates the unity of you and your significant other more than just the exchanging of vows and rings, or you want to celebrate your families coming together.
In this way, you could even hold a tree planting without any witnesses, or perhaps record it with the help of a close friend. It can be as intimate as you want it to be. After all, it’s your elopement.
Before leaving for your destination of choice, you could set aside a day to plant a tree in your backyard together. It could be an afternoon project just the two of you share.
The results would last a lifetime and the tree would grow to symbolize how your marriage grows and blooms into a mighty and beautiful thing indeed.
I can’t think of a more romantic ritual to kick off a marriage, can you?
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