The Wedding Bell Ringing Ceremony:
I actually saw a touching version of the Bell Ringing at a wedding ceremony that Oprah had on her show. It was so beautiful that I knew one day a bride would cross my path where I could tell her about this and help her to make this a part of her wedding ceremony. There are a couple of unique ways to incorporate a Bell Ringing at a Wedding Ceremony. The first option is the one that I observed at the wedding on Oprah where the bell is rung in remembrance of a loved one. The second option is to have the Bell Ringing to announce the bride as she enters the ceremony site.
The two versions of a Bell Ringing that I have used as an officiant are as follows..
1. Just after the welcoming and beginning of the wedding ceremony, the guests are told about the bell ringing by the officiant. A special bell is placed on a small table prior to the start of the ceremony. The officiant asks the bride or groom depending on which is ringing the bell in remembrance, to get the bell from the table. There is a special reading and all guests are asked for a moment of silence in honor of the loved one. At that time, the bride or groom rings the bell distinctly three times. Sometimes, the Mother Of The Bride or Mother Of The Groom will have their own bell and come forward to join in the bell ringing. This is a special part of the ceremony especially if the Bell Ringing Ceremony is in honor of the Father Of The Bride or Father Of The Groom. I have even had brides that have purchased the bells for their Mothers with a special engraving and given to their Mothers as a keepsake and remembrance.
2. The Custom of The “Bell Ringer” or “Bell Ringers” is a a unique way of telling family and friends that the bride is arriving.You have heard about the bride being escorted by the bagpiper, but have you heard about the bride or the wedding party being ” rung in” by a “Bell Ringer” or “Bell Ringers”?
In some parts of the world and even in the American wedding ceremony children or young adults are asked to walk the wedding aisle in front of the wedding party or immediately preceding the bride and the start of the bridal march. The “Bell ringer” or “Bell Ringers” walk the length of the aisle ringing their respective bells announcing the arrival of the wedding/bridal processional or of the bride herself.
In some wedding ceremonies the guest are also given small bells to ring along with the “Bell Ringer” or “Bell Ringers”. The smaller bells that the wedding guest hold throughout the wedding ceremony are again rung as the bride and groom kiss and then walk down the aisle.These bells are then collected or taken by the guests to the reception where they are again rung to invite the bride and groom to kiss throughout the wedding reception.
Here is an example of this type of Bell Ringing:
Consider skipping music for your bridal walk down the aisle. Instead, have your bridesmaids greet your guests upon their arrival and hand each of them a wedding bell. When it’s time for your entrance, have your officiant instruct the guests to ring their bells “to call in the bride.” Walk down the aisle to the sound of the bells and enjoy the resonating excitement all around you.
When you get to the ceremony site, take the arm of your groom and pause while the bells continue to ring. In silence, make a special wish or prayer for your marriage. When you are finished, ring a bell of your own. The officiant can then signal for all bells to stop as you take your places to become husband and wife.
Both Bell Ringings at a wedding ceremony add a unique touch to your wedding ceremony and are great way to make your wedding ceremony a one-of-a-kind celebration.