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  • Writer's pictureKristina McDonald

Tree Planting: Symbolic Rituals You Can Include in Your Wedding Ceremony

Planting a tree is a beautiful way to celebrate a new marriage, and is a deeply-rooted (pardon the pun!) tradition in many parts of the world. It's also a great option for the environmentally-conscious couple, or if you're having a nature-themed or outdoor wedding. It's perfect for weddings at home, where you are, quite literally, putting down roots.

What is a tree planting ceremony?

Just like other unity ceremonies, a tree planting is all about symbolising the joining together of couples and families. More so than other unity rituals, though, the tree planting ceremony allows for a great deal of flexibility and change to the traditional proceedings.

Tree planting is ideal for couples who have children, or who want to honour their parents during their ceremony. Everyone can get involved in the planting, which is a great representation of the teamwork and familial support that bolsters a successful marriage.

The symbolism behind the tree planting may be fairly simple, but it's also heartfelt and beautiful. You're putting down roots as a married couple, and the tree, just as your relationship, will grow as you nurture and take care of it. Unless you're planting your tree where you want it to remain, the ceremony normally involves a symbolic "re-potting", and you will plant the tree in its final spot later.

How can we make a planting ceremony our own?

The great thing about a tree planting ceremony is. it's entirely customisable. There are lots of ways to make it individual, and perfectly reflect your relationship or hopes for the future.

You can choose to repot a small sapling or plant, top up the soil on a pre-planted tree, or just symbolically nurture an established tree by watering it together. If you're getting family involved, you can take turns scooping soil or compost into the new pot, or you can jointly places the sapling into the pot before watering it. Of course, if you're getting married in your own garden, you can choose a spot to plant it directly into the ground - a real symbol of the commitment you're promising!

Your choice of tree or plant has symbolic meaning, too. Choose the tree that speaks to you most, or represents your hopes for your marriage.

  • Oak represents courage, steadfastness and longevity.

  • Bamboo, a tree-like grass, embodies strength, flexibility, and renewal.

  • Birch trees represent hope and new beginnings.

  • Ash trees are a careful balance of the feminine and masculine, as they produce both "genders" of flowers. They represent growth and rebirth.

  • Elm trees suggest unity, a new perspective, and freedom.

  • Maple trees symbolize balance, change, and creativity.

  • Apple trees suggest love, honesty and fertility. They were named the "tree of love" in Greek mythology due to their association with Aphrodite.

  • Cherry trees, with their vibrant pink flowers, represent romance, adoration and good fortune.

  • Pear trees represent longevity, good health, and abundance.

  • Pomegranate trees are ancient symbols of fertility and prosperity.

Whichever tree you choose, you can be sure a planting ritual will be a real event at your wedding. It's a natural, eco-friendly and symbolically significant ceremony, that you can really make your own.

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