The Rose Ceremony
I am having trouble finding the wording to use in a rose ceremony in honor of our mothers. I am only finding the traditional wording for just the bride and groom and I really would like to surprise our mothers with a rose during the ceremony, any help would be greatly appreciated.
Bride Next Door
It may be useful for our reader to know a little about the Rose Ceremony first. The bride and groom exchange two roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other. It is simple yet very moving.
Annemarie Juhlian, Wedding Officiant & Minister
As a Wedding Officiant, I love presenting gifts or roses to mothers during a wedding ceremony. It’s especially sweet when it is a surprise. There are so many ways to do this. I suggest working with your Minister/Officiant to create words of gratitude to each mother before presenting the roses – or perhaps consider the book, The Wedding Ceremony Planner by Judith Johnson for unique rose ceremony language. Judith’s book is fairly new and wonderful. My best to you!
Deacon Bob Tousey
I am a wedding officiant too and most of the couples do surprise the mom’s with roses. We normally do it right after the unity candle. The bride and groom simply walks over to the mothers and give them the roses. No words are spoken. They exchange private words. Everyone understands the significance. I agree it is great when it is a surprise. It is usually the most touching part. Best wishes and God Bless.
Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb Author of Wedding Celebrations, A Practical Guide for Couples
Specifically for honoring mothers, here is a version of the rose ceremony that is featured in my book one that I have personally developed. It is very popular with my couples! Place two roses (your color preference) upon the altar or ceremonial table. Rolled up like scrolls, and attached to the roses with a beautiful ribbon can be personal notes of love and gratitude to each of the mothers. (Sometimes my couples have even written letters to their respective mother-in-laws as well.) In these letters you can tell your mothers how much they mean to you.
Tell them how much they have contributed to their lives— and thank them. The congregation only sees the rose. However, after the ceremony, the mothers will read these notes in private. It is a moving moment to say the least. On occasion, I have had the privilege of witnessing the tears upon these women’s faces. It is a document that a mother will cherish always.
You can do this ceremony in two places: The first and my favorite place is at the very opening of the ceremony while everyone is stilling standing—with these words: “We open this ceremony with a symbolic gift of beauty and gratitude to the women who gave the bride and groom life—their mothers.” (I then give the roses to the bride and groom who then present them to their mothers with a hug and kiss. Sometimes, as they embrace I have heard a bride or groom whisper in their mother’s ear , “I love you, Mom.”) I give them that quiet moment and then say in my officiant’s voice: “Mothers, it is in your honor that I offer this quote from Homer’s Hymns: It is she who nourished you she, out of her treasures. Beautiful children beautiful harvests are achieved from you, the giving of life itself.
I have also done this in conjunction with the unity candle (with and without the quote, or with a different quote altogether) just after the mothers light the side candles and before the bride and groom light the center candle. The roses are always presented as a surprise! It makes the entire experience for the mothers more impactful. I hope this helps. For more ideas and words for honoring mothers and fathers that I have developed, see my book, under the various sections regarding “honoring and including family”.
On a personal note: I think it just wonderful that you want to do this for your mothers! Being a mother myself, I know how very much it will mean to them. This is a tremendous rite of passage for your parents as well. I wish you many heartfelt blessings upon you and your family on your wedding day!
You may choose to have the Officiant hand the bride and groom their roses, or the Officiant can invite the bride and grooms mothers up to give their children the roses.
Rose Ceremony – Short Version Officiant:
Your first gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
In addition, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
You now have what remains the most honorable title that exists between a woman and a man – the title of “wife” and “husband” It is now my great privilege to be the first to address you as wife and husband and for your first gift as wife and husband, that gift will be a single red rose bud. (Officiant hands each a red rose bud/or invites mothers to present the roses) The rose is considered a symbol of love and a single rose always means only one thing – it means, “I love you.”
So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as wife and husband – that gift would be a single rose bud. Please exchange the rose buds as your first gift to each other as wife and husband.
Within these rose buds, if given proper loving care, is the potential for an even more beautiful expression of Life and Love in the form of the mature flower. And so it is with your marriage. At this point your marriage is like these rose buds – ready, with proper loving care – to unfold into a very beautiful expression of life. ____________ and ____________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.
Whatever the situation, love, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness can make everything right.
Rose Ceremony – Long Version Officiant:
(Officiant hands each a red rose bud/or invites mothers to present the roses)
Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been your wedding rings – which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other. You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman – the title of “husband” and “wife. For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you. So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.
In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose – and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage – and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love. In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words.
It is easiest to hurt those who we most love. It is easiest to be hurt by those who we most love. It might be difficult some time to be able to express the words “I am sorry” or “I forgive you” or “I need you” or “I am hurting”.
If this should happen, if you simply cannot find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose will say what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says the words: “I still love you.
The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today. _____ and ___If there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, remember that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure.