A beach or coastal wedding offers many sea-related wedding traditions. From the sand blessing ceremony to a seaside toast, the wide-open ocean and its beautiful coasts are a vista of unique rituals to explore. One of these rituals is the shell blessing ceremony.
The shell blessing ceremony (or shell toss ceremony) is the perfect natural and timeless tradition to end your wedding ceremony. In this ceremony, guests are given shells to wish upon their blessings and hopes for the couple. Afterward, they toss these shells into the sea, beautifully capping off the wedding ceremony.
Of course, as simple as it may seem, there are some things to consider when doing the shell blessing ceremony. If you plan on including this wonderfully sentimental ritual in your wedding ceremony, then it’s worth considering the elements of the shell blessing ceremony as well as all the different ways you can add a personal touch!
Shell Blessing Ceremony: 5 Elements of a Timeless Tradition
Preparations for the ceremony
Preparing for the shell blessing ceremony is fast and convenient. You can simply ask your guests to pick up shells by the seashore! Alternatively, you can have the shells orderly set on a specific spot on the sand or a table. This is ideal especially if you have elderly guests who may find it a hassle to look for shells.
Indeed, the ease of setting up a shell blessing ceremony makes it a convenient ritual to include in your wedding program. At the same time, because of its ease and simplicity, there are many opportunities to add your personal touch to it!
The shells to use for your shell blessing ceremony can be quite meaningful as you can reserve particular shell shapes and colors for particular kinds of guests. For instance, you can reserve the largest shells for your closest friends and family, and smaller shells for children and guests.
In a similar vein, you can also assign specific shell colors to specific guests. For example, pink shells for your bridesmaids and black shells for your groomsmen.
With so many different shapes, sizes, and colors of shells, there are likewise many different ways to categorize them per guest and attach particular meanings. Thus, your options are as boundless as the sea!
Another important thing to consider for your shell blessing ceremony is the timing of the ceremony itself. With that said, you can time this ceremony with the breathtaking scenery of a seaside sunset. This will create the right mood and atmosphere for this memorable and sentimental ritual.
Likewise, if this isn’t possible (such as if you’re going to have your wedding ceremony proper at sunset, then a moonlit shell blessing ceremony can nonetheless be gorgeous timing.
Night is also a fantastic setting for a shell blessing ceremony. A cool coastal night breeze paired with the cozy lights of beach torches is a great setting for a shell blessing ceremony.
Wishes and blessings
The wishes and blessings of your guests and loved ones are probably the most significant component of the shell blessing ceremony. You can choose to plan a particular template for them to follow, or you can give them the freedom to say whatever blessings or wishes they want. You can also do a blend of both!
With that said, it’s wise to have this part well-planned, as you’ll have to consider how long your guests and loved ones recite their wishes and blessings. For example, you may request for them to keep their wishes short and sweet.
Way of tossing or offering the shells
Finally, how the shells get tossed or offered by the end of the shell blessing ceremony is also worth thinking about. While you can have the shells tossed one by one into the sea (as is how the shell blessing ceremony is practiced), you can also have the shells placed in a container, such as a vase or a basket, and then have it float into the sea.
Truly a timeless tradition, the shell blessing ceremony is the perfect ritual to cap off your wedding ceremony. Not only is it quite easy to set up, but it’s also a great sentimental ritual for guests and loved ones to send their good wishes to the couple. Moreover, if timed correctly, this ceremony makes for great pictures for your wedding program!
Indeed, if you’re going to have a beach wedding (especially in a scenic destination, like Italy), then a shell blessing ceremony is both a convenient and meaningful ritual to include in the program of your coastal wedding and intimately unite all your guests and loved ones.