Planting a tree to celebrate a marriage is an ancient tradition shared by numerous cultures around the world. With its strong roots, continual growth and long lifespan, the wedding tree is a living testament to the love two people share.
A Tree for Jason and Allison
Jason and Allison are an adventurous couple with a great love of the outdoors, so the Grand Sierra Pointe in Foresthill, with a reception at the Forest House Lodge, was the perfect location for their December 2013 wedding.
As a way to acknowledge their love of nature, as well as honoring their family roots, they decided to include a unique unity ritual during their ceremony: A tree planting ceremony – with a twist.
Allison and Jason brought a small lemon tree, which they will plant in the yard of their home as a symbol of their new roots as a couple and their growth together. In addition, they each brought a container of soil from their parents’ homes, to represent their individuality as well as the years of love and support they received from their families over the years.
When Allison told her family that she and Jason were going to be married, her young nephew, Nicholas, immediately told her he wanted to be the ring burier.
That’s right. Not a “ring bearer” but a “ring burier.”
Nicholas wanted the honor of burying the rings during the ceremony. So … we modified the ceremony to include that unique element!
During the processional Nicholas carried a special wooden box which held two little rings. After Allison and Jason recited their vows and exchanged the real rings, they moved to the small table bearing the tree, soil and digging utensils.
Inviting Nicholas to come forward with his ring box, Jason dug a small hole, Nicholas took the two rings and dropped them into the hole, and Allison covered them. The rings were thus buried at the base of their tree as a symbol of their never-ending love for each other.
Jason and Allison then carefully spread the family soil around the base of their tree, with the reminder that just as a tree needs sun, soil and water to grow, so does their marriage need encouragement, trust and love in order to nurture and nourish their connection to each other.
Congratulations, Jason and Allison! May this tree, and the fruit it bears, always be a delightful reminder of your wedding day!
Venue: Forest House Lodge, Foresthill, CA
Photography: The Goodness
Ceremony Music: Pamela Pamperin, “The Harp Lady”
DJ / MC: Joe Kalameras of SJ’s Disc Jockey
And Here’s A Little History About Marriage Trees
Nicole Kidder, in “Planting a Marriage,” wrote of some of these traditions:
The day before a wedding, the friends of a Czechoslovakian bride plant a tree in her yard, then decorate it with colorfully painted eggshells and flowing ribbons that wave in the wind. Folklore foretells that the bride will live as long as the tree.
Trees hold great significance in the Netherlands, so they typically make numerous appearances throughout a wedding. Before the marriage ceremony, the bride and groom sit on a throne beneath a cluster of pine trees to welcome their guests and accept their blessings. During the reception, guests write their wishes for the happy couple on paper leaves that are attached to colorful ribbons. Throughout the evening, guests tie the messages onto a beautifully decorated tree branch that sits near the newlywed table.
Finally, after the wedding festivities conclude, the newlyweds plant a pine tree in their own yard to invite fertility and good luck into their family. They also typically bury the bulbs of Lilies of the Valley around their home. When the dainty, bell-shaped blossoms appear each year, the couple’s love is said to be renewed.
And in China, the fast-growing Empress Tree is planted in the ground when a girl is born. Once she receives a marriage proposal, the ornamental wood is harvested for sculptural carvings and musical instruments that are then sold to pay for the dowry.
(The above information gleaned from “Planting a Marriage; Cultural Traditions for Celebrating a Tree Planting Ceremony” by Nicole Kidder.)