“I’m going to need everyone’s help as we conclude today’s rite. When I asked Cori what her hopes were for the future, she said, ‘I hope that we will continue to grow and change together. I can’t wait to take the next big life-steps with Todd by my side.'”–Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
Many cultures and religious traditions incorporate standard blessings into the structure of a wedding. In the Hindu tradition, the couple walks around a fire seven times while blessings for a strong union are recited over them. Jewish weddings incorporate seven blessings too, but instead of one person saying the blessings over a couple, it has become more common to divide that honor among seven of the couple’s most honored guests, each giving one.
“I’d like to invite you all to shower Cori and Todd with this confetti as a demonstration of your love and support as they take their first seven steps together as a married couple, side by side.”–Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
This summer I started performing what I consider to be the grandest of all wedding finales–Seven Steps Into The Sunset™, for couples who wanted to incorporate a modern twist on these traditional blessings. Inspired by the physical action of walking around the fire and the guest participation from Jewish tradition, I created a new wedding blessings ritual that draws attention to the importance of partnership in the marital relationship.
How it works: After the couple seals their vows with a kiss, the assembled guests are instructed to gather their confetti, streamers, rice, lavender, seeds, candy…(whatever the couple wants to use and the venue will allow)… and shower the couple with their encouragement as they take their first seven steps together as a married couple.
“Today, as you take your first steps together as a married couple, let these things be true…”–Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
“May this couple be strong, healthy and able- a source of encouragement to one another.”–Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
“Looking outward, may this couple choose to see beauty in the world around them and find the courage in their partnership to pursue their dreams together.”–Alisa Tongg Celebrant
Now comes the “into the sunset” part of this new modern wedding ritual–one more kiss. More rice thrown. Cue the Recessional song. And my sincerest wish that all of these good things will be true.
Thank you to Bob Sanchuk and Chad Sebring at Two Sticks Studio for capturing these joyful moments of Todd + Cori’s first steps together as a married couple. I loved watching their friends and family get up from their seats to find an ideal spot to shower this couple with their best wishes. To see more of Bob and Chad’s work, or more images from Todd + Cori’s wedding, please visit