Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Feet Washing Ceremony

I have never liked unity candles or sand ceremonies. So instead we talked about doing a feet washing ceremony. Its a very spiritual and intimate thing to do. Any ideas on how to make it not boring for those who dont know what it is? Should we explain it?
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Re: Feet Washing Ceremony

  • Please forgive my ignorance but is this something typical in your culture and/or area?  I personally don't mind feet but if this is not a common thing (ie-you have to explain it to most of your guests) I think you might creep people out.  A lot of people get grossed out seeing other people's feet.
  • I think most people are aware of the significance. However, I would urge you to reconsider because logistically it's a mess. You'll have to have chairs to sit in, and there's a huge chance you'll spill/splash water everywhere. You'll have to remove shoes and socks or stockings and then immediately put them back on damp feet (ick!). And some people are just generally grossed out by feet anyway and will be uncomfortable.

    If you do this (and I still don't think you should), make sure you have some music playing so it's not awkward silence. But really, you don't need any sort of 'unity' ceremony because you're already performing the ultimate one by getting married. FWIW, we took communion together in our ceremony, just the two of us, with soft music playing. It took maybe 30 seconds.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:1355e4e2-0068-4469-bc1f-f055759f0f1a">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think most people are aware of the significance. However, I would urge you to reconsider because logistically it's a mess. You'll have to have chairs to sit in, and there's a huge chance you'll spill/splash water everywhere. You'll have to remove shoes and socks or stockings and then immediately put them back on damp feet (ick!). And some people are just generally grossed out by feet anyway and will be uncomfortable. If  you do this (and I still don't think you should), make sure you have some music playing so it's not awkward silence. But really, you don't need  any sort of 'unity' ceremony because you're already performing the ultimate one by getting married. FWIW, we took communion together in our ceremony, just the two of us, with soft music playing. It took maybe 30 seconds.
    Posted by artbyallie[/QUOTE]

    Ditto all of this.  I am one of those people that find feet incredibly repulsive.  I don't know that I could watch this.  I would probably end up kicking the chair of the person in front of me because my relex to even the thought of having my feet touched is to kick wildly.
  • I would also advise against this. The practicalities of it are just too complex. And I've never understood why people feel the need to have extra "unity ceremonies" within the marriage ceremony, because that is of course itself a unity ceremony (as artbyallie said).
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:2db93ead-e815-457e-9b40-13ac503447f2">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would also advise against this. The practicalities of it are just too complex. And I've never understood why people feel the need to have extra "unity ceremonies" within the marriage ceremony, because that is of course itself a unity ceremony (as artbyallie said).
    Posted by tiny speck[/QUOTE]

    <div>Logistically it will be difficult, but I don't see this as a "unity" thing.  In the Christian faith this is a show of humility and being willing to serve others.</div>
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    japrincess24
  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited April 2013
    For sanitary reasons, I'm not a fan. 

    The symbolism doesn't work for me either.
  • I'm not wild about the symbolism. Seems degrading to me.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:a9a63beb-9309-48fa-8139-62fa13688117">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm not wild about the symbolism. Seems degrading to me.
    Posted by NOLAbridealmost[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I find that interesting.  Can you explain why you think that? (This is not an attack, I really am curious.)</div><div>
    </div><div>I've seen it done several times (and participated once) and while it is supposed to be a humbling experience I don't think it is degrading.  When a couple (romantic or otherwise) do it to each other it is an act of service. It is not meant to imply that the person doing the washing is 'less" of anything.</div><div>
    </div><div><a href="http://www.gci.org/church/lordssup/footwash" rel="nofollow">http://www.gci.org/church/lordssup/footwash</a>

    </div>
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    Marzipan13stephyhartzeljaprincess24
  • Agree with Stage

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    June 1, 2013 - finally making it official!

  • Agreed that the meaning is beautiful (I love the feet washing ceremony for Holy Thursday mass), but it just seems awkward within the wedding ceremony.

    The wedding ceremony itself is meaningful and should reflect the fact that you are committing to selfless love for each other.  Also, if you feed each other wedding cake at the reception, that's always a nice symbol of feeding and taking care of each other in marriage.  



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    Marzipan13
  • FH & I are not doing a unity candle/sand ceremony either. We will be taking communion & then praying together instead. (We're not having a full church service - it will be just the two of us taking communion, not our guests.) I've considered the footwashing ceremony, but the logistics inside of the chapel where we are getting married made it too much of a challenge.

    If you decide to go with it, maybe put a blurb in the program about it - and make sure you pick a song to be playing in the background while it's happening.
    Noey88
  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited April 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:7e39f4cd-2159-4480-b030-a2348467d91f">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Feet Washing Ceremony : Logistically it will be difficult, but I don't see this as a "unity" thing.  In the Christian faith <strong>this is a show of humility and being willing to serve others.</strong>
    Posted by AprilH81[/QUOTE]

    Weddings are about forming a partnership between two people-a partnership that should be one of equals.  This suggests that one is subservient to the other, and in this day and age that kind of symbolism may not go over well.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:b2c525cc-b604-42a5-9a75-122e4957cae3">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Feet Washing Ceremony : Weddings are about forming a partnership between two people-a partnership that should be one of equals.  This suggests that one is subservient to the other, and in this day and age that kind of symbolism may not go over well.
    Posted by Jen4948[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Generally speaking the parties involved take turns washing the other's feet.  During a wedding ceremony the bride would wash the groom then the groom would wash the bride...  Nothing subservient about that in my eyes.  

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    Marzipan13
  • I went to two weddings that did this and it takes FOREVER.  It is SO uncomfortable to watch. I am not a fan.  I would do it privately if it means that much to you.  I also find it a bit pretentious. Just my opinion.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    [Deleted User]
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:28ae2d05-6d8f-4b67-9a22-9099ae915c1c">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]I went to two weddings that did this and it takes FOREVER.  It is SO uncomfortable to watch. I am not a fan.  I would do it privately if it means that much to you. <strong> I also find it a bit pretentious. </strong>Just my opinion.
    Posted by soontobehanby[/QUOTE]

    <div>Why (to the bolded part)?</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:20d09784-14d1-4153-9177-00baf03b8bb3">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Feet Washing Ceremony : Why (to the bolded part)?
    Posted by lplions[/QUOTE]

    <div>I think it might just be the couple I saw do it.  When I said we were doing the unity sand, they were like, well we are washing feet because it's <em>biblical. </em>All snooty, like they are better christians because they washed feet instead of dumping sand in a jar. </div>
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_feet-washing-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:0b33fe83-7c71-4fc8-9cc5-6991c281d551Post:e1487777-069a-4895-af17-0b57533070b4">Re: Feet Washing Ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Feet Washing Ceremony : I think it might just be the couple I saw do it.  When I said we were doing the unity sand, they were like, well we are washing feet because it's biblical. All snooty, like they are better christians because they washed feet instead of dumping sand in a jar. 
    Posted by soontobehanby[/QUOTE]

    <div>Ah, okay. Yea, I can see how that would mar your view of it. I would feel the same way, honestly. We're not dumping sand in a jar or lighting a candle because we don't want to keep it. That's the only reason. (I'm one of those people that feels obligated to keep things of sentimental value.... and I don't want to worry about it spilling or breaking in one of the moves.)</div>
  • ElcaBElcaB member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Foot-washing ceremonies are not my cup of tea...or basin of water, as the case may be :) But if this is something truly important to you and you plan on doing it, may I suggest doing it prior to the ceremony? If you are not superstitious and plan on spending some time together before the ceremony, that would be the perfect time to do this. Like you said, foot-washing ceremonies are seriously intimate, and some of your guests may be a tad uncomfortable watching it. Also, foot-washing ceremonies are very time-consuming! If you do it with your husband before the ceremony, you can have your officiant mention it duirng. For example, he or she could recite the scripture from the Bible and then explain its meaning and share that you and your husband partook in a foot-washing ceremony earlier it the day. Your guests will still appreciate the meaning behind it as much as they would if they had watched it themselves. 

    And besides, it'll save you the trouble of coordinating the foot-washing! No worrying about chairs, water basins, or trouble re-tying your husbands shoes :) 
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    Liatris2010
  • Feet Washing Ceremonies are not my thing... I don't particularily love what they represent... But I know that they are important to many other people.... and I say if you want one, then all the power to ya! Smile

    I would suggest maybe including a paragraph on the ceremony in your Programs... Just explaining what it symbolizes & why it's important to you & your fiance. That will give your guests some basic background information, and limit the amount of raised eyebrows that you get during it.

    Perhaps have some lovely music played during it (some acoustic guitar and live-singing of a hymn would be beautiful)... or, even consider having a Special Guest stand up and do a reading that lasts the duration of the ceremony (a reading that reflects on submission & servitude and what-not---- so that it's related to the foot-washing ceremony itself).
  • In Response to Re: Feet Washing Ceremony:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Feet Washing Ceremony : You do know that they BOTH wash EACH OTHER'S feet, right?  So, the symbolism would be that they will both be subservient to each other, each one putting spouse above themselves. How is that offensive?
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Actually, no, I didn't.  And please don't shout at me.
  • Noey88Noey88 member
    5 Love Its First Anniversary First Comment
    I just wanted to say thank you for understanding the meaning behind it. Logistically it is difficult, but to give you a glimpse into our relationship, we try and do this for each other once a week. We wanted to include a glimpse if the intimacy of what it means to us. Our ceremony is outside, I hate stockings, and we decided to include an explanation by having my brother who is a pastor read a verse and explain. Yes we will have music playing in the background, my other brother is a worship pastor and he will be singing.
    bbbm4+snowwhite+
  • At the end of the day, I think the ceremony is really about the bride and groom.  It may be a little weird to guests, but since they love you, they'll sit through it and be fine.  Then the reception is about your guests!

    I also think it's really sweet that you do that for one another.  

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    +snowwhite+japrincess24
  • If you're doing it because it's traditional in your culture or religion, go for it.

    Personally, I think it's gross, uncomfortable, and awkward -- and I say this as a practicing Catholic who has participated in the foot washing at Maundy Thursday.

    I understand the symbology, I understand the tradition, I understand the meaning behind it, and I STILL don't think it's appropriate for a wedding. If you feel like you need a "unity something" (what, your WEDDING VOWS aren't unifying enough??) do the traditional, albeit trite and tired, sand ceremony or unity candle or whatever.

    Also, please understand that this is going to squick out your guests like nothing else. I, personally, would not hug/shake hands with someone after that. I mean, you just WASHED HIS FEET and now you want to touch me? Ooooohhhhh, hell to the no. 
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    RetreadBride
  • I find foot washing a deeply meaningful spiritual experience, but I'm still not sure I would add it to a wedding ceremony (considering a religion where foot washing is not generally part of the occasion). I've always viewed foot washing as a deep symbol of humility. And including it in a ceremony designed around other people watching you doesn't strike me as the humblest gesture around. Different than a worship service where many are participating in the ritual.

    But with all ceremony ideas the calculus for me cones down to deciding whether you are doing something because you believe it us essential to your feeling married or because it seems fun/ looks good in pictures/ you want to be super special and unique. If it's really essential to you, you do it. If it isn't, skip it.
    [Deleted User]Latham101114
  • Whatever it's about, hygiene issues may make this impractical.
  • Lutherans don't believe the bread and wine are magically transformed into the blood and body of Christ.  Communion is SYMBOLIC, and God and Jesus are present at the feast, but we are not eating Jesus.

    I am not a cannibal.
    This is not true for Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod Lutherans. 
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  • I loved your post, @Starmoon44.
    Shhhhhhh! That's supposed to be anonymous!

    (hee hee)



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    [Deleted User]
  • I have never seen a foot washing at (or during) a wedding or at any other time.

    My grandfather was part of a Thee Baptist in the south, and they practiced it.
  • MFTinSTLMFTinSTL member
    First Comment
    edited June 2013
    I know I'm late on this discussion, but, my friend and her husband did the foot washing ritual at their wedding and it was beautiful. Both (and most) of the people at the wedding are devout Christians. What they did was have the pastor explain the meaning, which relates to anointing as well as the humbleness they share as a married couple that also wanted to express that Christ comes first in their home. They had a beautiful pitcher with just a little water in it, a bowl, and a sponge. The bride and groom took their shoes off, placed the sponge in the bowl, poured the water on top of the sponge, lightly washed each others feet with the sponge, the dried their feet off with a towel, and placed their shoes back on once they were done. . .not messy at all.
    Noey88
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