Veil, Cord, and Coin

It’s now been almost 3 months since our oldest son was married and we are finally starting to see the photos from the day.

While I recognize that it’s heartwarming for the family and close friends to revisit a happy occasion by reminiscing through the photos, I wonder whether the rest of the world finds it just as interesting, or if it’s merely a common event with different faces and clothes.

Jordan & Dempsey 7

There is however one part of Jordan and Dempsey’s day that I wanted to share because I had never witnessed it before and I loved the symbolism it represented.

It’s called the Veil, Cord, and Coin Ceremony.

Our new son-in-law is from the Philippines and the young couple decided to include this piece of Filipino tradition into their day.  Weddings are all about symbolism and it seemed like a very appropriate thing to do.

The Veil

In a traditional wedding, after the vows and rings are exchanged, the bride’s veil is draped over the groom’s shoulders.  This symbolizes their oneness and introduction to the world ‘dressed’ as one.

With no bride in the ceremony, a veil was provided and pinned to the shoulders of the two grooms … although if you had asked Jordan, he would have preferred to call it a cape.

Jordan & Dempsey

The Cord

Then a white cord is placed over their shoulders in a figure eight design to represent infinity and the bond of fidelity promised to each other.

Jordan & Dempsey 2

The Coins

Lastly, a bowl with 13 gold coins is introduced – or in this case, highly polished ‘Loonies’, the Canadian $1 coin.

… and no, the name Loonie doesn’t mean it’s a piece of folly, but rather is a nod to the bird – the Loon – on the back of the coin.

Jordan & Dempsey 3

The coins, symbolizing the hope of a future with mutual support and prosperity, are then passed between the hands of the wedding couple.

Jordan & Dempsey 5

In this case, Jordan and Dempsey kept passing the coins back and forth between them several times.  They were clearly having fun with this.  Meanwhile I was holding my breath in superstitious fear that they would drop them and invoke bad luck.

Jordan & Dempsey 4

I had hoped the 13 coins would have some thoughtful significance like 13 key values or virtues, but was disappointed to find only references to Jesus and the 12 Apostles.  It may be just my shrivelled little agnostic soul speaking, but that’s a lost opportunity in the symbolism department.

In the end, their untraditional marriage was full of traditional elements and having now experienced the wedding of one of my children, I appreciate that these small customs – in whatever form they take – impart huge meaning in our lives.

Jordan & Dempsey 6

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Note – none of the photos in this post belong to me.  They were taken by the wedding photographer, Brianna Premo, hired for the occasion and used with permission given by my son.

 

 

 

105 comments

  1. Such a handsome couple and I do love their outfits.

    Weddings can potentially be run of the mill – what makes them stand out in our memories I think, are things that a couple personally finds meaningful that they share with the witnessing guests as these two chose to do.

    So lovely and poignant.

    Peta

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  2. I too love the traditional elements being infused to this non-traditional wedding and am happy to have a seat at the head table (albeit virtually). This second visit to Jordan and Dempsey’s nuptials brought a smile to my face this morning. As you know, motherhood was more adventure than I ever thought I could handle, but it is lovely to experience the rewards of that adventure here.

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    • Having children is definitely life-changing in so many different ways. Now that my sons are both adults, I wish I had had a bigger family although at the time when they were little, the thought struck terror in my heart 😏

      It’s always a pleasure to have you at the head table with us 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So lovely to see photos from the wedding Joanne. I so appreciate you sharing them. I had never heard of this tradition. Perhaps we could make something up ourselves about the number 13. 🙂

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  4. Joanne, I loved this post — happy, beautiful, and interesting. What’s not to like? I was not familiar with the Veil, Cord, and Coin Ceremony. How lovely! I’m with you about the symbolism for 13. However before all the “modern” religions got their hands on the number, it was a power number (that’s Teaganese). There are 13 full moons in the year. Some cultures (way back then) saw 13 as the number of death and rebirth, creation, and fertility — so I can see how that would have gotten into a wedding — but such heathen things can’t be recognized as a root now. 😉 😀 (The 13 apostles would have included Judas and seen as unlucky by modern traditions.)
    Sorry — I enjoy that kind of trivia. Hugs.

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    • Wow – this was really interesting!! I didn’t know there were 13 full moons in a year. Personally, I’ve always liked the number 13 and think the poor thing has been badly maligned 🙂

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  5. Lovely photos, handsome smiles, and I love the ties. The addition of this special tradition to the ceremony must have been extremely touching for both families. This has been quite the year, and as these photos keep rolling in, you will get to relive many aspects of that beautiful day. Enjoy. 🙂

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  6. Thanks for sharing a lovely tradition. I was very aware of symbolism in my own wedding (many years ago) and it’s delightful to hear about ones from other cultures. I truly hope they don’t die away. And, it’s also lovely of you sharing the joy of the day. I too love the ties!

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    • Bicycles were a theme of this wedding and they showed up in many places – including not only their ties but also their socks 🙂

      Symbols play a large part of our lives and the real magic starts when we do finally notice it.

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  7. How very lovely to incorporate that lovely tradition. I laughed at the veil to cape preference and both lads look distinctly nervous about that cord being strung around their necks! But they seemed to enjoy the passing of the coins. I wish them a wonderful, happy and joyous life together through the good times and those more stressful ones which life seems to throw at us all. The bow ties are a wonderful touch!

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  8. Yes, definitely still heartwarming, even though I only know the newlyweds via your blog! I think it’s lovely they wanted to include the tradition. The comments above about these kinds of traditions dying off are quite valid. When my sister got married, they did the tea ceremony (Asian tradition), but had to be talked through the whole thing by our auntie. I don’t think the generation after ours will be able to get that same sort of guidance…

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    • As long as there are enough people who want to incorporate elements of traditional practices, hopefully these precious ceremonies will survive.
      I expect some of the symbolism will change though – and it should, like the Coins used to represent the Groom’s promise to take care of the Bride and their future family. I much prefer the modern interpretation of mutual support.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. such a nice tradition and I have to say that when you first shared some of the wedding plans (early on) I felt this joy with you – it is an example of how blogging connections are part of us. And last year when Dr Perry got his doctorate it was a special moment too –
    anyhow – congrats again

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    • I agree that our blogging connections become integral parts of our world and we want to share these special moments. It gives us a chance to express our feelings and throw our joy out there into the world 💕

      I missed your special moment. Dr Perry is your son? Is there a blog post you can reconnect me to?

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh no – he is just a random blogger. well not random.
        but he started his blog while in school – and I am not that into following folks on their educational journey – I mean that would be fine but I follow more people who do the challenges and all that –
        anyhow, he has like 10,000 followers and it was just fun to see him finish up and the he shared was fun.
        I will try and find his site –

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  10. I think weddings should be as special and unlike “everyday life” as possible; packed full of ceremony and tradition and symbolism. Otherwise why bother? I love that your son and his husband chose to include elements of your son-in-law’s culture — and that they had fun with it! Yay for embracing celebration and building wonderful memories.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think weddings are by definition special occasions and it’s fun to see how different couples approach their special day. My favourite weddings have been the ones that were a little different – that reflected some characteristic unique about the couple. Not necessarily something complicated or showy but something small that made me smile and think ‘yes, that’s them’.

      I was thinking that couples often live together for some time before they get married and afterwards life goes on pretty well as it did before. There is a lot of pressure on that one day to make lasting special memories ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Joanne,

    Thanks for sharing this ceremony. I had not heard of it. Like you, I wish the 13 coins stood for something more than what they do. I love when people honour their heritage and traditions and merge cultures as well as lives. Hope to see more pictures on the blog! I love weddings.

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh – I think it’s the romantic in us that love weddings. Each one is special whether it is buried in pomp or simplicity and I love them all.

      I don’t consider myself a particularly traditional kind of person so I was surprised by how strongly I felt about some of the traditional elements – like this veil, cord, and coin ceremony. The13 coins though was a failure in the symbolism department. How much more meaningful it would have been to have each coin represent an important value to the longevity of a marriage like trust, communication, patience, respect, honesty, sharing, etc. Clearly this is a piece of tradition that needs a rewrite 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love weddings. They are wonderful happy occasions and everyone is in a good mood. My favourite weddings are the ones that have some unique element in them that reflects the couple. It seems from the comments I’m getting that I’m not the only one who thinks this way 🙂

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  12. Oh, I love it that they included a tradition from Dempsey’s heritage. I’m all teary at the symbolism and that they had fun with the “cape,” cord and coins. 🙂 Great pictures, Joanne. They’re off to to a wonderful start. And you cracked me up with this…”It may be just my shriveled little agnostic soul speaking” Ha ha. Thanks for the wonderful post – I was waiting for it. ❤

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    • hehehe! Thanks Diana. Every once in a while I’m particularly proud of a string of words I put together and this was one of them 🙂. I didn’t want to offend anyone’s religious leanings, but ….

      I’ve been itching to write this post for almost 3 months. I’m glad to finally put it out there 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Nice photos and sentiments. My wife and I got married in a courthouse, by a government clerk, at a cost of about $100. This symbolized our love of simplicity, and thriftiness. And it has worked out that way also, as our marriage has been mostly uncomplicated, and we’ve rarely had financial difficulties.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s a heartwarming ceremony, Joanne. You described it well; I felt as if I were there, too. Thanks for sharing this precious moment with us. And congratulations!
    Have a great day.

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  15. I so love traditions and the symbolic meaning behind them. This is quite beautiful, Joanne. The bowties with the bicycles….they met cycling? Of they both like to bike?

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    • They are both very active and outdoorsy people. They both embraced cycling around the same time and love the sport. It’s become a huge part of what they do together. As a result, the bicycle became a theme of their wedding.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an interesting perspective I hadn’t considered, but you’re right. On one hand, we had a bilingual ceremony to accommodate the French-speaking half of our family combined with the Filipino custom. We did meld together 2 cultures. That’s pretty cool 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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