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Tree Planting Ceremony

We all know that trees are robust, with deep roots that spread far and wide. They grow tall and strong and weather the strongest storms.

A tree-planting ceremony is an ancient symbolic ritual regularly performed during family Ceremonies, much like a Unity Candle or Handfasting ritual.

Symbolic Rituals are used to symbolise couples and their families’ joining, and there are many to choose from.

The Tree Planting Ceremony fits well today with couples looking for eco-conscious practices to include in their ceremonies.

A tree grows by taking root, growing and flourishing, much like a relationship.

While most tree-planting ceremonies take place at outdoor weddings, it’s also possible to conduct them indoors.

It doesn’t have to be a tree if you’re doing it indoors; it could be a shrub or a potted plant, for example.


Which tree to choose.

We all know that trees are robust, with deep roots that spread far and wide. They grow tall and strong and weather the strongest storms.

Choosing which tree to use in the ritual is down to personal choice, but it’s interesting to look up the meaning of the tree you’ve picked.

The specific type of tree you choose should also have significance. Here, some popular options and their symbolic meanings:

  •  Oak represents life, health, and family unity.
  • Bamboo, tree-like grass, embodies strength, flexibility, and renewal in Asian cultures.
  • Birch trees are fast-growing and appeal to eco-conscious couples. They signify adaptability, regeneration, and new beginnings.
  • Elm trees portend unity, a new perspective, and freedom.
  • Maple trees symbolise longevity, abundance, and protection.
  • Willows are hardy, rapidly growing trees associated with adaptability, renewal, and survival.
  • Apple trees suggest love, truth, beauty, and fertility.
  • Fig trees indicate faith, stability, and enlightenment.
  • Pear trees have pretty white flowers and represent longevity, good health, and abundance.

I think my favourite out of those above would be the willow tree. Known for the way it bends without snapping. Ideal for reminding us as a couple that we need to bend and sway in different ways throughout our marriage as we meet challenges along the way.

couple planting a tree in their wedding ceremony with friends

Including family and friends in the Tree Planting

Like many of the Symbolic Rituals, Tree planting also allow you to include family or friends.

Why not have a friend or family member in your tree planting by asking them to add some of the compost to the main pot or hole whilst you’re planting the tree.

There is also an opportunity here for a family member or friend to say a blessing to the tree as it’s planted.


How is Tree Planting done?

Below is only a guideline on how the Tree planting would happen, any of the below can be changed to fit into your ceremony.

Planting the tree can take many forms, depending on how hands-on you want to be, but each of these three options is just as nice as the next.

What if you don’t want a tree? You could use a shrub or even a house plant.


You could:

  • Choose a sapling (with its root ball intact) and plant it inside an empty pot or directly into the ground.
  • Plant a pre-potted tree by merely topping up the soil inside its container.
  • Symbolically plant the tree by watering it as a couple.


At an outdoor wedding, select a spot to plant the sapling close to where the ceremony would be carried out; then, you have a spot that you can visit the next time you in that area, see how it’s growing.

Or, you could plant it in a pot to take home to your garden, where you can watch it grow and flourish as you grow as a couple and a family.

The celebrant (or you could use a friend or family member here) acknowledges the tree by discussing the significance of planting a tree and why you have chosen that particular tree or plant.

Then, the couple plant the tree, adding soil to the pot/hole and watering the tree in tandem.

This is where you would invite any family or friends you chose to take part in the ceremony to join you to add soil to the root, helping to plant the roots as deep as possible.

Your celebrant or family member can then bless the tree as part of the ceremony if you wish.


What do we need on the day?

 If the tree is being planted outside, a hole will need to be dug the day before to save time and avoid getting dirty wedding clothes.

Either way, here’s what you’ll need on hand:

  • One small table or flat surface
  • Two small containers full of soil
  • One potted tree (or shrub, or flower, or houseplant)
  • A watering filled with water
  • An empty pot (optional)
  • Two shovels to handle the soil.

So, if a Tree Planting Ceremony sounds like something you would like to include in your ceremony, drop me a message, and let’s chat.

A photo of a family planting a tree at a wedding cermeony
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