When I asked you all on Instagram what other wedding content you wanted to see here on the blog, the resounding answer was this:
Tell us everything about your intention ceremony.
So that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
Let me start off by saying that you can use this intention ceremony idea for ceremonies other than weddings, as well.
Really, the purpose of an intention ceremony is setting an intention for an important event. But, let’s be real, every little moment in life is an important event, right?
Play with it. See how it feels. Make it your own.
I’ll simply share how we used an intention ceremony instead of a rehearsal dinner for our destination beach wedding in Nicaragua.
What is an Intention Ceremony
An intention ceremony is a gathering before an important life event where the group individually, and maybe collectively, sets an intention for the event.
Remember, this can look all sorts of ways. The “group” of people can be just two people at home on a Wednesday night. Actually, in all honesty, this is also absolutely something you can do alone, as well.
The reason I emphasize a group here is that there’s power in community, and there’s also power in speaking your intention out loud to others.
You might feel a little nervous to share, because it can be a vulnerable expression. Pushing those edges can feel real good on the other side.
How to Set an Intention
Before I get into the details of our intention ceremony for our destination wedding in Nicaragua, it’s pretty important we cover the basis first.
Like how exactly do we set an intention?
I find that intention is best found in stillness, even if it’s just a micro-pause in-between the flurry of life. Ideally, it’s found in meditation, but I know that word can be off-putting to people. So, let’s just call it stillness, shall we.
I’ll guide you into it.
Find a comfortable seat, or lay down (as long as you don’t fall asleep). Close your eyes if that’s comfortable, and start to connect to your breath in and out of the nose.
Work on bringing your inhales all the way to your belly, so your belly expands, filling with breath. And work on letting the exhales come all the way from the belly, as your naval hugs up and in slightly while you press the air out.
Keep the connection to your breath, and start to tune into how you feel. Notice how you feel on a physical, mental, and emotional level in this moment. Still breathing, pause in the heart, deepening your understanding of exactly how you feel right now.
Still connected to your breath, keep that close connection to felt sense, and see if you can feel into what your heart is asking for- rather than think too much about it. Intention comes from the heart, and from our felt sense, rather than our logical mind. Try to let the feeling bubble up and out of you, rather than trying to understand it or control the process.
Congrats! You’ve just set an intention.
Intention Ceremony for a Destination Wedding
We had a small wedding, only 24 people. So we definitely didn’t need to do a rehearsal dinner. Our wedding was also super casual, an outdoor beach experience in Nicaragua- where we all seemed to float around in holiday mode (even though we live here).
I knew right away I didn’t want to do things traditionally for our wedding, but I still wanted to have a classy feel. Needless to say, I think we nailed it.
Replacing the rehearsal dinner with an intention ceremony was my way of infusing woo into the classical vibe. And I have to say, it was so perfectly us. I couldn’t imagine it being any other way. Truly.
Similar to when a rehearsal dinner would happen, we held the intention ceremony the day before the wedding. I still had full hair and makeup done, and wore beautiful bridal attire. The dress code was similar to the wedding where we all got dolled up in beach chic wear.
Because our wedding was at our retreat center, we were lucky enough to have a giant yoga shala at our disposal for the ceremony. Typically, we’d sit on the floor, but due to all the dresses, as well as the age of some of our family members- we brought chairs in, instead (although of course a few of our crunchiest friends still sat on cushions on the floor).
We asked a dear friend to lead the experience, as she’s a breathwork and meditation guide by trade. She opened by letting us know what an intention is, how to access it through the heart, and the importance of our loved ones setting an intention for our marriage on this special day.
Next, she guided us through a meditation to find our individual intentions in our heart. It was beautiful, and super accessible to those who were not yogis or meditators. The meditation lasted about 10 minutes, and once it was over, everyone wrote down their intention on two different cards.
One card was a biodegradable tag with flower seeds in it to plant on our property. And another card was permanent, for Alix and I to keep and refer back to when times got tough.
Our guide opened the floor for people to share their intention with us in that moment, as we all worked with the collective intention of love.
Several friends and family members shared with us, and let me tell you, it literally felt like we were being showered with love in that moment. Like ooey gooey honey was just washing over us with all of those heartfelt sentiments, and words of wisdom.
It was so special.
Next, we went out onto the property to plant our cards with the flower seeds (the holes we pre-dug by our gardener, so no one’s nails were harmed). And finally, Alix and I planted a lime tree in the center of our courtyard, alongside our own flower seed cards.
The whole thing was no more than 30 minutes front to back. Super simple, yet so powerful, and a moment I’ll never forget.
Plus, we’ll forever be reminded anytime we see the flowers, or eat fruit from the tree.
Ok, I have to stop, because I’m tearing up again just thinking about it.
Ready, set, go! Plan your own intention ceremony now.