How to Have a Wedding Tree Planting Ceremony

A bride and groom planting a small tree during their wedding ceremony.

If you’re looking to include a compelling, eco-conscious practice that dates back to ancient times in your wedding ceremony, you may enjoy a tree-planting ceremony. It offers a fresh twist to modern wedding ceremonies while giving powerful symbolism and providing the couple a treasure to keep for the duration of their marriage.

One of the best things about having a tree-planting during your wedding is that you are at liberty to do it your own way. This ceremony is free of any religious affiliations, so it can easily be customized to the preferences of your new family. Read on to learn how to have a wedding tree-planting ceremony (or a potted plant if that’s easier!).

Setting up a Tree Planting Ceremony

A tree planting set-up on a vintage table at a wedding.

Tree-planting ceremonies work best for outdoor weddings since you’re dealing with dirt and plants. However, you can perform one for an indoor wedding ceremony if necessary, especially when using a smaller plant and when everything is well set up.

Whether you’re having your wedding ceremony indoors or outdoors, here is what you’ll need for it to be a success:

  • A table, altar, or other flat surface large enough for the ceremony procession
  • Two containers filled with soil (The couple can collect soil from various places that are meaningful to them, such as childhood homes, the location of the engagement, or their first home together. It’s important to also include soil that is beneficial to the plant, such as regular potting soil.)
  • A watering can with water
  • A potted tree, shrub, or houseplant
  • An empty pot large enough to hold the plant and additional soil
  • Two gardening shovels to move the soil
  • A cloth to clean hands afterward

Once you have all of these items organized, you are well on your way to having a tree-planting ceremony at your wedding.

The Procession of a Tree Planting Ceremony

As mentioned above, a tree planting ceremony is flexible. You can do it differently depending on your preferences and schedule. It is customary for music to play in the background during the tree planting ceremony, but you can have it at any point during the wedding ceremony. You could even have it as a separate ceremony during your wedding reception if that works best.

Here are the general steps of the tree planting ceremony:

  1. The officiant (or another preferred individual) brings up the tree, announcing its significance
  2. Music commences
  3. The couple brings the tree to the prepared table/altar and plants it in their desired pot
  4. They each add soil to the pot from their containers using their hands or shovels
  5. Using the watering can, they water the tree
  6. Once the tree is planted and watered, the couple cleans their hands and the wedding ceremony continues

Tree-planting Ceremony Variations

If you’re looking for some ideas to make a tree planting ceremony your own, here is some inspiration for variations.

Have Your Family Join

Traditionally, the wedding couple handles the tree planting ceremony on their own, but it doesn’t have to be this way! You can have your family or closest friends join in the process. Let different members handle different tasks, or you can allow everyone to drop a handful of soil into your tree’s new pot.

Plant a Tree in the Ground

While you can have a potted plant in a container, another idea is to take a sapling with its attached root ball and plant it straight into the earth. You may want to plant this in a location that’s meaningful to you, such as a place you met or where you’ve shared a kiss. Alternatively, you could plant it on grounds that would be appreciated such as in a park.

Switch up the Recorded Music

It’s common for pleasurable music to play throughout the tree planting ceremony but you can switch this up. If you have friends who are musicians, you can let them play at this time. Or, you can let your officiant share some fitting words. If you’d like, you could write down why you have chosen the specific plant and what it means, or even ask your officiant to recite a loved poem.

However, you choose to hold your wedding tree planting ceremony, feel free to do it your way. Choose the plant you want, play the music you want, and hold the ceremony wherever you want!

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