Be Ceremonial

Celebrating a Dating Anniversary

Crystal and her partner Daniel created a meaningful ceremony to celebrate their dating anniversary. Rather than planning a traditional wedding, they decided to design a unique ceremony to mark 12 years since their first date. 

Creating a Be Ceremonial ceremony

I was first drawn to Be Ceremonial because I wanted inspiration for rituals to mark meaningful events and transitions. I work with iilo Creative Alliance and they offered everyone on their team a membership to Be Ceremonial as part of a Group Wellness Plan

As a highly sensitive person, I’ve found rituals to be helpful in acknowledging the significance of certain moments, especially when it comes to letting go and moving forward in different situations. As a career coach, I often support folks in processing events and navigating transitions, so rituals have been helpful in that setting as well to aid others in moving towards their goals.

While I love coming up with ideas, I don’t always follow through, and Be Ceremonial was so helpful with giving me a framework to follow and rituals to draw from. I appreciate that Be Ceremonial is bringing to the forefront non-traditional ways to gather, make meaning, and celebrate.

My partner Daniel and I recently celebrated our 12 year date-aversary this spring (based on our first date). Twelve years is a full cycle around the Chinese zodiac and we wanted to mark the occasion in a special way. 

We had explored the idea of getting married or throwing a big party, but it just didn’t resonate. Plus, we’ve been going through a lot lately and wanted something to help us move forward.

Designing A Ceremony

Using Be Ceremonial’s app, we chose the Wedding ceremony and then adapted it to our needs. We designed the ceremony with each other and then invited two friends to witness and participate as well.

I had some vague ideas of what I wanted, like in a forest setting, but Be Ceremonial helped provide structure for the ceremony plan. Walking through the options with my partner also got him engaged in the process, so it became a shared creation experience. 

The app gave us the opportunity to say yes or no, getting us closer to creating a unique experience that resonated with both of us. 

Our Nature-inspired Rituals

To Open: We invited two close friends to join us in a forest, along with our dogs. Each of us (the humans!) selected a nature object to open the ceremony and placed them on the ground to mark four corners of a square.

Before laying them down, we took turns to say what drew us to the chosen objects. 

To Remember: My partner and I then took in the aroma of cedar leaves, sharing the memories that it evoked in us. The smell of cedar is one of my favourite smells. 

Fun fact: Chinese brides traditionally go through a hair combing ceremony and my two older sisters had cedar leaves placed in their hair. This was a little homage to that ceremony too. 

To Be Present: Standing in the middle of the ceremonial square, we took turns holding a heart stone (we went on a date to find it the month before) and shared what it stirred up for us.

It was very powerful to share our fears, trepidations, and hopes before we crossed a threshold branch and walked towards our friends. 

Crossing the Threshold: We placed a branch down on the ground and took a few moments before crossing it together. We walked over it hand in hand, and felt that moment of connection as we came to the other side.

On the other side, our friends read some words on marriage to welcome us into the next chapter of our relationship. We ended with a group hug!

To Close: For the closing ceremony sound, we chose the passage from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet because it was something Daniel shared with me early on in our relationship.

It had always resonated in terms of how we want our relationship to be like, and it felt appropriate and meaningful in this moment.

What Did the Ceremony Offer Us?

We got very emotional talking about our fears, trepidations, and hopes before crossing the threshold. We’ve been going through a lot and the ceremony setting turned into a space where we could speak honestly about how we’re feeling – to name it and to have supportive friends hold space with us.

The ceremony brought a renewed sense of connection and hope for us individually and together as a couple.

We now have a special moment to anchor our relationship as we look backward to see where we’ve come from, and as we look forward to see where we can go.


Crystal Lee

Crystal Lee is a holistic career coach, writer, and laughter yogi based on Vancouver Island. Since 2013, she has been helping mid-career professionals from around the world transform their work and life with clarity, confidence, and kindness. You can learn more about Crystal at or on Instagram

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