This now beautiful tradition had a rather depressing fictional origin. It was said that a young engaged couple in Serbia were separated when the man went off to war. Sadly the man never returned to his fiance, not because he had been killed but because he found a new love while away fighting.
His fiance when hearing the love of her life was not returning to her, died alone and brokenhearted.
After this, the local girls in the village were afraid of being distended for the same heartbreaking relationship. So to ensure this didn’t happen the girls started to attach locks to the bridge where the engaged couple used to meet. They would then throw the keys into the river so the lock could never be removed.
Then in 2006 Italian author, Frederico Moccia wrote the book “I Want You” which included the love lock ritual. In his book, locks were attached to the Ponte Milvio bridge in Rome and the keys were tossed into the Tiber River. When this book was made into a movie in 2007 this ritual of affixing locks to bridges and structures rapidly spread around the world.
What Is A Love Lock ?
The love locks ritual is also known as love-heart locks, wish locks, and luck locks, and simply means a padlock inscribed with a couple’s names or initials that is locked onto a public fixture as a symbol of a couple’s love.
The key to the padlock is then thrown away to show that the couples love is unbreakable.
Love Locks And The Wedding?
If love locks are used during a wedding ceremony they may only look like a lock to the guests, but to the couple getting married the locks represent so much more. For these locks are a symbol of the couple’s love and commitment. It will also carry all the special emotions that are evoked on this special day, the day they say their “I do’s”.
How Does This Ritual Work?
Like many other wedding rituals the Love Locks Unity ritual can be performed in a few ways. It all really depends on the location of the ceremony.
If you are at a wedding venue or location that won’t allow the locks to be attached to a structure then using two or three locks is a great way to include this ritual in your ceremony. You could also bring your own item to attach the locks to or take the two locks that are attached to the third “wedding” lock home with you and then attach the “wedding” lock to a structure.
If you are having your wedding at home or at a location that will allow the locks to be attached to a structure, then you can use one, two or three locks.
If you are using one lock then you can have each person’s name or initials inscribed onto the lock. You could also add the wedding date.
Then during the ceremony, the lock can be attached to the structure you have selected.
If you are using two locks you can have one person’s name or initials inscribed on one lock and the second person’s names added to the other. Then these locks can either be attached to a structure or to each other.
My favourite is using three locks. One for each of the couple and the third inscribed with the wedding date. The couple’s two locks can join as one with the central already locked “wedding” lock. Or the “wedding lock” can be attached to the structure and the two “couples” locks can then attach to it.
After the locks have been closed the keys are then disposed of.
What To Do With Your Key(s)?
There are many ways you can dispose of your key(s) and the way you choose is only limited by your imagination.
Some ideas for how you can “lose” your key(s) are:
- Bury them in a meaningful place
- Get someone else to bury them for you
- Melt them in a fire. This can be another ritual you can do on an anniversary or a meaningful occasion. Then if you have your lock on display in your home you can put the melted key with it.
- Put the key(s) in a shadow frame with the joined locks.
- Melt the key(s) down and make them into jewellery.
- Give a key to each of your ceremony witnesses for safekeeping.
What Can Be Read During The Ritual?
The celebrant will usually talk about the ritual and the significance it has to you as a couple. You may also like to include a reading or poem that also reflects the meaning of the Love Lock Ritual.
Poems & Readings For The Love Lock Ceremony
“The Key to Love” written by an Unknown Author
The key to love is understanding,
the ability to comprehend not only the spoken word
but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness,
to accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes,
without forgetting, but with remembering
what you learn from them.
The key to love is sharing,
facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways
to intensify your happiness.
The key to love is giving,
without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.
The key to love is respect,
realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas;
that you don’t belong to each other,
that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.
The key to love is inside us all.
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients
that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work
but the rewards are more than worth the effort,
and that is the key to love
“The Key to My Heart” written by Nicole C. Moore
Late at night when I’m sound asleep,
into my heart, you softly creep,
I sit and wonder how it could be,
But you must have stumbled across the key.
This key holds the secret to true love and more,
So take it now and unlock the door,
And I pray that we will never part,
Now that you have the key to my heart.
“The Bridge Across Forever: A Lovestory” by Richard David Bach
A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
“Key To My Heart” by Whitney Brown
More precious than silver,
More expensive than gold.
Like the rarest diamond, It’s one of a kind and
The key to my heart you hold.
Be careful with it,
There’s no spare just one.
And it belongs to you
So guard it with your love It opens my heart,
A secret world.
You’ll find my love my world,
My pain, my joy, my private/emotions
Hidden from all but one
The very key to my soul,
It’s the key to my heart you hold
“Love Poem 120, The Key” by Natalie Reynolds
I had closed the door upon my heart
And wouldn’t let anyone in,
I had trusted and loved only to be hurt
But, that would never happen again.
I had locked the door and tossed the key
As hard, and as far as I could,
Love would never enter there again,
My heart was closed for good.
Then you came into my life
And made me change my mind,
Just when I thought that tiny key
was impossible to find.
That’s when you held out your hand
And proved to me I was wrong,
Inside your palm was the key to my heart…
You had it all along.
I love including this ritual in a wedding ceremony as it is a great way to symbolise the special bond, commitment and love between a couple. It’s also a great ritual that can be customised to suit you as a couple and what you want it to represent.