I recently encountered a bridge at Birmingham‘s Gas Street Basin that had numerous padlocks or ‘love locks’ attached to it. This tradition has become very popular and there are places all over the world where lovers leave a padlock in a significant place but why is this done?
Love struck couples in years gone by began writing their names or messages on to a padlock and leaving the locked padlock in a chosen location, usually a bridge. Once it was locked, the key was thrown into the water below and their love was sealed forever.
The Pont des Arts; ‘the lover’s bridge’ in Paris is probably the most well known place for lovers to leave their padlocks. It is said if lovers kiss each other on this bridge they’ll live happily ever after. Lovers come to leave their locks, kiss and throw the keys into the River Seine.
Over the years, the weight of these locks have caused problems by weighing down the bridge, and locks on the Pont des Arts have been removed. Parisian authorities are urging couples to now take selfies on the bridge rather than leave a lock and locks have been removed.
Couples can use the custom of love padlocks in a wedding, engagement or renewal of vows ceremony. As a Celebrant, I use lovers locks in a unity ceremony involving a locked box containing love letters to each other and a time capsule ceremony. I also incorporate them into the ceremony and the couple use the lock to lock a special box, or hang it from a decorative ribbon as a keepsake of their ceremony.
There are many different designs available to buy on the internet, but if you are considering using them, why not personalise your own to make it truly unique? Small padlocks can also be given guests as a wedding favour and a reminder of a special day.
For more information on alternative weddings, Celebrant ceremonies or unity ceremonies, please contact me