The hand washing is done at the start of the ceremony. A pitcher of water, a bowl, and two hand towels sit on a unity table. The officiant starts with saying this ceremony will begin a little differently, "with a hand washing". The couple places their hands over the bowl and the officiant pours the water onto them. It is explained that the hand washing signifies forgiveness and a new beginning. Symbolizing that the couple is entering into their union Forgiven. All past arguments, disagreements, woes and trial are pardoned. And they are starting on a new journey together. The couple is also reminded to remember to forgive throughout their journey, to not hold onto to grudges, to respect the others individuality and to start each day anew.
I believe in the ceremony of things. I believe in making personal occasions PERSONAL.