It is not a common ritual so guests are drawn to it precisely because they have never seen it done before.
The ceremony can certainly be customized for the couple. I once had a bride who just didn't like roses. So we simply used a different kind of flower. Another couple used a vase that had been passed down in the groom's family for generations. Naturally, we brought in a theme of family roots and generational continuity.
One couple changed "beauty" and "strength" to the attributes they cherished most about one another. The groom received the rose because the bride admired his tenderness and the bride received a really amazing and unusual vase because the groom loved her creativity.
Officiant: (Bride) and (Groom) have chosen to present one another with two symbolic gifts, The Marriage Vessel and the Rose, to symbolize their life-long commitment to one another. The spiritual roots of this ceremony grow out of an understanding of creation, one gift (presenting the vessel) crafted lovingly by human hands, the other (holding up the rose) brought forth by the glories of nature. This vessel is a symbol of love's strength and endurance. The miracle of the vessel is it not only protects, but becomes something new by that which it holds. Likewise, the rose born of the tiniest of seeds, symbolizes both the beauty and the potential of love that blooms and grows through time. Both the vessel and the rose are individually unique, yet when combined, they create an object of even greater beauty.
(Bride) please present (Groom) with the vase as you repeat after me.
(Groom), this vessel represents
the strength I see in you.
I thank you for the person you are
and the person I am becoming
because of your love for me.
(Groom) please present (Bride) with the rose as you repeat after me.
(Bride), this rose represents
the beauty I see in you.
I thank you for the love and care
you have given me
and for all we will share together in this life.
(Bride) and (Groom), please place the rose in the vessel, holding it together repeating after me.
As our gifts bring beauty
and purpose to each other
may our lives continue
to enrich and strengthen one another.
(Bride) and (Groom), as you share each passing day and as your days become years remember this tradition you have created. On each wedding anniversary, place an additional rose in your marriage vessel to demonstrate your ever growing love for one another. May this gift always be a visual symbol of the beauty and strength you bring to union.
This particular ritual can occur almost anywhere within the wedding ceremony. I have placed it both before and after the exchange of vows depending upon the other elements included in the wedding. Because the symbolism is fairly unique, it still works quite well with virtually any other wedding ritual the couple might also like to include within their ceremony.