Eight of our Favorite Unity Ceremonies

Photo Credit:  Steena Anne Photography

Whether you’re a couple who has gotten married in the past or you’re in the process of planning your wedding right now, many of you know there is a lot that goes into a wedding ceremony. The music, the timing, lining everyone up, and reciting your vows correctly are just a few factors that come into play during the wedding ceremony. One of the most traditional parts of the wedding that most couples also choose to incorporate in some way or another is the unity ceremony. For those of you who are unsure what a unity ceremony is or if it’s something you’d be interested in having, it’s a physical way of symbolizing your union of two lives becoming one in front of your family and friends! What’s fun about unity ceremonies is that there is no right or wrong way to do it, and through time couples have chosen to make them more creative and tailored to themselves, their professions, their passions, or even their cultures. Feel free to incorporate one of the unity ceremonies you see below into your wedding, or create and customize a new one that’s tailored specifically to you and your fiancé!

 

The most traditional and probably the most common is the lighting of a unity candle. This tradition comes from the Christianity practices, and consists of each spouse holding a lit taper candle and together combining their flames to light a larger (most likely a pillar) candle. We’ve also seen weddings where the parents will contribute to the ceremony by lighting a unity candle as well to symbolize the coming together of two families!

A wine ritual is one unity ceremony that is becoming more and more popular among weddings. Each person selects their favorite wine, and then during the ceremony each of them pours their wine selections into a new decanter or glass to symbolize the union or “blending” of the couple. The couple then drinks the new mixture together or saves it for a milestone in their marriage. Some couples are keeping the blending practice, but are starting to substitute wine for their favorite beers or coffee!

Similar to a wine ceremony, the sand ceremony also symbolizes the coming together or “mixing” of two individuals. How this works is each person has a small container of sand in the color of his or her choice, and at the same time they pour their sand into a larger container to symbolize their union. This is especially relevant for those of you planning on getting married on a beach!

Speaking of beaches or nautical themes, many couples choose to tie the knot while there are literally “tying the knot”. This unity ceremony, that stems from Irish tradition, has the couple tie what’s known as a fisherman’s knot with a piece of ribbon (don’t forget you can coordinate the color of the ribbon to match your wedding colors!).  The meaning behind this action is to symbolize an unbreakable bond that when pulled will become stronger rather than break!

For those of you that are nature lovers, you may find the appeal in planting a tree or flower together! The planting of a seed is significant as it is representative of the growth that you and your new spouse will experience together throughout your marriage.  The fun part about this one is that it can be done during an indoor or outdoor ceremony!

Depending on the length of your ceremony and your artistic abilities, you may find that painting a picture together is something that you’d like to do. This unique and collaborative approach allows couples to have fun and create together all while expressing your emotions surrounding your new union. The fun part about this one is that you can take it home and hang it in your home after the wedding!

For the extra sentimental couple, we recommend making a memory box that’s to be opened on special milestone anniversaries.  During this modern unity ceremony place special items in the box that have significance to you both, such as: your favorite celebratory drink, love letters, song lyrics, first date stubs, etc. Close the lid and either padlock or nail it shut together and don’t open it up until a special day in the future. To get extra creative during this ceremony, you can have a box customized to really represent you two as a couple!

Lastly, for those of you who are young at heart and also love food, opt to keep this unity ceremony short and sweet by using the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich to represent you and your spouse.  One of you spreads the jelly and the other spreads the peanut butter. Once completed, place the two slices together to create a symbolic match made in heaven. The best part? You get to eat the sandwich together when it’s done!

Photo Credit:  Junebug Weddings

Photo Credit: Junebug Weddings

Melody Hall