One special part of your wedding ceremony is a unity ceremony. Traditionally it has been with candles, one for each the Bride and Groom (it can even be from their baptism ceremony if they still have baptism candles). Generally the mothers light the individual candles that represent their children and then together the Bride and Groom use those candles to light one larger candle. The individual candles symbolize the Bride and Groom and their separate lives and interests and then they unify and light one candle to symbolize their new life starting together as one.
When the ceremony is outdoors, candles are not always the best option, especially if it’s a windy day! So what are some options? It’s anything you can think of, of course! Here are a few amazing options:
Sand-This one can be a fun way to add color since you can get sand to match your wedding colors. This picture is of an hourglass container that mixed their individual sands together. The mothers can take the containers of sand up and place them on the unity table much like they would do traditionally with candles. This is also a great option if one or both of the Bride and Groom have children they want to incorporate into the ceremony. Each person can have their own color of sand that is then contributed to the new family color of everyone’s sand blending together.
Cord of three strands-This is inspired by Ecclesiastes 4:12 “…A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” During the unity ceremony the Bride and Groom braid the three strands of rope or string to make a woven cord that will not be quickly broken. The verses can be read before or during the ceremony.
Planting a tree or plant-With this unity ceremony, the couple plants a tree, bush, or a plant of some significance together. This can be simply be watering and fertilizing or more involved by actually planting the plant in a new container. The narration of the ceremony will sometimes tell where the couple plans to plant the tree at their home or some other place of significance to them.
Wine ceremony-This is one for the wine lovers out there! The mothers can pour the individual containers (glasses or carafes) of wine if you are having the parents involved. Generally one a white wine and one a red so the blending is more obvious. During the ceremony the Bride and Groom each pour their wines into the “Marriage Carafe” or sometimes a custom wine glass, as seen below, to create a new, blended wine, that can never be separated. The couple then drinks this new beautifully blended wine.
Canvas Unity Ceremony-This a great way to incorporate art into your ceremony or to just do something a little different for a unity ceremony. For this, the Bride and Groom each have a different color of paint. It is best in an easily squeezable bottle! A canvas is utilized on a stand or an easel so it is standing upright, then the Bride and Groom each take a bottle and squeeze out the paint at the top and allow it to drip down the canvas. As the two colors run and cross over each other, they blend and make a new, and un-separable color. If you want the parents involved, the mothers can take the paint bottles up and put them with the canvas. And then you have beautiful wall art that you created during your ceremony.
Unity Cross-This unity ceremony is a kit you can purchase that has three pieces: the base, the outer cross (groom), and the inner cross (bride). They are easily put together with three nails that represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a beautiful cross reminder of your wedding to have in your home! This also comes in a heart as well as different styles (rustic anyone?) to fit your wedding décor and your life.
With all of these unity ceremony ideas, it’s always a good plan to practice to make sure you have enough sand to fill your container, you know how to braid, how to plant a plant, the carafe or wine glass is large enough, the paint is the right thickness to run and blend colors and the blended color is beautiful, or you know how to put the cross together. A rehearsal can make you feel more at ease during your actual ceremony.
There are many ideas on how you can show your unity as a newly married couple, so do something that speaks to who you are! Add other ideas you have seen or want to try in the comments!