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Looking to include a unity candle ceremony or something similar in your wedding? While some are cultural traditions that go back hundreds of years, some are recent ideas. The desire to do a ceremonial act to symbolize the unifying of two families or two individuals is a beautiful sentiment. Here are some ideas for unity signifying ceremonies that you could adopt for your wedding ceremony.
The Unity Candle
Two taper candles are initially lit by the mothers or family representative of the two families. The bride and groom each take a lit candle and simultaneously light a third larger pillar “unity candle” in the center. This represents the two families coming together and also the unifying of two individuals into “one.”
Stores sell elaborate unity candle setups, including a candelabra that holds the central unity candle higher than the two others. You may also have your unity candle personalized with your names and the date, allowing it to be a keepsake from your wedding.
Other Unity Ceremonies
If your wedding venue does not allow open flames, do not let that derail your unity ceremony hopes. There are many variations that do not break the “no open flames” rule. You may also have a tradition from your culture or religion that symbolizes unity. Or maybe you are looking for something you haven’t seen at a lot of weddings, so you can have a fresh idea. Read on for some different unity ceremony ideas.
For this unity ceremony, the bride and groom exchange roses then present their mothers with the roses.
The bride and groom each take a carafe of wine and pour it into a single glass, which they both drink from.
Water or Sand Ceremony
The couple each pour different colored water into a single glass, creating a third color. If you get a container with a lid, this makes for a great keepsake.
Similar to the water ceremony, the bride and groom both pour different colored sand into a glass while reciting their vows, for the ever-popular sand ceremony. This has an interesting layering effect, with each color being poured one on top of the other, as well as some layers being mixed of both colors. Just don’t knock it over!
Christians often choose to incorporate Communion into their wedding ceremony, making it their first act as a married couple.
Ceremonies From Around the World
After the wedding vows and ring exchange, the couple’s hands are bound together with a cord that is then tied in a “love knot,” signifying the joining of their lives in a sacred union. This is where the expression “tying the knot” came from.
Another Irish tradition is the truce bell. A bell is rung on the wedding day, the happiest day of the couple’s lives and then is placed in a central location in the home. If the couple starts to argue, one of them can ring the truce bell, reminding them both of that happiness and hopefully ending the disagreement quickly.
In Eastern European ceremonies, the bride and groom circle the altar three times, which are their first steps together as husband and wife.
An African-American tradition that has its roots in slavery times when slaves couldn’t marry. Typically the family places the broom on the ground, and the bride and groom jump over it together. The broom can then decorate a place of honor in their home.
Indian weddings often include a salt ceremony, where the bride passes a handful of salt to her groom without spilling any. He then passes it back to her and the exchange is repeated three times. She then performs the salt exchange with all the members of the groom’s family, symbolizing her blending in with her new family.
In Hawaiian weddings, the bride and groom typically exchange leis. The families may also exchange leis with the couple. Leis represent the love and respect you have for the person you are giving it to and the unity of the new family.
Are you near Montgomery, Texas? We’d love to host your wedding ceremony and reception at Jennings Trace. Contact us to learn more or arrange an on-site tour.