There are a lot of traditions when it comes to wedding ceremonies. Even more recently than the timeless “something old, something new” types of traditions, there are traditions that have become popular over the last decade. One of those traditions is the unity ceremony. Starting with the classic unity candle, developing into unity sands and more, unity ceremonies are a treasured part of the wedding ceremony for many couples! Today I want to touch on a few of these traditional unity ceremonies, while sharing some ways I’ve seen my couples have gone about customizing your unity ceremony.
Customizing Your Unity Ceremony
Unity candles were the original tradition in the wedding ceremony. If you’re looking to go the more traditional route, there are still some options to consider! I’ve had couples who had the individual candles pre-lit, and then the bride and groom together light the unity candle from their individual candles. Some couples choose to have their mothers light the individual “family” candles at the beginning of the ceremony as they enter the space, then the couples ignite the unity candle from those during the ceremony symbolizing the creation of their new family unit. There are a few ways to make this unity ceremony fit your wishes best, so be sure to consider your options!
Unity Sand. From the unity candle tradition was born the unity sand ceremony. Great for couples who wanted a more modern take on the unity ceremony, this tradition incorporated two colors (or more–I’ll get to that!) of sand in separate jars, to be poured into one glass mold symbolizing the meshing of the bride and groom. Beyond just the colors of sand, there are fun ways to customize this unity ceremony to your relationship! I’ve had couples who wanted to incorporate their kids into the ceremony, using three or four jars and colors of sand to pour into the one in order to symbolize their family coming together as one. This unity ceremony is great for creating a keepsake to have on display in your home!
Tree Planting. One of the most unique unity ceremonies I’ve seen, and am so excited to capture more of, is the unity tree. This is when the couple uses their unity ceremony to come together to water a young tree in unison, which they will later plant in the yard of their home. Through the years they will watch it grow as their love grows, age as they age, protect and serve their children/pets as they grow their family, and symbolize the growth of their love and marriage over time. It is one of my favorite unity ceremonies!
Hand Fasting. A neat way of customizing your unity ceremony I’ve come across lately allows couples to literally “tie the knot.” With the hand fasting ceremony, the bride and groom present cords to the officiant, who lays these cords over the couple’s hands one by one, asking them vow-like questions. Once all the promises are confessed, the couple holds each end of the group of cords and pulls it into a knot, sealing their marriage. I love this ceremony as it also creates a keepsake to remember and display in your home!
Unity Cross. The newest unity ceremony I witnessed was the unity cross. A more religious-based unity ceremony, this creates an ornate cross for the couple to display in their home. With the groom holding the rigid outer form and the bride holding the ornate inside, the two unite the pieces to create the cross. The couple then seals the cross with three bolts, symbolizing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For couples looking for a more religious tradition, this could be a perfect way of customizing your unity ceremony.
There are probably a dozen other unity ceremonies these days, but these are a few of the increasingly common ones I wanted to touch on! If you’re planning to do a unity ceremony in your wedding, do some research into the different varieties out there and think about the ways you go about customizing your unity ceremony!
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