When you hear the term “unity ceremony” you might think of the traditional lighting of a candle, or a more recent trend of pouring two colors of sand into a jar. Maybe you cringed a little. You might think they sound a little dated. Silly. You might not see the point.
Where did unity ceremonies even come from?
A variety of unity ceremonies have existed for centuries in many different cultural contexts. One unity ceremony that is still very popular with Catholic Latinx and Filipino cultures is the Lasso or Lazo, which dates back to the seventh century. The lighting of a “unity candle” is a relatively new custom in wedding ceremonies, but first became popular in the second half of the 20th century in American Christian weddings. Handfasting is perhaps the most ancient of unity ceremonies, dating back to Celtic traditions in 7000 BCE. Unity ceremonies are one creative aspect that seems to get new twists every so often these days. There’s no right or wrong way to signify coming together as two souls unity as one! Here are some of my favorite unique unity ceremonies you could consider for your wedding:
Six Unique Unity Ceremonies:
This couple chose to create a painting for their unity ceremony. Their new last name was scored out in white or clear wax (you could use a crayon!) and they went over the canvas with water color paints in their wedding colors. This is a fun activity for a creative couple, and gives you a keepsake piece to hang up after the wedding day is done.
As mentioned, this Celtic tradition goes back into the BCE years. The history of the act alone may bring couples to decide on this unique unity ceremony. While literally “tying the knot” the materials of your cords and how many you use can be customized to you. Use sentimental or meaningful cloth or ribbon and do some research about the best methods. I’ve seen a way of holding the cords that allows you to slip apart and tie the knot in one fell swoop!
Building a Cairn
If you collect a lot of rocks (within Leave No Trace of course) this unique unity ceremony might be perfect for you. Whether you stack each rock with a vow attached, or simply build the cairn together after the vows are exchanged, this is a fun way to seal the deal and use those meaningful rocks you’ve collected together. Just be sure to take the cairn with you, as they are usually harmful to leave up!
Sharing a Joint or Taking a Shot
If it’s legal in your state, sharing a joint or taking a shot is a fun way to celebrate coming together as one and officially promising to spend your lives together. Plus it can take the stress off for pictures afterward!
When couples ask if I’ll come to the tattoo parlor with them after the ceremony, nothing makes me happier. Is there anything more unifying than matching tattoos on your wedding day?!
Planting a Tree
Getting a tree or a long-living plant that you can grow together is a fun and unique unity ceremony for your wedding. Give it a water as a ceremonial unity moment, then take it home to plant somewhere more permanent in your home and watch it grow as your love grows.
I hope this inspires you to plan the perfect unity ceremony for the two of you and your relationship!