I recommend adding unity ceremonies to your wedding.
They are a wonderful addition to any ceremony and are a way to add layers of meaning to your commitment.
Here are a few examples of some favorites with unique origins from around the world.
Contact me to find out more!
The Unity Candle is one of the most common ceremonies. The bride and groom each take a lit candle and light a third larger “unity candle” at the same time. They may blow out their individual lights, or leave them lit, symbolizing that they have not lost their individuality in their unity.
Hand-fasting is a simple and traditional ceremony used in Irish, Scottish, and Welsh weddings, which goes back to the medieval and renaissance period. It involves the tying of hands together to symbolize the coming together and remaining tied together. This is where the saying “Tie the knot” originates.
When they arrive, each guest is given a stone to hold during the ceremony. Each stone is then blessed with all the love and good
wishes that the guest imparts to it. After the ceremony, all stones are placed in an attractive dish to be displayed in the new couple’s home.
The couple holds or puts their hands on a stone during their vows to “set them in stone”. It is believed that this is where this phrase originated.
The bride and groom write letters to each other and place them in a small wooden box along with a bottle of wine. The bride and groom then seal it. The box will be opened on an anniversary or in times of strife so the bride and groom can remember what brought them together. It is also nice to add other keepsakes such as items from the wedding, photos or other meaningful objects.
The bride and groom both pour different colored sands into a third vessel. It symbolizes the unity of marriage. Once the sands have blended, they cannot be separated.
This is a simple unity ceremony where the bride and groom exchange roses. Other variations include the families exchanging roses, or even the bride and groom making a bouquet together using two different types of flowers- one for each of them.
The bride and groom each take a carafe of wine and pour it into a single glass, which they both drink from. Combining red and white wine creates a new wine, rose', which is symbolic of creating a new life together.
Your take on the Sand/Salt Ceremony: Mix any two items into one vessel. Are you chefs or have an interesting connection with food? White peppercorns and black lava salt, turmeric and paprika, salt and pepper, cinnamon and sugar. This could also include others interests like farming…combine soil and seeds.
The bride and groom tear off pieces of bread, and then each eat a piece. Sometimes the bread is also shared with family and friends. It symbolizes their future as a family together.
The bride and groom exchange garlands of flowers. This is a common part of Indian weddings, where the ceremony is called varmala or jaimala, and represents a proposal by the bride and acceptance by the groom. It also represents their new unity, blessed by nature. 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.
In Eastern European ceremonies, the bride and groom circle the altar three times, which are their first steps together as husband and wife. In Hindu ceremonies, couples circle the fire seven times, sealing their bond. The unbroken circle represents the unbroken commitment to each other.
An African-American tradition that has its roots in history 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.
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.
An African-American wedding tradition. This ritual dramatizes the traditional promise to love “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” Lemon, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and honey — represent the sour, the bitter, the hot, and the sweet times of marriage.
Plant a tree together with a little dirt from your home. An option is to have the parents water it to symbolize the way they have been an influence in teaching and encouraging love. After the ceremony, take the potted tree, and transplant it at the newlywed’s home to symbolize putting down roots, longevity, and strength within this marriage.
Vinegar and baking soda are combined to create a controlled chemical reaction. When combined, the two elements create carbon dioxide, a harmless gas that causes the mixture to foam and bubble. It is a unity volcano! Once combined the two elements become something new, they are no longer two separate elements. Just as with marriage, two separate people become one.
Create a painting during your wedding ceremony. It is the symbol of your love and devotion to one another. After the ceremony, have the painting framed and hang it in a place of honor in your new home.
The butterfly symbolizes new beginnings and rebirths. What better way to celebrate the beginning of a new life together than with the releasing of butterflies at your wedding. Every release is unique and special just as every wedding is unique and special.
A word of caution: Please follow instructions carefully on caring for the butterflies as they are delicate and you don’t want to open the box to find they have died.
Please note: Many butterflies are not native to Colorado and will die shortly after release. Ask the company to provide butterflies that are compatible with our climate.
This ceremony is performed like a sand blending but glass crystals are used instead of sand. After the ceremony the combined glass crystals (called frits) are taken to a glass studio and used to create a beautiful sculpture like a vase or anything you want. Both colors are still visible within the glass but are joined together, never to be separated. Love fused into art……beautiful.