Unity ceremonies have a bad reputation for being cheesy. And while that certainly can be true, it doesn’t have to be (unless that is what you are going for…).
There are three basic unity ceremonies that I see most often. The Unity Candle which is two taper candles lit by your mothers or another close family member during the processional. After the vows, the tapers are used to light one pillar candle representing the joining of your families. The wording of this lighting is a wonderful opportunity to really say why this particular unity ceremony spoke to you.
My most popular unity ceremony is the Sand Ceremony – this is especially good for blended families. Each person has their own color of sand representing them as individuals – when blended together, the sand cannot be separated into those individual colors again – just as your family cannot be separated. It works equally as well for just a bride and groom.
And my third most common is the Hands Ceremony. This talks about how these are the hands that will love, guide and support you through your life together.
I have also done a Wine and Chocolate Ceremony and a Tree Planting Ceremony. I like to incorporate your favors into the ceremony when appropriate – for the Tree Planting Ceremony the couple had already planned to give saplings as wedding favors so it seemed a natural fit. The Wine and Chocolate Ceremony works well for chocolate favors or small bottles of wine.
This is by no means a complete listing of unity ceremonies. Scour the web for ideas. Ask your officiant. Or come up with something completely new that really fits you.