Unity ceremonies have been a wedding tradition for many years. They symbolize the uniting of two families into one as the bride and groom join together in marriage. The two most popular and classic unity ceremonies are the Unity Candle Ceremony and the Unity Sand Ceremony.
In a Unity Candle Ceremony, one pillar candle (representing the bride’s family) and another (representing the groom’s family) are simultaneously used to light a larger candle in the center. To further represent the two families, it is common for the mother of the bride to light one pillar, and the mother of the groom to light the other. The lighting of the third candle is done together by the bride and groom, and represents the new family they are creating. Some couples choose to leave the smaller separate pillar candles lit in order to symbolize their individuality even as they create their new life together.
While the Unity Candle Ceremony remains popular, the Unity Sand Ceremony is becoming more favored, especially in outdoor weddings. It has the same significance of a Unity Candle Ceremony, but sand is used instead of candles. The bride and groom each have a separate vessel containing their own color of sand. The two colors are then poured into a center vase, representing the blending of their two separate families into the union of their new life together. An added significance to this ceremony is the notion of becoming inseparable; the newly married couple will be as difficult to separate as the different grains of sand in their unmixed state. The Unity Sand Ceremony also provides a unique opportunity for brides and grooms with children. By giving each family member their own color of sand to pour into the center vessel, the two families are symbolically incorporated into one.
Many couples today are opting to put a new spin on the traditional unity ceremony. Whether it’s planting a tree or splashing paint on a canvas, these twists on unity ceremonies are sure to add entertainment and meaning to any ceremony. Keep an eye out for future Unity Ceremony posts! We’ll highlight some alternative ways to show the bride and groom starting their new lives together as one.