Marriage is the act of two lives coming together as one. Isn’t that a crazy concept to wrap your mind around? Thankfully, the unity ceremonies that often take place at wedding ceremonies help to tangibly visualize the union that is created through marriage.
Unity ceremonies symbolize the binding of two separate individuals into one, irreversible entity. They require two clearly separate objects coming together to form one greater object. For example, unity candles are the most popular of all ceremonies, with one candle representing the groom, one candle representing the bride, and a third candle — with both the bride and the groom light — representing their marriage. Read below for more clarification and some ideas the stray from the typical mold!
Yes, yes, we said we were moving past the candles as a symbolic form of unity. But candles are still beautiful and may be the perfect option for you and your wedding. And you can make even this traditional option more unique! For instance, after lighting the main unity candle, the bride and groom can light the candles held by their best man and maid of honor. These individuals pass the flame down to the candles of the rest of the bridal party and eventually, the rest of the guests.
Another popular option that can manifest in an infinite number of ways, you need only two colors of sand, and then the world is your oyster! Creatively combine these two sands into a piece that can never be separated. Pour the sands alternatively into a bottle, clear box, vase, hourglass, or more! You will create a neat piece of artwork to place in your home. Stray from the colored sand and select peppercorns, salt, sugar, or other mixtures of contrasting colors to combine for a more unusual option.
Branding a piece of wood with your initials and a heart as a symbol of unity. This ceremony complements rustic and country chic weddings very well, but can work for any style of wedding. You will need access to a flame, as well as to an individual who can create the customized branding iron.
Love is beautiful, like art! Select two different colors of paint and create a piece of artwork to feature in your home — a less overt representation of your never-ending love and commitment. You could drip the two colors of paint on a blank canvas or each have a brush to write your names, create a heart, or draw any other image.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” In marriage, a man and woman not only need to unite together, but do so through Christ. Select three strands of rope, twine, or any strong string and braid them together during your wedding ceremony. Display this cord of three strands in your home as a reminder of your dedication to each other and to Christ.
Love only grows greater and deeper over time. The planting of a tree not only reflects the unity of marriage, but also how it develops as life progresses. For this ceremony, you will need a pot, a young tree, and soil. The couple plants this tree in a pot together at their wedding. As it grows, they can transfer it to a place in their yard and continue to watch it flourish.
Before the wedding, the bride and groom can each select their favorite type of wine. During the wedding ceremony, the couple will pour wine from their respective bottles into one glass from which they both drink. This ceremony could be customized to fit your unique relationship with any beverage — just be aware that certain beverages will not mix well. You don’t want the foul combination of chocolate milk and root beer to cause the bride or groom to become sick.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Ceremony
You’re either going to love this idea or hate it. Either way, you have to admit that it’s the epitome of alternative unity ceremonies! For this symbolic act, the bride and groom will each select either the peanut butter or jelly, which they spread on two pieces of bread. Once the sandwich is created, they both take a bite (or two or three)! While this idea may cause you to chuckle, it provides a meaningful symbol of how love will nourish you throughout the years.
Connect two padlocks together and throw away the keys. While the physical connecting will not take much time, you can make the discarding of the keys more symbolic — tie them to the strings of helium balloons that you release into the sky, throw them into a nearby both of water, or any other final act. You can place the padlocks in a box to feature in your home, a memory that you can gaze upon everyday when times get hard. Or, you can place them in a public place that will become a special place to visit.
No matter how you choose to do it, your wedding should symbolize your unity. You are no longer a lone individual. You are party of a team, bonded together forever. Why not symbolize that unity with a meaningful ceremony that gives you a relic to look back upon throughout your life together?