Monday, January 17, 2011

New Take on the Unity Candle Tradition

We’ve all seen it done before: the officiant says some words on two lives coming together and then the bride and groom each take a lit candle from their respective family candle and together light a "unity candle." The unity candle ceremony holds great meaning, symbolizing two families coming together and two individuals becoming one ‘unit.’ The problem is, nowadays this particular ceremony has become more of a routine custom and mostly goes unnoticed.

For those of you who want a unity ceremony at your wedding but one that will hold more personal significance, try putting a twist on the unity candle ceremony. Here are two alternative ideas that will get you thinking of how to incorporate the unity ceremony in a way that will make a more memorable impression at your upcoming nuptial.

Ring a Bell

An old wedding superstition regarding bells was that ringing bells at the ceremony would ward off evil spirits intent on wrecking havoc on the newlywed couple’s bliss. The bells were also thought to bring good fortune to the couple. Although this superstition has faded into the past, bells are still rung as a celebration of the couple's love, happiness, and union. 

A great way of incorporating the wedding bell tradition into your unity ceremony is by ringing bells. To start off the ceremony, the officiant can explain to your guests the symbolism of the wedding bell and walk them through the process: the bride and groom will each have a bell in hand and then after tying them with a bow, they will proceed to ring the bell together. If possible, another option is to ring the bell at the venue. This will represent the couple's commitment to work together to maintain their love through the good and the bad. After the wedding day, the bells can be placed in the wedded couple's home and whenever there is an argument, one of them can ring the bells, reminding them both of their wedding day bliss and their vow to work through the bad times, together.

Plant It Together

The planting of a tree sapling or a seedling of choice represents the start of your new life as a wedded couple. The planting ceremony works great for those who choose to have an outdoor wedding. To avoid a mess, have the sapling or seedling potted beforehand and two small hand shovels with a small scoop of soil in each. And during the planting ceremony, simply slide the scoop of soil into the pot. Another option is to just water the seedling during the planting ceremony.

This will be a constant reminder that like a plant in order for the couple’s love to stay alive and grow stronger, they will need to nurture it constantly and consistently. And as the couple works together to cultivate their relationship they will grow stronger in each other. For those who are passionate about the environment and love nature, this ceremony will hold an added meaning.

Whether you choose to include the above options in your wedding or come up with your own tradition, make sure your unity ceremony holds personal significance for you and your groom.

(Photo credits:,, Micah Dahlberg Photography, 2000 Dollar Wedding)   

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