Ten Unity Ceremonies For Your Wedding
Unity ceremonies can be performed at any point in your service and originate in various different cultures. In contemporary weddings, couples usually choose unity ceremonies to symbolically reflect something that is vital to their marriage such a the intertwining of two families into one. Unity ceremonies create powerful symbolism for you as well as your families and friends. We can perform traditional unity ceremonies or tailor them to your wedding. If your family has a unique ceremony that isn't listed here, please let us know and we will joyfully conduct it when you hire us for one of our customized wedding ceremonies.
The sand ceremony can include both of you only, or can incorporate attendees who represent friends, parents, children or family. In the sand ceremony, sand of two or more colors is poured into a vase while the officiant reads a blessing, reading or poem. This ceremony represents your unity as the couple and the coming together of two complex lives into one inseparable whole. The innumerable grains of sand that make up each of your lives cannot be removed to their original containers once committed to the marriage. You will spend the rest of your lives discovering and commingling the sand. This ceremony is perfect for couples who want to celebrate with their loved ones during the wedding ceremony. Each loved one symbolically pours a bit of themselves into the marriage. The sand ceremony is ideal for including children as well. A beautiful keepsake reminder of the ceremony is also created.
The romantic unity candle ceremony usually is performed by the bride and groom alone, however, we can customize this ritual to include parents or children. Individual candles, each representing the life, love and light of the individual, are used to simultaneously light the unity candle, which represents the light and warmth of your marital love. The unity flame cannot be divided once lit and will light your life together. The ceremony can be altered to include parents or loved ones who bring the flame down the isle and light the couple's candles, symbolizing both the creation of life, and the continuity of family. You, like many couples, may choose to relight your candles on your anniversaries as a reminder of your wedding vows.
The elegant rose ceremony is usually performed near the end of the service. You exchange roses and place them into a single vase as the officiant reads a blessing, reading or poem. Roses are natural, not manufactured, and represent the necessity of life and growth in marriage. Exchanging them symbolizes both partners' willingness to give their lives and love to the other. The ceremony can be customized with the use of different flowers based on their meanings or symbolism or can be expanded to include the wedding guests. Each guest is given a flower and invited to bring it forward and add it to your wedding arrangement. The arrangement represents the variety and beauty of bringing together two families and sets of friends in support of your marriage. This arrangement is then placed on the head table or sweetheart table during the reception.
JUMPING THE BROOM
Jumping the broom is a tradition that grew out of several cultures. In it, you end the ceremony and, to either start the recessional or upon leaving the venue, hold hands and jump over a broom decorated for the wedding. It represents the beginning of a new life domestic together and sweeping away the old. Jumping the broom can also be done with children and is a fun way to include them in the conclusion of the formal ceremony. You also keep the broom as a beautiful display keepsake.
For a more spiritual ceremony, flowering plants or seedlings can be used to create a wedding garden which ties you to the earth and to her life. Similar to the flower ceremony, in the seedling ceremony, the couple presents seedlings to each other to symbolize the vitality and growth that will happen over time in their relationship. The seedlings are then planted in your garden, yard or in a special place. You may, like many couples, choose to plant your seedlings in nature visit them on your anniversaries.
In a way to honor both families during your ceremony, young trees can be used to symbolize both the family that you each individually came from and the new one you create together. Reflecting the vitality and growth that will happen over time in their relationship, the couple and their parents symbolically 'plant' a tree together taking their family histories and traditions and creating a new family tree to be nurtured, protected and loved. This small tree is usually potted for the purposes of the wedding ceremony and then replanted at the couple's home where they can care for and watch the tree continue to grow, a constant reminder of their wedding vows to one another.
Arising from Celtic roots, handfasting is the origin of the term "tying the knot." In a handfasting, you are literally bound in marriage by the officiant using ribbon or cords. You then agree to stay connected in perpetuity.
BREAD AND SALT
Bread and salt is an Eastern European tradition in which newlyweds are presented with a loaf of bread, often by their new in-laws. The bread is crowned with a small container of salt. You then partake of the salt and single loaf and, according to Russian tradition, the partner who takes a larger bite will become the head of the household. Bread is the most respected food for Russians and symbolizes hospitality, abundance and life. It is never wasted. Sharing bread is always an act of domesticity and kindness. You are symbolically taking your first meal together and entering into a new nourishing life together.
The time capsule ceremony is a reminder of the durability of your love and the lifetime commitment of marriage. You select important mementos of your courtship and usually write letters to your spouse for the time capsule. The time capsule is usually sealed during the wedding ceremony and opened for your fifth anniversary at which time the items are taken out, love letters read, bottle of wine shared and then replaced to be opened
again in the next five years.
Wishing stones are perfect for involving guests as part of the ceremony. When guests arrive, they are given a stone and pen to write a wish for your life together. They then hold and wish on them during the ceremony and can be invited to place them in a special vase or container that you then keep as a reminder of the love of friends and family that support you in marriage. Wishing stones can be facilitated by ushers, parents or the officiant. The wedding party can also bring their own stones as part of the processional or recessional.