A unity ceremony is the best way to show your guests who you are as a couple.

There are many ways to personalize your wedding ceremony. From personal vows to your playlist to a thoughtful unity ceremony. You are probably familiar with some of the more traditional unity traditions like combining sand and lighting a unity candle, which we will touch on below, but the possibilities are endless. There are tons of creative wedding unity options out there! We are going to answer your most common unity questions, and we came up with a list of fun unity traditions to use on your big day.


What is a unity ceremony?


A unity ceremony is a portion of the wedding ceremony that is completely personalized to the couple. It is all about the couple uniting as one. It allows the couple to express a unique part of their relationship. It can be religious or cultural traditions, or something completely created by the couple. Just like the wedding ceremony, and unity ceremony is symbolic act that honors a couple’s commitment to each other. A unity ceremony is a unique was to fuse two heritages together, but not all unitary ceremonies have to be cultural or religious. The possibilities are quite literally endless. The more unique your unity ceremony, the more memorable it will be to your guests.


Do I have to have a unity ceremony?


No, you definitely don’t have to have one. It is a creative way to show yourselves off as a couple, and is a thoughtful ceremony to honor your commitment. Bonus — most unity ceremonies are centered around a keepsake, so you will have something tangible to take home with you to remember your commitment to each other.


When is the right time during the wedding ceremony to do the unity ceremony?


A unity ceremony is completely customizable. It often happens after the wedding vows are said, and before the couple says their vows to each other. Depending on the flow of the ceremony it could happen earlier or later in the ceremony. Work with your officiant to see when the time would be right. There is also a lot of one-size fits all script for you to follow. Depending on your unity ceremony, you can probably find something online that will relate to it, or ask your wedding planner or officiant. They may be able to help you with the wording, or have seen the ceremony before and know how to handle it.



Unique Unity Ceremony Ideas


Colored Sand

Photo by Krysta Joy Photography


The sand unity idea is very unique for beach weddings or makes a cute keepsake for the couple. You can get two different colors of sand, and take turns pouring it into a vase or figurine that can be closed.


Personalized Keepsake Candle

Photo by Justine Klope Photography


Personalized unity candles are probably one of the more traditional unity ceremonies you see at a wedding. There are 2 pillar candles that either the couple or the couple's parents light before taking their seat signifying the couple as individuals. Then during the ceremony, the couple will together light one unity candle signifying the couple as one.


Personalized Scented Candle from the Pour Room

Photo by Mark Koenig Photographics


Did you know the Pour Room in Paducah has wedding packages? Something really unique and fun for a couple to do is have a custom-scented candle as their unity ceremony. Stop by the pour room and create a custom scent that is unique to you, and light it for a few minutes during your unity ceremony. As a keepsake, you can take it home and think of your wedding when you light it.


Anniversary Capsule

From Wedlockofficants.com


This is a capsule you can open on your first, fifth, or tenth wedding anniversary, or even whenever you want. You can go as elaborate or basic as you like. You can include mementos from when you were dating or the year you got engaged. Many couples will write a letter for each other to open on the given date. We have even seen couples add to the capsule each year of marriage.


Wine Box

From Etsy.com


This option is very similar to the above, but also includes a wine of your choice to enjoy on your anniversary. Many couples will also include a letter to read on the anniversary.


Tree Planting or Tree Watering

From Weddingbee.com


This is an ancient unity ceremony recognized in many cultures. The tree symbolizes marriage. It is planted in fertile soil. Given light and water to develop deep roots. You allow it to grow and bear fruit and prune it when necessary. There is no set way to do this unity ceremony so you can really customize it to your needs. Some couples opt to use dirt from their childhood homes. Some opt to water the tree rather than planting it during the ceremony. Some couples even use house plants instead of actual trees.


A Cord of Three Strands


Also known as the "God knot", and another unity ceremony you have probably seen before. This is a traditionally Christian unity ceremony but can be adjusted to be non-denominational. The strands symbolize the two of them together are stronger than they are alone. It is based on the verse "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken".


Custom Livestock Brand

Photo by Stacey Lynn Photography via stacey-lynn.com


This unity is a bit more tailored to the south, and those who own livestock. We have only seen this unity ceremony twice. The couple created a custom cattle brand with their last initial. Heated it up, and stamped a cowhide with the new brand.


Wedding Glass

Photo from Unityinglass.com


This is a unity option not seen often, but one that is really cool. The process is very easy and similar to a sand ceremony. The couple can select anywhere from 2-8 colors. The couple will combine their glass crystals much like a sand ceremony. The colors can be displayed in vases, champagne flutes, or any container of their choosing. Once the glass is poured, the couple sends the crystals off to be created into a unique keepsake. There are several different companies that provide this service.



Hand-fasting

Photo by Harper Paker from phillyinlove.com


This is a Celtic tradition where the couple's right hands are bound together while the vows are read. This symbolizes their commitment to each other as they tie the knot.


Circling


Photo by Susan Stripling via smashingtheglass.com


Most often seen at Jewish weddings, the bride will circle the groom seven times symbolizing the groom as the center of the bride's world.


Wedding Lasso

Photo from Leocarrilloranchweddings.com


This is a Mexican tradition, and is typically used in Catholic ceremonies. After the vows are exchanged, a cord, rope, rosary, or floral garland is placed over the couple's shoulders by the officiant or whoever the couple has designated in an infinity symbol. This signifies their everlasting love and status as one.



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We've seen a lot of weddings, and a lot of exits. We put together a list of some of our favorites to inspire you!

Photo by Rachael Houser Photography


A grand exit or send-off is traditionally a way to send the couple off, at the end of the night or right after the ceremony, with the support and cheers of their closest friends and family. While many people opt to skip this tradition (as it usually signals the end of the party), we have to say the photos are absolutely beautiful, and such a treasured memory.


Sparklers

Photo by Morgan Newsom Photography


This exit is a fan favorite and one we see most often. Guests have a lot of fun with them, and the photos are always stunning. We have only ever seen white sparklers used, but colored sparklers could be a cool idea as well. There are so many options for the length and shapes of sparklers to choose from, depending on the length of time you'd like to spend taking photos. We find the medium length is perfect for one to two passes, and usually allows enough time for ample photos. We also recommend saving your money and not using any sort of sparkler tag, not only is it tedious to add to each sparkler, but often they end up catching on fire if they are anywhere near the lit end.



Bubbles

Photo by Emily Margret Photography


This one is definitely more on the traditional side and one you've probably seen in your parents' or grandparents' wedding photos. Tried and true, this exit produces the cutest photos, and is a great option if your exit (or entrance) will be during daylight. This is also a huge hit for kids and makes a cute wedding favor for your guests.


Dried Flowers

Photo by Robyn Pizzo Photography


The perfect alternative to confetti because they are biodegradable, and gorgeous in photos.


Flower Petals

Photo by Justine Ungaro via marthastewart.com


We have seen this option more and more lately, and we are totally on board. This is another option to use if you will be doing your exit outside during daylight or indoors right after your ceremony is over. You can choose to pre-fill cones for your guests to grab as they enter your ceremony, or create a petal bar. Let your guests fill their own cones with whatever color petals their hearts desire.


LED Light Balloons

Photo from ifyousayido.com


This one is time-consuming, to say the least, but the results are just as beautiful as a sparkler exit. If you opt for this option, we would recommend having a handful of family and friends do it rather than all wedding guests. This requires you to inflate the balloons, secure them to the sticks, and then wrap LED lights around the balloons.


Glow Sticks

Photo by AH Studios, LLC


A fun alternative to sparklers, that doubles as a dance floor accessory. This option is kid-friendly and gives your photos an exciting and colorful outcome.


Lightsabers

Photo by Patty Daniels Photography


This exit is perfect for Star Wars or Disney Lovers. We think this is such a fun and unique way to send off the couple.


PomPoms

Photo by Justine Klope Photography


This couple opted to have pompoms waved in the colors of their alma mater.


Artificial Snow

Photo from enfete.com


During a winter wedding, we had a couple fill these poppers with mashed potato flakes to emulate snow. There is also a biodegradable confetti option that looks like snow.


Fireworks

Photo by Ginny Borgia - Imagine Images


The ultimate send-off idea and a way to give your guests a show.



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Your wedding website is one of the most important places for your guests to get information about your upcoming event.


Your wedding website is easily one of the most important areas for your guests to get information about your upcoming event. This is not a task that should be left at the bottom of your to-do list. In fact, you will want your wedding website up and running before you send out your invitations. With all your wedding information just a click away, guests won’t have to reach out to you with their questions. There is only so much information you can (and want) to include in your invitation. Think of your wedding website as an overflow for your invitations. This is where you will put all your information that did not fit on the invitation like registry information and extra details about your event.

Zola and The Knot make creating a website super easy, and even fun. Enclosure cards can be used to communicate some of these points, but with so little space, you’ll want to post more information in a place where it can be easily accessed by your guests. The Knot allows you to turn your website link into a QR code, which makes it very easy to share in an enclosure card. If the platform you’re using doesn’t allow this feature, just visit www.qr-code-generator.com and enter your link. It will automatically generate a downloadable QR code for easy sharing.

Read on to learn what pieces of information are essential to include on your website.


Registry Details


Your invitation is not typically a place you want to share your registry details. Instead include this information in your enclosure card (if you are including one) or on your website. Looking for a less traditional registry option? Many platforms allow guests to get a bit more creative when creating a registry. Gone are the days when you had to register for physical gifts. Both Zola and the Knot allow couples to register for experiences. Many guests are more likely to give money toward a shared experience during the honeymoon rather than giving to a general honeymoon fund.


Event Details


This is the most important section on your entire wedding website. In this section include all the information that you put on your invitation plus some. The date, time, and location are all extremely important pieces of information. Is your event an adult-only affair? Mention it here. This is also a good place to touch on the bar situation. If you are having a cash bar and your vendor doesn’t accept credit cards, it can be helpful to mention that here so your guests are prepared.


Dress Code


Establishing your dress code on your wedding website is so important. Usually, this is one of the first questions a guest will have. Some choose to include this on their wedding invitation but take advantage of your FAQ section on your website to go into detail about exactly what you are asking for. This can prevent unnecessary questions on what exactly is acceptable to wear. Here you can define your dress code, and even give examples. So no guest is questioning what exactly is “black tie optional” or “cocktail”.


Your Love Story


Everyone wants to know how and where you met you met. Your wedding website is the perfect place to include this information. Do be careful when writing your story, as massive blocks of text tend to lose people’s interest quickly. Instead try to break this information up into several shorter paragraphs, and keep it as short and to the point as possible.


Wedding Party


Wedding programs are becoming less and less popular. Your wedding website is a nice place to recognize those in your wedding party and to include a description of their relation to you. Including this information on your wedding website can save you a little money on paper products the day of. Honestly, and we hate to say it, a majority of the wedding programs end up in the trash at the end of the night anyway. Use this section to introduce your wedding party, and even add details on who the person is in relation to you.


Transportation & Lodging


Some couples opt to set up a hotel block for their guests or arrange transportation between the venue and the hotel. It could be helpful to note shuttle times here, as well as including a direct link to book in your hotel block. Your guest will appreciate the easy and smooth transition while they are making accommodations for your wedding.


Social Media Details


We hate to see it. The bride is walking down the aisle, and great aunt Beth has her iPad out trying to get photos and is in the background of all the photographer's photos. You hired a professional photographer for a reason. Establish whether you will be having an “unplugged” wedding, and set your expectations. This is also a good place to share your wedding hashtag if you have one, and any site you are using to share photos from your event (like Instagram or another photo-sharing platform).


Local Attractions/Restaurants


Sometimes your guests are visiting your city for the first time. What better way to welcome your guests than to give them ideas of things for them to do during or visit during their time here. Some guests may have a lot of downtime during the weekend or want to make a mini vacation for your event. Share your favorite activity to do in your city or favorite restaurant you and your sweetie like to visit. This will make your guests feel welcome in your city, and also share a few intimate details about yourselves.


Venue Guidelines


If your venue has guidelines or rules expected for guests this is a good place to address them. For example, many venues have a liquor license which means outside alcohol is not permitted on the premises. This ensures you have covered all your bases and your guests know what is and is not expected of them upon arrival.


Itinerary


An itinerary is super helpful to guests to let them know exactly where they should be and when. It is much easier than making and printing a paper itinerary or trying to email it out to ensure all guests who need it have it. With it on your wedding website, it makes it easy for anyone and everyone who needs to access the information.


RSVPs


Many website platforms allow couples to track their RSVPs in real-time. They also allow guests to RSVP instantly on your website. Guests can log on to your website, type in their name and RSVP, and even select their entree option (if applicable). This allows you to track your RSVPs in real-time. Additionally, with the use of a QR code directly to your website, guests can easily scan your code and arrive at your website rather than typing in a long URL and potentially making a mistake. Also, this eliminates the need for return envelopes and confusing RSVP cards without names. although, you may still want to include the physical RSVP card for older or less tech-savvy guests.


Unique Traditions


Unique traditions at weddings are always refreshing. Many guests may wonder what the reasoning is behind them or where they came from. This is the perfect place to tell guests about any of your unique traditions and the reason you are doing them. Not everyone is familiar with weddings, or even traditions from other cultures. Maybe you’ll even inspire someone to carry on your unique tradition!


With all this said, there is tons of information you can include on your website, but these are just a few examples of bits of information that would be nice to include. Remember, break up this information into bite-sized, easy-to-understand points so as not to overwhelm your guests. This is a lot of information but done right you can eliminate nearly all unnecessary communication leading up to your event.

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