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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.