Tie the Knot
Unity Ceremony Ideas
If you are on the fence about including a unity ceremony in your wedding because the idea seems too archaic, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Although unity ceremonies are deeply rooted in tradition, today’s ceremonies often marry traditional and modern elements and provide a unique expression of a particular couple’s love for and commitment to one another.
Of course, traditional unity ceremonies also continue to be prevalent. Regardless of your leanings, we think you will find the following suggestions from several Virginia brides helpful!
For Christian couples, communion is an ideal way to symbolize not only your unity as a couple, but also your unity with God. Kegan and Amanda Shaw chose to do communion at their wedding to honor their faith. “As Christians, we thought communion would be a great way of symbolizing the foundation for our marriage,” Amanda says. “As we took part in this ceremony, it turned out to be an incredibly special moment just between myself and my husband. Fast forward to today (six years later) and this is still a priceless moment that will always stand out to me as one of my favorite memories.”
Robbie and Kayla Harman also opted for a communion unity ceremony. “We did communion together to show that we wanted to make God the center of our marriage,” Kayla says. “It was a very special moment that we got to share together in front of our family and friends!”
If you do choose to do communion at your wedding, just be careful to do so thoughtfully and slowly to avoid a wardrobe conundrum. “I was a little scared that I would accidentally spill grape juice on my white gown,” Amanda admits. “Luckily I was super careful and somehow I pulled it off!”
Another prevalent Christian unity ceremony is the lighting of the unity candle. This ritual typically entails the parents of the bride lighting one small candle and the parents of the groom lighting another small candle. The bride and groom then use these two small lit candles to light a single larger candle symbolizing their new unity as husband and wife. “My husband (Mathew) and I lit the unity candle following the traditions of the United Methodist Church,” says Kaili Crumpacker.
Unity sand is a visually captivating way to display the joining of a couple in matrimony. For this ceremony, the couple typically combines two vials of differently-colored sand into a single vessel to convey that just as the two colors of sand can never be separated, so too can the couple never be separated. Justin Colby and Nikita De Lieto opted for a unity sand ceremony largely because it is a lasting visual symbol of their vows to each other. “We chose a unity sand ceremony with two colors of sand mixed to represent the bride and groom becoming one,” Nikita says. “The best part is that it is a keepsake forever!”
For George and Carrie Kuhn, the sand ceremony symbolized not only their new bond, but also the blending of their families. “We had both been married once before,” Carrie says. “The sand represented the blending of our families. Each family had their own color and all sand was poured individually, making a beautiful colorful keepsake for us.”
Ring Blessing Ceremony
For those who seek the involvement of wedding guests in their unity ceremony, a ring-blessing ceremony is ideal. “My husband [Mark] and I did a Scandinavian ring warming,” says Laura Schomaker. “The minister put both rings in a small pouch. She then took the pouch, held it to her chest, and said a blessing for our marriage. Finally, the rings were passed around to all our wedding guests so they could silently bless them.”
More Modern Options
Unity ceremonies can be as unique as you desire, and many couples are opting for unconventional ceremonies such as tree plantings, canvas painting, and the blending (and sometimes subsequent drinking) of a myriad of different liquids: two different colors of water, two different types of tea, and even rosé and white wine!
Those who want to extend the duration of their unity ceremony may want to consider the sealing away of love letters that the bride and groom write to each other before the wedding in a special box that then gets opened on a milestone anniversary.
Whether you choose to include a more traditional or more modern unity ritual in your wedding ceremony, remember that your bond with your new spouse will always be timeless.