The Unity Ceremony in a wedding is part of the traditional line up of a wedding. The most common are the Candle Lighting Ceremonies where each of you has your own candle, and you light the middle candle together, and extinguish your own…signifying that two are becoming one.
This is an old tradition, and many brides are opting for new ideas to signify their union with some memorable and unique Unity Ceremony Ideas.
The Sand Ceremony became very popular, where you pour each of your colors of sand and mix them into one vase creating a piece of art you can display in your house. We love the different ways to do a unity ceremony these days, and have rounded up some of our favorite below. You don’t have to stick to tradition in every sense. Many of these are great to show off your own personalities!
Traditional Unity Ceremony Ideas
One of the most classic unity ceremonies is of course the lighting of the unity candle. Each of you have one candle, and you light the center candle together and blow out your own candle, representing becoming one.
This is another very popular unity ceremony couples have done in the past. You take 2 different colors of sand, and pour them together in a vase, creating a beautiful piece of art. This is especially great if you are marrying with a child as well. They can jump in on it and have their own color, and you can blend all three (or four or five, etc.) into one beautiful family.
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Non-Traditional Unity Ceremony Ideas
Love Letter First Anniversary Box
Each of you write a love letter to each other that you will open and read on your first anniversary. This is a great way to remember all the feelings of your wedding day the year after. During the ceremony, each of you can slip your letter in a little box, and seal it for the next year. Add your names and wedding date to the box for an extra touch.
Anniversary Letter Box
If you like the Love Letter Anniversary Box, why not take it one step further, and make it an every anniversary box. Write a love letter on your wedding day, and on your first anniversary, the two of you can read them together. But instead of your box being done, write another love letter on your first anniversary and place it in the box to be read on your second anniversary and do it every year!
You can also make these letters to be opened every 5 years or something that works best for you.
Wine and Love Letters Time Capsule
How about writing your love letters to place in your box and adding an awesome bottle of wine as well? This can be opened on your first, fifth, or tenth anniversaries. (We suggest doing the Anniversary Letter Box, and replacing the bottle of wine every year!)
Plant A Tree
We’ve heard of lots of couples planting trees during their ceremony. You can add soil and water to the tree in a pot, and then plant it somewhere special you can both visit frequently. This is such a great idea for a lifelong memory that you can share with your grandchildren! And of course planting new trees is always a great idea.
Plant a Plant
Aloe Vera, Rose Bush, Succulent, or any other plant you want to grow and plant in your yard. This will be a memory you’ll enjoy for a while.
Unity Crosses have become quite popular recently. It’s typically a set of 2-3 pieces that when put together, they form a cross, symbolizing the importance of marriage with the husband, wife, and God.
Three Strands Cross
Another popular unity ceremony is the three strands cross. It’s a cross that has three strands that you can braid together during your ceremony. Representing the verse “” from the Bible. The three strands symbolizing a strong marriage between husband, wife, and God.
Sign Your Marriage License
You’ll be doing this anyway, why not add it to your ceremony for all your guests to witness. Have your witnesses present who are also signing your license, and make it all legal right then and there!
Wine Blending Ceremony
For this ceremony, you’ll want some red wine and some white wine and you’ll pour them together in a new glass, creating a unique wine. The wine represents two families coming together to create one new family. And the wine can never be separated. Plus, you might want a little glass while you’re up there in front of all your family and friends!
This one can be fun and made just for the two of you. Pick your favorite shot combo, and take a shot together. It can be Gin and Tonic, Jack and Coke, Vodka and Soda…whatever symbolizes the two of you.
Unity Olive Oil
Another unique take on the food blending ceremonies is to make olive oil together. Each of you can add a spice to create a wonderfully flavored Olive Oil, which you can use in your house during your first year of marriage. Plus, you’ll be able to make it over and over again.
Taking communion together during the ceremony can be a very special moment. For some religions, it’s a big part of the ceremony, but you can use this as your unity ceremony as well. Have a friend sing a beautiful song, or read a reading that can go with the communion, while you, your future husband/wife and the pastor do a private communion together.
Create A Hand Cast
Some couples like to create a cast or mold of their hands together on their wedding day. You’ll need a helper for this one, but you can create a piece that can stay in your home for decoration as well.
Finish A Puzzle
Find a small puzzle that can represent you lives, and you two are the missing or completing pieces. It can be a puzzle with 2 pieces, or have the other pieces represent other things as well. Or you can complete a heart or something similar.
Do A Painting Together
There are a few paintings we have found that would be beautiful to do during your ceremony. You can do something similar to the sand ceremony, and pour paint at the top of the canvas, while letting it drip down to create your own masterpiece. This painting could then hang on your walls in your home.
Light A Flying Lantern*
Lighting and sending off a Chinese Flying Lantern can be very romantic, especially if you are having an evening wedding. Write a special message and send your love and wishes up!
*For this one, you are definitely going to want to check your local laws about what is legal and not…plus check the fire safety laws as well. And if you happen to do this, be sure to have someone to collect the lantern afterwards. (This can be a fun one if you respect the clean up afterwards).
Unity In Glass
We fell in love with this idea when we discovered it. This one is similar to the sand ceremony, only it is a special type of material that can be made to create a glass vase for you to have forever. Check it out here.
Tie A Fishermans Knot
The Fishermans Knot is known as the strongest knot there is. It is impossible to break, and the more you pull at it, the tighter it gets. Definitely a great symbol of your new marriage.
No, we’re not talking about The Bachelor. The rose is a symbol of love, so during your ceremony, after you are pronounced husband and wife, the first gift you give your new spouse is a rose to symbolize all your love.
Brand Your Initials
Branding a piece of wood, leather, or something else, you can use that for a new piece of art, furniture, or create something from it that will last as a memory of your day. Maybe even do the front cover of your guest book!
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For all your country or farmer folk out there, the lasso ceremony can be a fun one for you.
Foot Washing Ceremony
The foot washing ceremonies have become such a sweet and romantic take on the unity ceremony. What a beautiful way to show your new spouse how much they mean and …
Hand Washing Ceremony
If you’re not sure about doing a foot washing ceremony, but love the idea, you can always do a hand washing ceremony instead.
Tie The Knot
But literally! Ever wonder why they call it “tying the knot”?
Make a Sandwich
We’ve heard of couples making a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and we think that’s super cute and unique. Definitely a funny moment in your ceremony that will most likely take your guests by surprise.
The water ceremony is like the sand ceremony, only you have 2 different colored waters that you will mix together.
Blend Your Favorite Treat Together to Serve at the Reception
This can be anything from M&M’s to your own trail mix. It’s still the symbolism of uniting two families, and your guests will get a kick out of being able to enjoy it as well.
Love locks is a cute unity ceremony idea. You can have one single lock that you will place on a love lock tree, fence, piece of art that you can hang up in your new house. You can also get your parents involved in this one, and they can add a lock of their own for each family.
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Whatever you decide for your unity ceremony, choose something that is unique to you. If you want to stick with tradition, that’s still a great idea. You’re wedding is about the two of you and what is going to be more meaningful and memorable!
Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.