Emphasize unity in ceremony
Weddings celebrate the joining together of hearts, families and homes. The unification of a couple pledging vows to each other is the key component of the ceremony, and unity rituals are common during both traditional and nontraditional weddings.
Unity ceremonies represent the magic of two people coming together as one. Unity rituals may be built into certain religious or cultural weddings as a normal part of the festivities. Other couples may want to embrace the idea of a unity ceremony to add something extra special to their ceremonies.
Couples seeking creative options for unity rituals as part of their wedding ceremonies can explore these clever ideas:
• Candle lighting — The lighting of a unity candle is one of the more recognizable and traditional unity rituals. During this ritual, the bride and the groom each light an individual candle and then together light a larger candle, which celebrates them coming together as one.
• Sand pouring — The pouring of sand into a vessel also is a popular unity ritual. In this ritual, couples choose two sands of different colors and then pour their respective colors into a vessel, allowing the different hues to mix together. This ritual can be expanded to include other family members, with a rainbow of colors blending for a now unified joining of families.
• Unity cross — Christians may enjoy a unity cross ritual at their ceremony. A unity cross is a decorative cross with a holder, and the cross is held in place by three pins, which symbolize the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. During this ritual, the bride, groom and officiant will each set a pin in place.
• Tree planting — Planting a tree or shrub that can grow with the marriage is a green idea and one that takes unity rituals to a different level. Couples can place the sapling in a decorative pot and then take turns watering it. Later, the tree can be planted outside the couple’s first home.
• Lasso ceremony — This ritual is traditional in many Spanish- and Filipino speaking countries. After vows are exchanged, the officiant wraps a floral garland or rosary around the couple. At the end of the ceremony, the garland is saved as a symbol of unity and love.
• Handfasting — This ritual comes from an ancient Celtic tradition that bounds the bride and groom’s right hands together during the wedding ceremony. Handfasting symbolizes couples’ commitments to one another.
• Flower ceremony — In this ritual, couples can exchange roses or a favorite flower and then place them in a vase or basket. All members of the family also are invited to place a single flower into the vessel, which ultimately results in a beautiful floral display.
Couples can create their own unique unity ceremonies. The blending of any two materials, such as wine, tea, glass beads, or paint, or even the traditional tying of knots will convey the symbolism of joining as one.
Couples often participate in unity ceremonies, which may include lighting a candle or pouring sand.