Elements of you and your soon-to-be spouse can be found in every last detail of your wedding, from the tabletop decor to the wedding signage and cake decoration. But did you know that you can infuse your special day with your interests and passions even further through the unity ceremony? This is an extremely symbolic part of the main ceremony that represents two separate lives becoming one and embarking on a new journey together as one entity. So why not get creative with this memorable moment? If you don't know where to start, we've rounded up 10 amazing unity ceremony ideas for you and your honey. Whether you're a couple that loves to cook, is environmentally friendly, are both wine connoisseurs or love everything about the beach, get ready to be inspired.
1. Lighting the Candle
Lighting the unity candle is a timeless, classic way to symbolize your two lives coming together as one. For each couple, the flame may mean something different: the warmth of your love, igniting the partnership of marriage or coming together, each with your own individual spark, to create new light.
2. Cutting the Log
Although these handsome grooms are actually sawing something in half for their unity ceremony, this German tradition of cutting the log represents togetherness and unity in a different way. The log symbolizes the first obstacle that the couple will face in their marriage as they work together to overcome it. Perfect for a rustic, outdoor wedding!
3. Mixing the Oils & Herbs
If you and your soul mate have a passion for delectable food and have always bonded together through cooking, this may be the perfect unity ceremony for you. Combining oils, herbs or spices symbolizes the blending of each one of your talents and different facets of your personalities. Just as different ingredients are needed to complete the perfect recipe, these spices represent each of your individual characteristics coming together to complete the other person — “spicing” up your life and concocting the perfect recipe for a happy marriage!
4. Blending the Sand
Ideal for any beach or ocean-themed wedding, the blending of sand makes for a beautiful unity ceremony. The blending of two different colored sands of course symbolizes two lives becoming one, but there is one very important facet to this ceremony. Can you imagine trying to separate every single grain of orange sand from the grains of green sand once they are mixed? It would be impossible! After marriage, you and your soul mate become just as inseparable as those grains of sand.
5. Jumping the Broom
Photo via The Bride's Cafe, photography by We Are For Each Other
We have to admit, this unity ceremony looks like tons of fun. Jumping the broom is a type of unity ceremony in which the happy couple does just that, symbolizing “sweeping” away the old and welcoming the new. The broom represents a new beginning with your love and the next glorious chapter of your life together.
6. Breaking the Glass
Much like the impossibility of separating sand particles, the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass symbolizes the finality of marriage and the strength of its bond. The oneness of your love should be as difficult to break as it would be to put those shattered pieces of glass back together. What is unique about this glass ceremony is that it also reminds us that human feelings are as frail and fragile as glass, easily breakable, reminding each person to always treat the other with love and respect.
7. Giving the Rose
If your wedding is taking place in a beautiful garden, you may want to use the ever-romantic rose giving unity ceremony. The rose has always been a symbol of love, and will be the first exchange of gifts you share with your significant other. In marriage, it may be difficult to find the right words at the right times. It may be difficult to say “I'm sorry,” “I forgive you” or “I am hurting”. For these times when words may fail, leave a single rose for your love to find that will speak very poignant words, regardless of how difficult things may seem: “I still love you.”
8. Fasting the Hands
We always refer to marriage as “tying the knot” but did you know that saying was derived from this ancient unity ritual? This is a beautiful, unique and simple way to represent your union. Just as tightly as the knot is tied, your lives are now bound to one another, the tie symbolizing a connection between your souls that will last a lifetime.
9. Planting the Tree
The planting of the tree is a perfect way to pay homage to an eco-friendly lifestyle, if that is your passion as a couple. Personalize this ceremony even further by picking to plant a specific tree that means something special to you. Maybe you shared your first kiss under an oak tree or had a picnic under a maple tree. Tree planting symbolizes marriage in that it must be nurtured and cared for in order to grow. As much as the plant will need the light and warmth of your love, it must also be strong enough to weather any storm.
10. Pouring the Wine
The pouring of wine is another way to beautifully and classically symbolize your unity. Two carafes, one with white wine and one with red, will be combined into the “common cup,” with both people taking a turn drinking from the cup. The red wine represents the deep richness of love, while the white wine represents the strength of a loving marriage. The red and white wine, once combined symbolizes the blending together of their souls and their commitment to marriage.
With a degree in Vocal Performance from The Hartt School of Music, Shannen is always seeking to infuse her greatest passions together: music, theatre, love, food and writing. She has always been intrigued by human interaction and what ignites that initial, very special spark between two people. Coffee is just as vital to her as water, and her closet is saturated with leopard print clothing and accessories.