The Unity Candle is arguably one of the most popular versions of a Unity Ceremony. The practice is where at the conclusion of having exchanged your vows, together as one, the couple each take a candle and light a bigger one. This a symbolic ritual which symbolizes the partners becoming one. In a bigger picture of this, the individual candles are lit together by the parents of the bride and bride and groom.
But the Urban Bride likes to shake things up and discover alternative routes to go down and there are so many versions of the Unity Ceremony that you don’t have to just get hung up on the traditional candle practice. No, you can think outside of the box on things like a Unity Puzzle, a Unity Painting or even a Unity Blanket. There are the popular water and sand versions too.
It all has the same meaning about being a symbolic gesture of coming-together. Here Urban Bride Chic takes a look at our five most popular alternatives to doing the candle. Remember, your wedding is your wedding, so if you have a penchant for a certain flower for example, find a way to use that as part of a Unity Ceremony.
There are variations of this but the common practice is to get a small wooden barrel, which can of course be personalized and then the bride and groom each pour whiskey, of their own choice, to blend together in the barrel. Nothing ages like a beautiful marriage quite like a fine whiskey does. You can let this sit and mature further until perhaps a set anniversary when you crack it open. If there’s any that’s left over that didn’t fit the bottle – a wee dram won’t hurt on your wedding day! By the way, Whisky is the Scottish spelling and Whiskey is the Irish spelling (the latter being the American spelling too).
Looking forward into marriage is looking down the line, picturing yourselves as older versions of yourselves. Whether that’s hitting the casino to enjoy discount bingo, relaxing on the beach in retirement or sitting on the porch overlooking your little peace of land while sipping on home made lemonade. It’s a beautiful thing when you can picture the longevity of your marriage. In the Anniversary Ceremony, get a special box (again like the whiskey barrel, it can be personalized) and then lock away personal things like photographs, even a bottle of wine or any special keepsake that you open on a set anniversary. This can be a very personal Unity Ceremony. You can even put love letters in there.
This is giving something a little back to the earth. We’ve all given flowers, we’ve all given a plant from the store away. But how about thinking bigger by planting a tree together at your ceremony. Trees take so much time to grow and mature, this is wonderfully symbolic of the marriage to come. It needs nurturing, it needs care and attention but when it is fully flourished, it can bear fruit or just stand as one of the most iconic, strong icons of nature. We aren’t talking about getting out the wellies and shovel for this, just plant a sapling in a nice pot and then take it home to plant at later time. Want to ramp this up a notch? Grab some soil from a place that has meaning to you, maybe your parent’s back yard, or from that park where you first met.
There are so many versions of using beverages in a Unity Ceremony. We mentioned the whiskey above but another popular way to incorporate drinks is by blending. You can for example, blend your two favorite types of wine together i a single vessel and then each take a sip. Or if you prefer, why not blend a nice tea? Again, the choices of items used in the ceremony can be significant to you. If there a preferred tea from your heritage, use that.
While this is popular, it does remain one of our favorites, because it produces something beautiful. This can be done so elegantly, where you have a monogrammed vase and each partner pours in different colored sand to create a little piece of art. A very unique one at that. You aren’t going to be separating those grains of sand out after are you, so this is a great way to symbolize having your hearts entwined as one forever. As with all versions of the Unity Ceremony, keep it personal by choosing your own favorite colors.