Unity Symbols for your Wedding
Updated: Jan 8
Your wedding day is where two people’s journeys come together culminating in the unity of love in marriage. There are many beautiful ways to symbolise that unity in your wedding ceremony. I love to add a beautiful unity ceremony to your wedding and recommend to a couple the different choices to match their personalities, their cultures and traditions, their passions and their beliefs. Here I talk about my favourites, which I hope will help you choose.
Probably the most common unity symbol in a wedding ceremony. This unity ceremony allows you to include others (family or friends) in the ceremony. I like to break the ceremony into two parts.
Part 1: the outer candles, lit by a member of each family (for example the mothers). This symbolises the light passed to you from your families to light your path together.
Part 2: the unity candles, lit from the outer candles, representing you coming together as a couple.
“As you light this candle today, may the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives. May it give you courage and reassurance in darkness, warmth and safety in the cold, and strength and joy in your bodies, minds, and spirits. May your union be forever blessed.”
Hand fasting is an ancient Celtic custom, especially common in Ireland and Scotland, in which a couple come together at the start of their marriage relationship. While the ritual has changed since Celtic times it has remained as a beautiful way of symbolising the binding of two individuals in commitment and love in the union of marriage.
Traditionally the was made of rope or cloth. Today it varies from satin or silk ribbons, coloured ropes, fabric taken from an heirloom or anything that can be tied around your hands. Hands/wrists are tied together creating the bond between you as a couple. The practice gave us the expression "tying the knot".
The handfasting ritual can involve just the couple or can include your guests. You could invite guests to add coloured ribbons to your cord as a symbol of their good wishes to you. If there are children, it is a wonderful way to involve them in your ceremony. Each picking their favourite colour and adding to the cord.
"As this knot is tied so your lives are now bound. Woven into this cord are you hopes and dreams for your future."
“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.”
The Sand Ceremony is a unique way to symbolize two lives becoming one but remaining individual.
The ceremony usually involves the blending of two different coloured sands, to represent you as two individuals coming together as one in the bond of marriage.
This is a very popular ritual if there are children. A wonderful way to have your children involved in your wedding ceremony. Coloured sands for each member of the family, blended together, sealing the family as one.
“Your relationship is symbolised through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand, each representing all that you were, all that you are and all that you will be as you continue on this journey. Each jar, like each of you, holds its own unique beauty, strength and character. When they are blended together, they represent an entirely new extraordinary love relationship.”
The Wine Ceremony
Your first shared glass of wine is always a very special way to finish your ceremony and to celebrate your love for each other. As the grapes have been blended and warmed under the blue skies and sunshine, so have your stories, lives and futures…a wonderful ceremony if you both share a passion for wine!
A ring warming ceremony gives wedding guests an opportunity to hold your wedding bands and wish you good luck for your marriage. Each guest will, briefly, hold your rings either before or during your ceremony and take a moment to bestow their blessings upon them.
It is a meaningful way to involve all your guests in the ceremony and makes your wedding bands so much more significant knowing that you are wearing everyone’s blessings on your finger!
The Rose Ceremony
The couple exchange two roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their married life.
This ceremony enhancement brings a touch of elegance, romance and beauty. The Rose is seen as a universal symbol of love, of life, and of forgiveness.
More about the Rose Ceremony here
The Time Capsule is a beautiful way to capture memories of your day to remember back on your first wedding anniversary.
Lucy and Cameron included this in their wedding ceremony. They included two of their favourite bottles of wine in the capsule. "Like a good wine, a great love will deepen and mature with age. As this wine develops and matures, so too will your love for each other as you grow together in years."
They also included two love letters in the capsule. These letters encapsulated their thoughts and feelings of the day, the reasons they fell in love, the reasons they chose to marry and why they want to spend the rest of their days together.
When they open the capsule they will be transported back in time and relive their amazing wedding day.