Weddings are already beautiful events, but adding a unity ceremony can make it extra special. In these ceremonies, you can demonstrate symbolically what the day is all about. Whether you are looking for a traditional ceremony, or a modern, more alternative unity ceremony, there are several lovely ways to go about it.
Irish Handfasting Ceremony
Said to be the origin of the term "tying the knot," in this tradition Celtic ceremony, the bride and groom's wrists are tied together with a ribbon or cord. The bride holds the groom's right hand with her right hand, and left with left. With their wrists crossed, the ribbon is wound around the wrists to create an infinity symbol. Historically, couples in Ireland would perform this ceremony before being "handfasted" - meaning they would be married for a year and a day, and then decide whether they wanted to stay together or to part ways - some couples today may even like that idea! Today, this ceremony is typically performed in neo-pagan weddings, but can be a meaningful part of any wedding.
The red rose has been a symbol of romantic love for quite a long time, for centuries people have given roses to others to express the words "I love you." That is why the rose ceremony at weddings is so appropriate. It's simple: at the end of the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom exchange red roses to express their love for each other. Also, if the bride and/or groom have children, they can give a rose to each of the children to show their love for them and to make them a part of the wedding as well.
This ceremony is very similar to the rose ceremony; except the couple exchanges floral garlands or leis to express their love and that their union is blessed by nature. This is also a common part of Indian weddings called "jaimala" or "varmala."
This is a popular Hawaiian ceremony, in which couples on the beach get a vial of sand from underneath each of their feet, and then combine the sand into one vial to signify their union. Couples can have this ceremony indoors, too, simply taking two separate containers of sand and combining them together. Sometimes couples use colored sand and combine them to make an entirely new color. The sand also makes a lovely wedding keepsake
Unity Candle Ceremony
These days, this is probably the most popular wedding ceremony. It is simply a lovely way to signify the union of two hearts. In this ceremony, the couples light two individual tapers, and then take those two tapers and light the middle taper together. Some couples let the individual tapers burn during the wedding and then light the middle one at the end, whereas some do the entire ceremony at the end to avoid any waxy mess. You can also do variations on this, like letting children or other family members light the individual flames and then have the bride and groom light the center one.