Symbolic actions or rituals are another way of making your wedding ceremony completely unique. Perhaps you are looking for something for religious or cultural reasons or you are just looking for a way to personalize your ceremony, there are different unity ceremony ideas with some being easily adaptable for different ceremonies such as weddings, vow renewals, naming and welcoming ceremonies, renaming ceremonies and commitment ceremonies. You may be familiar with some but I hope these next sections will help you choose the right one for you.
UNITY CANDLE CEREMONY
This modern-day symbolic ritual represents the joining of 2 people and their families. A couple takes a lighted candle and together light a larger candle (the unity candle) to symbolise ‘two becoming one’ and when the candle is lit it can no longer be divided. Symbolically for weddings, flames are said to represent the love and passion each partner has for the other. Joining them together is a physical representation of the couple’s enduring commitment. Couples with children may choose to invite all members of the family to join in lighting the unity candle. Alternatively for naming and welcoming ceremonies it could be lighting a candle for a new addition bringing unity to the family and symbolizes the love and commitment the parents have for their child.
SAND POURING CEREMONY
Sand pouring is another popular wedding ceremony ritual. Like the candle it represents two families becoming one. For this, the couple pours two different coloured sands into the one unity vessel creating a layered, unique pattern. From then on, the coloured sand can never be separated representing the blending of two families.
WEDDING CEREMONY TIME CAPSULE
Another modern-day ritual but it has a beautiful romantic notion behind it. Before the wedding, you and your partner write love letters to one another and then seal or lock them within a keepsake box or time capsule during the ceremony. Traditionally the letters are accompanied by a bottle of wine or champagne and any other special items you would like to capture in time. In years to come you will eventually open the box or capsule, perhaps on an anniversary and reminisce. This can easily be altered for a naming, renaming and welcoming ceremonies where time is captured for your new addition or new you.
UNITY TREE PLANTING
Planting a tree to celebrate a new marriage is an ancient unity ceremony recognised in many cultures throughout the world. The symbolism behind the tree is simple and beautiful: it represents a relationship taking root, growing, and flourishing as you officially become a family. Like flowers, trees symbolise different things, for example a cherry tree represents good fortune so choose one that resonates with you.
RING WARMING CEREMONY
This ceremony is believed to be an Irish or Gaelic wedding ceremony tradition. Before the ceremony, your wedding rings are tied with a ribbon and attached to a cushion or placed in a special box. At some point during the ceremony your guests will briefly hold the rings and perhaps say a little prayer or give loving thoughts or blessings to you and your future. The rings will ultimately be warmed with love. It can be done without losing the rings! If you have a large number of guests, the ring warming can begin before the start of your ceremony and have a couple of guests, groomsman or relatives for example keeping an eye on proceedings. Alternatively there could be a musical interlude whilst the ring warming takes place. If you are having a smaller more intimate wedding, the rings could be passed round just before you say your vows and exchange rings.
JUMPING THE BROOM
Jumping the Broom is an old wedding custom steeped in culture and rich in heritage irrelevant of race, religion & nationality and its origins vary depending on interpretation and where you’re from. It is said to have roots in Celtic Culture, including Welsh, Celtics, Druids, Roma (Gypsies) and others. It is also said to be rooted in African culture dating back to the slave times as their only recognised form of marriage. Jumping the Broom symbolises the sweeping away of life as a singleton and jumping into married life. It is said the wooden handle represents the strength of your commitment and the straw represents family. The ribbons that are wrapped around the broom hold you together. The act itself represent love, togetherness, loyalty and respect – all key to a successful marriage filled with love.
Handfasting is a binding of the hands that is said to originate from an ancient Celtic tradition and is where the popular terms "Tying the knot" and "Bound in Matrimony" derive from. The ceremony involves you holding hands and then I knot cloth or ribbons round your hands symbolising the tying together of two lives. Alternatively, your mothers and fathers bind your hands to represent that the family give their blessing.
FIRST KISS, LAST KISS
This has to be one of my favourites! It is a beautiful way of involving your mums in the ceremony. When you have both arrived at the front I invite these incredibly special ladies up. Your mum’s lips were the first to kiss you when they brought you into this world, and on the day, a mother’s eternal love, together with their blessings, will be the first to send you on your way to married bliss!