A unity ceremony is a wonderful ritual for your wedding. By using physical objects, you perform an action that symbolizes your marriage union. There are many beautiful unity ceremonies, some you may have seen or heard of before and others less known.
For instance, a lovely unity ritual is the candle lighting unity where two taper candles, each lit by the mothers of the couple, are handed to the couple who together light a single pillar candle. A hand fasting ceremony is another charming unity ceremony in which the couple’s hands are bound together with a pretty cord or sash—and the origin of the expression, “Tie the knot” (read Handfasting—The Tie That Binds for more on this ritual.)
But did you know that you could create a unity ceremony that is unique to you and your partner? Almost anything can be dreamed up for a unity ceremony that honors your individual qualities and history. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Your favorite foods: How about a food sharing ceremony that highlights a food that you ate on your first date, or a food that you can always count on to make you both happy? By feeding each other a bite of your favorite double cheese and peperoni pizza, you can demonstrate how you nurture and nourish one other—literally and figuratively. Or maybe chocolate is your thing?
Your natural talents: If you are amazing artists, you could have a gorgeous piece of paper, watercolors or inks and two brushes and together paint a picture (make it something simple or abstract that doesn’t take two hours to paint!). The resulting masterpiece is a reflection of the tour de force of your love.
Your background: Perhaps one of you is Indian and the other Hungarian; why not do a unity ritual that combines elements from each culture? Hungarians are known for their intuition and also paprika; Indians for many spices and deep thought. You could each touch a finger to a bowl of paprika or saffron or cinnamon then touch the spice to your partner’s lips and pronounce, “May our union always be spicy—hot or sweet—and full of thoughtful deeds.”
Your passions: Are you are passionate about hiking or mountain climbing? You could create a unity ritual where you connect two carabiners to show how you are hooked together and act as safety nets for each other.
Where you met: Maybe the location of where you met or went on your first date gives you an idea for a unity ceremony. If you went boating or sailing, you could devise a ceremony that uses toy boats in a tub of water. As you push the two boats together, you can speak to how the waves in life might jostle you from time to time, but as long as the currents are moving in the same direction, you will sail through together.
Where you grew up: My husband and I had our 25th wedding anniversary a year ago and we renewed our wedding vows. Our unique unity ceremony was based on where we grew up—East and West Coasts. In our ritual, we combined salt-water taffy from the New Jersey Shore with salt-water taffy from Santa Cruz, California. It was colorful and fun and very meaningful for us.
The possibilities are endless! Unique unity rituals can add silly, romantic, fun or deep sentiment to your ceremony. And they are a way to honor your personal spirit and individuality while you also honor your joining as a loving couple. Enjoy!