Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Where to light the unity candle?

A litle background: FI is Indian, raised Hindu, now agnostic. I'm American, raised Baptist, now agnostic. We're trying to incorporate both Indian and American marriage/wedding traditions, as a nod to both our cultures, into our simple handfasting ceremony. From the Indian side, I'm having henna put on my hands and wearing some of the traditional Indian jewelry, trying to find some actual "ceremony" things we both like to include as well. From the American side, we're doing the wedding ring exchange (not a traditional Indian custom at all, apparently) and I'm thinking about asking him what he thinks about including a unity candle.

I don't know where to put the unity candle. Our ceremony in a nutshell is as follows:

Guests enter ceremony site
Guitarist plays intro, couple enters
Officiant welcomes guests
Officiant asks couple for confirmation
Vows and cords
Officiant affirms vows
Officiant dismisses guests
Guitarist plays recessional, couple leaves
Guests leave

I'm thinking that I'll have to come up with another song so there's something playing while the moms light the taper candles, and then I'm not sure where FI and I are supposed to light the pillar candle. Is it before the rings or between rings and vows?
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Re: Where to light the unity candle?

  • Options
    We lit our unity candle after we said our vows and exchanged our rings.  After lighting the candle we signed our marriage certificate and our officiant announced us husband and wife. 
  • Options
    We had a full-on Pagan Handfasting, and a legal ceremony about a year later.  Pagans don't have a "unity candle" as such, but do light candles to call quarters and make a sacred space.  We did ours before the actual ceremony began, which will then help create an atmosphere of formality for the remainder of the ceremony, if you choose to do it that way. 
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    Our mom's lit the tapers before the processional and then we lit the unity candle after rings, before vows
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