Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Looking for an alternative to unity candle, any ideas?

Hey Everyone,

I am looking to find other alternatives to the unity candle.  I really loved what I did at my first wedding, but I don't feel comfortable using it again!  Any ideas?

Re: Looking for an alternative to unity candle, any ideas?

  • What about a sand ceremony?
  • Sand, salt and wine ceremonies are popular.  There's a knottie who also did a cocktail ceremony.  You can really tailor it anyway you and your FI want to fit your personalities. 
  • what are salt & wine ceremonies? I'm also lookng for something other than a unity candle since we are having an outdoor ceremony...
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  • If you google "wedding unity ceremonies" or "unity ceremony" or any of the above, you will find out many things and may come away with other alternatives.  
  • Sand ceremony is cute, some friends of mine did it. You have two jars of different-coloured sand, and the bride and groom each pick one up and pour them into a third decorative jar together. They've got it on their mantel.
  • We are doing a wine ceremony. You mix a red and a white wine and then each take a sip :)
  • We did a sand ceremony and found sand in our wedding colors. We now have the decorative vase in our home. Our minister said something about how the sand began as two separate containers but once it was poured into one, the two could not be separated. Then we had a song sung. Our moms each carried up one container at the start of the song and handed them to us. Then we poured and walked back to our "places."
  • I heard of a ceremony (though I don't remember what it's called) where you wrote love letters to each other and then had a wooden box with a bottle of nice wine, two glasses, and then place the letters inside.  Then you nail the wooden box shut during the ceremony and the officiant says that you two are not to open the box until your 10th anniversary and then you can read the letters, or if you reach a point in your marriage where you think you can't continue, you may open the box and remember why you fell in love in the first place.  I thought it was pretty sweet, though alcohol is definitely not allowed in my church!

    Another unique idea if you are Christian is to do foot washing.  My cousin and her now husband did that during their ceremony because they had done it the day they started dating in college and when they got engaged.  It brought tears so many eyes, and had so much powerful meaning to them.

    Good luck!

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  • I bought a unity vase (its a tall vase with  floating candle in it). The vase has been engraved with our names and the date. I will fill the vase with orchids and then float the candle on the top - I know its a unity candle but at least the vase will get use after the wedding, where I know I would not burn a regular unity candle afterwards.
  • Here is some info on the bread/salt/wine ceremony;  It has roots in Polish tradition for sure (not sure about any other ethnicities).  We did this at our wedding, but tweaked it a bit & did it during the ceremony rather than the reception.  We also had my aunt come up & lead the ceremony rather than a parent.  It was a really special way for me to incorporate her into the ceremony without adding another reading.

    http://www.weddingzone.net/px-tr009.htm
    (Also, if you just google bread/salt/wine wedding, you'll get several more links)

    If you are really interested, PM me & i'll send you a link to the video of our ceremony
  • My friend did a tying the knot ceremony, where they each were given a seperate piece of rope and had to tie a knot in it using only one hand each, it was really cute, right after that is when they kissed and finished the ceremony, and walked back up the aisle as husband and wife, still each holding their side of the knot.
  • We are doing a sand ceremony since we are getting married outside.  Candles wouldn't last long with potential wind.  You can get a lot of nice sets fairly inexpensively.  Colored sand at Michaels is less than $3 for a 2lb bag.  Google 'sand ceremony' and you'll probably get more information than you'll ever want to know.  I know I did!!
  • We're doing something similar to this.  We are going to do a celtic handfasting.  We have our cords that are braided, and while we are holding each other hands, our priestess will tie our hands together. 
  • We're doing a handfasting for our outdoor ceremony. I love it :) (But I'm biased)
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  • we are doing this instead...I find sand unity etc overdone, this one I cannot read without tearing up :-)
    The Maid of Honor reads:
    Bride’s name, please face Groom’s name, and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you. (Bride and groom should be facing each other, the groom’s upturned hands resting in the brides’.)

    These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
    These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within your womb.
    These are the hands that look so large and clumsy, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.
    These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
    These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
    These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

    Best Man reads:
    Groom’s name, please hold Bride’s name’s hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you. (Bride should now place her upturned hands in the Groom’s hands.)

    These are the hands, smooth, young, and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.
    These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurts, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go.
    These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings, after you’ve both had a long hard day.
    These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
    They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
    These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child; that together you have created a new life.
    Perhaps these are the hands that will comfort you when you are told you cannot have a child, and will convince you that together you will create new life in other ways.
    These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together, as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.

    Officiant reads/prays:
    Dear Father, bless the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love.
    Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for your perfection. May Bride’s name and Groom’s name see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide.
    We ask this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you now and forever. Amen.
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  •   I really like fyrefairie's idea - very unique and meaningful!

     We have been grappling with a similar issue over alternatives to a unity candle (our ceremony is outdoors).  The idea we brainstormed as a "best option" so far was lighting a tiki torch (metal ones are especially attractive and can be spray painted white or your colors!) that is more unlikely to go out.  Just a thought.  :)
  • the water ceremonys a cool idea.  its like the sand one but with water and then you save the water by freezing it and usually its saved to baptize your child(ren) in.  My fiance and i are just cutting the whole thing out. 
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  • fyrefairie that is fantastic!  I wish I had seen that before our wedding.  I will definitely save that in case friends or family members are looking for something creative in the future.
  • edited August 2010
    A lock ceremony. Where you get to padlocks, lock them together, than throw away the keys. This is an alternative to a love lock practice where couples lock a padlock in a public place then throw away the key.
  • i never thought of the freezing thing.. we were considering using the creek water from our engagement in some kind of water ceremony.  boiling it to santize and freezing it..we could use it in the naming ceremony (we don't plan to baptise) of our first child.  what a fantastic idea!
  • We had a sign made of stainless steel that says " Family Unity' and the date of our wedding. Then we had rings made that attach to the bottom of the sign and the rings also attach to each other. We will be attaching the rings together as part of the ceremony. It will then hang in our living room.
  • What about a small water feature? You can get some table-top ones that run on low power and water can be beautiful. As big or as small as you like, and water is beautifully symbolic. Good luck x
  • We are having my grandparents who have been married 64 yrs ring a bell after we say I Do and that bell symbolizes the moment we vowed our lives to each other. Then we place the bell in our home and whenever we hear that bell ring.. it is to remind us of hte love we have and vows we made.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_looking-alternative-unity-candle-ideas?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:483d81a9-c278-47c2-bf17-584f5010c982Post:3066ff19-edad-4ae0-92ea-5bc8d2763958">Re: Looking for an alternative to unity candle, any ideas?</a>:
    [QUOTE]we are doing this instead...I find sand unity etc overdone, this one I cannot read without tearing up :-) The Maid of Honor reads: Bride’s name , please face Groom’s name , and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you. (Bride and groom should be facing each other, the groom’s upturned hands resting in the brides’.) These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life. These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within your womb. These are the hands that look so large and clumsy, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you. Best Man reads: Groom’s name , please hold Bride’s name ’s hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you. (Bride should now place her upturned hands in the Groom’s hands.) These are the hands, smooth, young, and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life. These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurts, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go. These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings, after you’ve both had a long hard day. These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child; that together you have created a new life. Perhaps these are the hands that will comfort you when you are told you cannot have a child, and will convince you that together you will create new life in other ways. These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together, as a team, everything you wish for can be realized. Officiant reads/prays: Dear Father, bless the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for your perfection. May Bride’s name and Groom’s name see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide. We ask this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you now and forever. Amen.
    Posted by fyrefairie[/QUOTE]

    Love it!
  • In response to fyrefairie...I loooooove that idea it was beautiful.
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