Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Unity Candle

I really do not want one. Personal choice I’ve never really liked them. After reading up on them they really have no religious meaning behind them and have only become popular in the past 15 years.  Our ceremony will be a little longer due to our faith and this is one area I was thinking of cutting. Can anyone tell me your view points for or against them? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Re: Unity Candle

  • We didn't do one. Partly because we're Catholic snd the Mass was long enough and partly because I think they're dumb.

    The ENTIRE.FREAKING.CEREMONY is a unity ceremony. The candle is superfluous.
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  • Didn't do it either because I think they're silly and contrived. Like HisGirl said, the whole ceremony is a unity ceremony.
  • @RachelLee83, I don't think it is needed. A nice to have but not a need to have. I've seen the candle, the sand, and nothing at all. Do what makes you and your fiance happy. Happy planning.
  • Thanks everyone... my thoughts follow most of yours :)

  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    My officiant suggested a wine ceremony since we're getting married at a winery and I'm not really thrilled with the idea. Like @emmyg65 said, I feel that they are very contrived and meaningless.
  • I don't think it's something you need, you can definitely do without. I personally don't like the "candle" ceremony, so we are doing a sand ceremony instead. I'm getting a cute glass jar from Etsy that comes with a lid so it's something we can hang on to after the wedding. But if I didn't love the glass jar i'd probably just do without even the sand ceremony!
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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    We didn't do one. Partly because we're Catholic snd the Mass was long enough and partly because I think they're dumb. The ENTIRE.FREAKING.CEREMONY is a unity ceremony. The candle is superfluous.
    I think you mean redundant, right?

    We are not doing one because our church does not allow their use as part of the wedding mass.  Personally, I don't care one way or another is a couple has a unity candle. 

    As far as secular unity things that couples do during their wedding ceremony, I have only seen one sand ceremony, and it took forever!  It would have been faster for them to do the unity candle thing.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    PDKH said:
    I really wish people would stop calling ceremonies like the unity candle "silly" or "contrite."

    It is not your ceremony; who are you to pass judgement on what a couple finds meaningful or symbolic?

    If you thing it's contrite, fine, don't do one. But you are insulting others' ceremonies because you don't like something. Get over it. 

    ETA: And if the entire ceremony is a unity ceremony, why symbolically exchange rings? That would also be superflous.  
    The rings are already an established part of the religious "unity" or wedding ceremony though, so they aren't superfluous, they are integral.

    Having a unity candle or sand ceremony or hand fasting or whatever on top of the religious ceremony is what I think ppl are saying is actually redundant, not superfluous.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    These types of things are only contrived and meaningless if you are one that believes that they are contrived and meaningless.  Some couples like to have a special moment such as lighting a candle, pouring two different colored sand in a vase, drinking wine from the same glass, etc.  This is their time to create a meaningful and memorable moment that is all their own.  The ceremony is the one part of the entire day that is completely for the couple and if they find a unity ceremony special and they want that moment then that is their decision.  But to tell people that want to include these things that the ceremonies are contrived and meaningless is rather rude.  How would you like it if someone told you that part of your ceremony was contrived and meaningless?

    PrettyGirlLostAddieCake
  • I think they have the meaning that you give them. For my first wedding, a unity candle was important to us because our mothers could have a part in it. It was actually very sentimental and appreciated by them. Our ceremony was maybe 20-25 minutes total. I didn't feel like it was silly or meaningless at all.

    I have witnessed sand ceremonies that i felt were a beautiful way to include some children in the marriage, and I've appreciated wine ceremonies.

    I'm sorry/not sorry, that you all have such harsh views of what other people find meaningful.
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  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    We weren't planning on doing any unity thing. None of them appelaed to us. Then we heard about it. The absolutely most perfect unity thing to symbolize us. 

    A unity cocktail! Well really more of unity shots, but we'll call it a cocktail. It's perfect for us. Now we just have to test out different cocktail to figure out what we want.
    AddieCake
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    MagicInk said:
    We weren't planning on doing any unity thing. None of them appelaed to us. Then we heard about it. The absolutely most perfect unity thing to symbolize us. 

    A unity cocktail! Well really more of unity shots, but we'll call it a cocktail. It's perfect for us. Now we just have to test out different cocktail to figure out what we want.

    I don't hardly drink and I actually really like this idea. But then you need to have it as a signature cocktail at your reception.
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
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    MagicInk said:
    We weren't planning on doing any unity thing. None of them appelaed to us. Then we heard about it. The absolutely most perfect unity thing to symbolize us. 

    A unity cocktail! Well really more of unity shots, but we'll call it a cocktail. It's perfect for us. Now we just have to test out different cocktail to figure out what we want.

    I don't hardly drink and I actually really like this idea. But then you need to have it as a signature cocktail at your reception.
    That's what we were thinking of doing. Our officiant is going to mix it for us, when we told her what we wanted she said "Yes! I finally get to use my bar tending skills!", because she's hilarious and awesome.
    AddieCake
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
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    I think the only time I told someone not to do a unity ceremony was a friend who wanted to the candle and the sand, plus have 3 different readings and two blessings read, in addition to her religious ceremony which would take about an hour to complete on it's own. I told her at some point people need her ceremony to end, pick one unity ceremony, and cut down the readings/blessings to 3 total (they were long). But that was mostly a timing thing. She was kind of saying yes to every idea that crossed her path. It was not going well. 

    She ended up doing the wine one because it suited them better. And 2 readings and 2 blessings. 
  • I also wish people would stop calling these unity ceremonies silly and meaningless. H and I had a wine ceremony. It was very meaningful - to us. It was a beautiful moment and one of my favorite parts of our ceremony. If you don't want to do one, don't do one. One doesn't need to insult others' ceremonies simply because it is not to one's taste. The ceremony is for the couple - they obviously found some kind of meaning in it.
    MuppetOverlordAddieCakemisshart00
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I wanted to do a sand ceremony, but my husband had never heard of it and wasn't on board, so we left it out.
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  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando member
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    I too believe that a unity ceremony is what you make of it.

    For my father's wedding we did a sand ceremony, with my sister and I and my step mom's daughters. Since my dad's passing (which we all knew would happen a few years after the wedding), they really have become the family I never had.

    MagicInk cocktails?! LOVE IT!). Fi and I will have something because we both come from split families and we want to acknowledge that unity of family in the wedding. The rings are for Fi and I, the other ceremony is for whole family.


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  • CMGragain said:
    In 1976, my Methodist minister insisted that we have one.  He had a short piece that he liked to say about the symbolism that united, not only two people, but two families.  In our case, it was ironic, because our mothers hated each other.
    I do cherish the memory of my wedding ceremony. It was the bright spot in that very stressful day.  Please don't post disrespectfully about this tradition.  If you don't want to do it at your wedding, then don't do it.  @HisGirlFriday13, I am disappointed. :- (
    Thank you for posting this... this is kind of what I was after... I just dont want to do it because people just expect it... it's become so mainstream.. I am sorry if someone took my view of them insulting. I like your pastors response and now I may reconsider. Thanks
  • edited June 2014


    CMGragain said:

    In 1976, my Methodist minister insisted that we have one.  He had a short piece that he liked to say about the symbolism that united, not only two people, but two families.  In our case, it was ironic, because our mothers hated each other.
    I do cherish the memory of my wedding ceremony. It was the bright spot in that very stressful day.  Please don't post disrespectfully about this tradition.  If you don't want to do it at your wedding, then don't do it.  @HisGirlFriday13, I am disappointed. :- (

    Thank you for posting this... this is kind of what I was after... I just dont want to do it because people just expect it... it's become so mainstream.. I am sorry if someone took my view of them insulting. I like your pastors response and now I may reconsider. Thanks

    *****quote****

    I think most people (myself included) weren't offended by your post, but by others. If you don't want to do it, just don't do it. Simple and easy.

    I was more referring to people who squarely look down their noses on it, stating trite things like "it's not tradition and therefore stupid". Well neither is a giant white dress or a tux. In fact, a big foofy white dress has only been around for several hundred years, but you don't see people sneering at the idea as unecessary. Of course 90% of weddings is unecessary stuff. Duh, not a newsflash.

    For me personally, I don't cheer at seeing handfasting used in a nontraditional manner (it's an engagement ceremony, not a wedding ceremony). But I don't feel superior about it and don't consider watching it as useless filler. That's rude and nasty.



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  • To be clear, I wasn't offended by your question OP. If it's not your thing, it's not your thing and there's nothing wrong with that. It's other responses that I personally took offense to. 
  • PDKH said:
    I really wish people would stop calling ceremonies like the unity candle "silly" or "contrite."

    It is not your ceremony; who are you to pass judgement on what a couple finds meaningful or symbolic?

    If you thing it's contrite, fine, don't do one. But you are insulting others' ceremonies because you don't like something. Get over it. 

    ETA: And if the entire ceremony is a unity ceremony, why symbolically exchange rings? That would also be superflous.  
    I agree. It is a ceremony about two people being united. I like some traditions, and I don't like others. So, I plan to incorporate what I do like and omit what I don't find as meaningful to my relationship. 

    When we got engaged, my fiancé wanted to do the candle and I preferred the sand. I said I didn't really want to do the candle ceremony, and he flat out said that the sand ceremony seemed "stupid" to him. We decided to do neither. 

    A little over a month later, we went to my dad's wedding. My dad and his wife chose to have a sand ceremony. While they poured the sand, the officiant said, "Once the sand is mixed together, it can never again be separated." That phrase stuck with my fiancé so much, that he now has insisted on having the sand ceremony. It suddenly became special and meaningful to him. 

    Our sand shadow box came in the mail just today! My reasons for liking the sand (prior to discussing it with my fiancé) were very different. The candle ends up being blown out. You can't keep it burning forever. The sand looks the same after the wedding, and I always wanted to have it on display in my home. Now, I feel that it has more meaning in light of recent conversations and moments. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2014
    Let me explain a bit more about the unity candle ceremony.
    My Methodist minister had the two mothers light the side candles before the ceremony.
    He said something like, "Bride and Groom are united by their vows and exchanging of rings.  The two lights from the candles represent the two families, which will be united with the forming of a new family from the light of their families' love" The couple then each take a side candle and light the center candle together.  This isn't an exact quote, but it explains the symbolism.  It is about the families, not the bride and groom.
    This is a bit different from the popular sand ceremony, which focuses more on the couple.
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  • @PrettyGirlLost‌, I know the sand thing can take a while sometimes. I bought some wide vases (Dollar Tree!!!) so that pouring the sand won't take too long. We are also going to have some things we request the minister to say while we are doing this. I really want the ceremony to flow and not seem to drag on. 
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