As you are planning out your wedding day there are many different elements that you may choose to incorporate. Depending on if your wedding is religious or not, you may choose different prayers or scripture readings, songs, and vows. Other wedding traditions that have gained popularity in recent years are unity ceremonies, such as hand-binding, unity sand, or a lighting of the unity candle. A unity candle ceremony is when two taper candles are lit at the beginning of the wedding, and then later are brought together to light a larger pedestal candle representing the couple uniting.
photograph by-- A. Whitmore Photography
Learn the symbolism of the unity candle ceremony.
Wedding traditions like the lighting of the unity candle often have a few different symbolic meanings. Most commonly for this tradition, the bride and groom’s mothers light the taper candles and those two flames are used together to light the unity candle. This symbolizes the coming together of two families in joint love for the new couple. The taper candles are then left burning representing the two original families. The taper candles can also be used to symbolize two individuals coming together as one--the taper candles are then left lit to symbolize the individuals, or blown out to symbolize the end of their independent lives as the couple joins together as one. Whether you choose one of these symbols, or something else entirely, you can keep the meaning private, explain it in programs, or have your minister explain it to your guests.
Remember your unity candle ceremony by keeping the candles.
Some couples choose to keep their unity candle as a reminder of their commitment to live as a unit. It has become custom for some to celebrate the lighting of the unity candle by relighting them each year on their anniversary. If you choose to adorn your unity candle with scripture, vows, or a photo from your wedding, it can also be a beautiful keepsake year-round.
Include wedding traditions that are meaningful to you.
Whether or not you choose to include the lighting of the unity candle in your own wedding, you should include moments that are meaningful and special to you as a couple. While there are many existing wedding traditions that symbolize a couple’s union, feel free to get creative and come up with an idea that fits the two of you!
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