5 Alternatives to Unity Sand Ceremony

Submitted by Heidi on Thursday - September 25, 2014

Unity ceremonies represent a "coming together" or the "joining" of a couple and their families. Usually performed after you say your vows but before the rings, a unity ceremony is a beautiful and symbolic way to show your love and commitment to each other. The most popular types of unity ceremonies we see most often are the candle and sand rituals; but in recent years, we've seen some wonderful alternatives. Since there aren't too many rules surrounding this type of ceremony, you have lots of freedom to get creative. Will you be having a unity ceremony? If so, be sure to use your Wedding Program to explain the significance and the meaning of your ritual. Here are 5 ideas to inspire you.

5 Modern Unity Ceremony Ideas

Unity "Handfasting" or "Tying the Knot" Ceremony

This ancient Celtic ceremony uses cords, ribbons, ropes... With your hands together, your officiant will bind you together--a beautiful and symbolic gesture of love and commitment. Get creative in using materials that carry your wedding colors and style.

Modern handfasting wedding ceremony


Unity Wish Lantern

This lovely ceremony represents the casting of fears while the prayers, hopes and dreams of the couple take flight. Another way to further the significance of this ritual is by having your closest family and friends write notes of blessings on the lantern. Then, watch them sail. Since wish lanterns can be a fire hazard, check into environmentally-friendly options as well as your city about using them.

Wedding lantern in Venice, Italy


Unity Rose Ceremony

More than any other flower, it's the red rose that represents love and devotion. In the rose ceremony, the bride and groom each have their own vase and a larger, central vase to hold all the roses. If desired, you could have family members participate as another symbolic gesture of families coming together.



Unity Painting Ceremony

This artistic expression of love and devotion is a beautiful ceremony that artfully reminds us that although we start out with a blank canvas, we each bring our own colors to the table. As the bride and groom paint, they {along with their guests} watch as the paints drip, cross, meld, mold and stray across the canvas. Great food for thought. What a pretty visual reminder of your commitment to have hanging in your home!

unity painting


Unity Wine Box Ceremony

The premise behind this ceremony is that couples write love letters to each other and seal them up along with the bottle of wine. Some couples choose to open the box when they are having difficulties in their marriage--to remind them of their love and why they got married in the first place. At a wedding I recently attended, the bride and groom put champagne in their box {the groom made the box} and have chosen to open it up each year on their anniversary. They intend to replace the bottle of champagne in sweet anticipation for the next year. Love this idea! Suggestion: choose a bottle of wine that ages well!



Which is your favorite unity ceremony ritual?