Different cultural traditions and unity ceremonies can be added to a wedding ceremony. This can involve one or several practices to symbolize the union of the bride and groom. Here are the unity ceremonies that some of the couples may have been doing:
Cord of Three Strands
The cord of three strands ceremony is a great addition to a traditional wedding ceremony. It adds a truly unique element to your ceremony that friends and family will remember. It can also serve as a substitute for the unity candle. This is useful for situations where candles may not be used, or may be difficult.
The unity candle consists of two taper candles symbolizing the couple as individuals and a pillar candle, that when lit by both tapers at the same time, symbolizes the joining together of two into one. Usually the mothers of the bride and groom light the outside taper candles during the processional, then the bride and groom light the larger unity candle, symbolizing their new union. This ceremony can also be altered to include new children entering the family. This ceremony can be added to any wedding package, but is not recommended for outdoor ceremonies.
In this unity ceremony, the bride pours a white wine while the groom pours a red. This makes a blush wine which can be served at your reception as a reminder of the ceremony. This can also be done by pouring one glass of wine and sharing it together.
This tradition is similar to the unity candle in that it is two smaller containers of sand that are poured into one larger container. The individuals are different colors so you can watch them blend together. The couple will never be separated just as the grains of sand can never again be separated. This can also be done to incorporate the joining of families and asking the parents of the bride and groom to also pour their containers into the one larger container, signifying the unity of the entire family, creating a wonderful keepsake. Recommended for outdoor ceremonies in lieu of the unity candle.
As honey is a symbol of the sweetness of life, bride and groom each dips a finger into a small bowl of honey and then to the tongue of their loved one.
Hand Wrapping/Hand Fasting
Wrapping of the hands is an ancient Celtic tradition. Because the hands convey the warmth of the heart and the infinity symbol conveys "forever"the wrapping of your hands also symbolizes the bringing together of your two hearts in a marriage of strength and unity.
Hand Blessing Ceremony
In the hand ceremony, the bride takes the groom's hands in hers, palms up and is invited to view his hands as a gift. Then the same is done by the groom. Can also be done together with a shortened version. Often combined with hand wrapping/hand fasting.
Typically done in Jewish ceremonies (although can be used by anyone) signifying the end of the ceremony and the time for celebration.
Both Celtic and African tradition, this ceremony symbolizes clearing away any negativity with a sweep of the broom and creating a threshold for the couple to cross over into their new life together. Broom is typically held by members of the bridal party, but could also be held by parents.