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Unity Candle Ceremony: A Symbolic Bonding of Love and Family

As you embark on the journey of marriage, you may wish to commemorate this life-changing moment in a unique and meaningful way. One popular tradition that adds a touch of romance to weddings is the...

As you embark on the journey of marriage, you may wish to commemorate this life-changing moment in a unique and meaningful way. One popular tradition that adds a touch of romance to weddings is the Unity Candle Ceremony. Let's explore everything you need to know about this beautiful ritual and discover whether it could be the perfect choice for your special day.

What is a Unity Candle Ceremony?

A Unity Candle Ceremony is an opportunity for a couple to personalize their wedding ceremony and symbolize their union as they embark on their journey as a family while still honoring their individuality. During this ceremony, the couple each takes a lit candle and simultaneously lights a central "unity candle," representing their coming together as one.

wedding couple having a Unity candle ceremony Caption: A couple sharing a beautiful Unity Candle Ceremony

How does a Unity Candle Ceremony work?

The Unity Candle Ceremony typically involves three candles: two taper candles held by each partner, symbolizing their individuality and separate family units, and one larger center candle that represents the merging of their lives and the formation of a new family. The couple will light the unity candle together, signifying the creation of a united family bond.

The lighting of the unity candle can be accompanied by a meaningful ritual, such as the mothers lighting the initial family candles or involving other significant individuals in the lighting process.

The Meaning behind a Candle-Lighting Ceremony

Fire has been used in rituals for thousands of years and holds deep symbolism. Lighting candles during a wedding ceremony represents love, passion, and the adoration shared between the couple. The flames also signify new beginnings and the blending of two families. It is a visual representation of the enduring commitment and the merging of lives that take place during marriage.

When to Perform the Unity Candle Ceremony

Typically, the Unity Candle is lit immediately after exchanging vows. However, individual candles can be lit at the beginning of the ceremony by significant family members or children, especially in the case of a second marriage. This ritual can be enhanced by the background ambiance of beautiful music, a heartfelt poem recitation, or a meaningful reading.

Personalizing Your Unity Candle Ceremony

There are various ways to personalize your Unity Candle Ceremony. You can choose candles that align with your wedding theme, opt for personalized designs with engraved names or family trees, or even display the candles on a table adorned with flowers. The cost of a Unity Candle kit can vary from £15-£60 ($20- $75), or you can consider a DIY approach to save on expenses.

glass votives for an outdoor unity candle ceremony Caption: Glass votives for an outdoor Unity Candle Ceremony

The Role of the Celebrant

A celebrant or wedding officiant will lead the Unity Candle Ceremony, explaining the symbolism to your guests. They may share heartfelt words such as, "As you commit to each other today, you're creating a family circle of love. May you always carry that light within each other and nurture the flame in each other's hearts, recognizing your continuing importance in each other's lives."

Unity Candle Poem

Many couples choose to include a poem in their Unity Candle Ceremony to capture the deep, transient feelings they hold for one another. Here is a popular choice by Harold Douglas that beautifully encapsulates the romance of this moment:

"Soft mists embrace two golden flames, Alone they search the night. Two souls adrift in dreams of love, They seek to claim the light. The path is long from which they came, But sure they are it’s right. Two flames embrace in dreams of love, Two Souls - Two Hearts Unite."

Feel free to choose a poem that speaks to your unique bond and the merging of families. Let your words express the profound meaning of this special union.

Unity Candle Ceremony Outdoors

For those planning an outdoor wedding and wishing to include a Unity Candle Ceremony, a little extra planning is required. Unpredictable weather and winds may pose challenges, but with proper preparation, you can ensure the success of your candle-lighting ceremony. Consider using a small votive candle to light the candles instead of a lighter that may blow out easily. You may also choose to have the candle lighting at the end of the ceremony to minimize the time the candles need to stay lit.

Including Guests in the Unity Candle Ceremony

While it is traditional for the mothers of the bride and groom to light the candles, you can adjust this tradition according to your own preferences. Involve the friend who brought you and your partner together or invite a child to light the candle, especially if your families are blending. Another option is to include your entire wedding party or all of your guests in the candle-lighting ceremony. Each guest would be given an unlit candle, and as the flame is passed from one person to the next, the candles of the couple would eventually be lit, symbolizing the unity and love shared by all.

Alternative Unity Ritual Ideas

If you are seeking additional inspiration for unity rituals, there are many alternatives to consider. From sand ceremonies to hand-fasting ceremonies, wine ceremonies, and more, there is a wide range of unique rituals from around the world that can beautifully symbolize the unity of your love and family.

Do you wish to find a skilled Celebrant who can help you create a memorable and heartfelt Unity Candle Ceremony? Search our Celebrant Directory today and discover the perfect Celebrant to bring your vision to life.