Article & Photos by Escape & Adventure Photography
Your wedding day is the day you commit your love to your best friend forever. It is a personal celebration of your marriage to one another and can include many different traditions – like a unique unity ceremony. Below are 11 unique and inspiring unity ideas for your special ceremony. Thanks to Kelcee at Escape & Adventure for the submission.
But what is a Unity Ceremony?
A unity ceremony is a ritual that is practiced in many different cultures. It is a formal ceremony that unites two people in marriage or civil union. The term ‘unity’ refers to the legal or religious service that takes place in front of an officiant or ordained priest. A unity ceremony often looks like reading vows and exchanging rings, but you aren’t limited to these traditional options. In fact, here are some creative wedding unity ceremony ideas that will personalize your big day.
Idea #3. Unity Candle
Kimberly and Alex wanted to include their family during their ceremony by lighting a colored candle. The unity candle ceremony starts with the parents lighting two smaller candles onto one large candle (representing the merging of the two families).
Then the couple completes the unity by doing the same thing. If you are wanting a cute and simple keepsake from your wedding day this is a perfect idea to put next to your photo album or under your photo gallery wall.
Idea #4. Unity Lock
This ceremony tradition is a unique way of expressing love and commitment to each other. Kyla & Hunter took a personal twist on the unity candle by ordering custom engraved locks off of Etsy and locking their hearts together as a symbol of their love will be forever.
One way to include this unique unity ceremony idea in your home after your wedding is putting it in a shadowbox with some of your favorite photos and souvenirs from your special day.
Idea #5. Sage Smudging
Sage smudging is an intentional ceremony that requires a bundle of cage, a fire-proof bowl (either made out of ceramic or stone), and a lighter or match. The intention is that you light the sage, which is symbolic for replacing any negative energies with positive healing energy.
Your officiant can waft the smoke around you and your partner as you hold hands while performing this ceremony.
Please Leave No Trace and check for fire bans in your ceremony location before planning this unique unity ceremony! You can also use a sage essential oil spray if fire isn’t safe or allowed.
Idea #6. Ring Warming
This is one of the newest trends that originated in Ireland. A ring warming ceremony is a tradition that involves passing around the wedding bands to guests. Simply hold each wedding ring in your hand when it’s given to you and warm it up with a wish, prayer, or good thoughts for the couple. Then pass the ring on to the next guest.
If you are thinking of a unique way to include your guests in your wedding, a ring warming ceremony is a perfect consideration for your special day.
Idea #7. Volcano Eruption
Natalie shared with me a very unique and never seen before unity ceremony her couple’s partook during their wedding day! K+K made the volcano ahead of time complete with tiny dinosaurs (which are my absolute favorite) and decorations to look like a real volcano. During their ceremony they poured vinegar together into the volcano to make it “erupt”.
This is such a fun idea if you are a child at heart, love science, or even dinosaurs. Everyone at K + K’s wedding was cracking up at this unique unity ceremony idea.
PHOTO CREDIT: NATALIE N PHOTOGRAPHY
Idea #8. Planting a Tree
If you love nature and plants this would be a perfect unity ceremony idea for you. Tanja shared with me this amazing couple planting a tree together in a beautiful pot to travel with them. If you don’t want to your hands dirty you can include little glass jars filled with soil to pour in the pot.
Eventually this cute sapling tree will need to be planted when it grows outside the pot but being able to grow a tree of life together on your wedding day is very a unique and meaningful idea.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jelger and Tanja Photographers
Idea #9. PB&J Ceremony
Vanessa from The Outlovers Photography shared with me one of her couples that eloped in Moab, Utah! Erin & Bobby were laid back, free spirited, and a little bit boho. They came out from the East Coast to embrace all that the little desert town in Moab had to offer.
They hiked to a super cool remote arch for sunrise, took killer photos amongst all the red rock formations, and then celebrated with breakfast at the Moab diner. Here’s a little quote from E & B’s ceremony: “This is how the two of you began your journey on this planet: as two separate lives, two individual pieces of bread, one with a little peanut butter, the other with a little jelly!
And, well, as we all know: both are quite okay alone, but not great, not complete! We all know peanut butter and jelly are meant to be together.” This unique unity ceremony idea is simple but means a lot! “You’re my peanut butter to my jelly”.
PHOTO CREDIT: The Outlovers Photography
Idea #10. Pour Over Coffee
Making pour over coffee is an important and regular part of this couple’s life together, so it made sense when they were deciding on what to do during their ceremony to signify their coming together and commitment. They both added the water at the beginning of the ceremony, let it bloom and brew through the middle of the ceremony, and then poured and drank it together at the end of their ceremony.
It was super sweet and really meaningful for them!
Idea #11. Fletching an Arrow
This couple bow hunts together regularly, and being together in nature is a huge part of their relationship. They decided to fletch a special arrow together during their ceremony that would sit on display in a handmade wooden frame that they asked their guests to sign throughout the night.
It was one of the most unique unity ceremonies I’ve seen and it was so sweet to see them problem solving the fletching together when it wouldn’t stick and laughing together. And now they have a permanent, tangible, meaningful item to symbolize their union.
What Ceremony Idea would you consider for your wedding?
There are so many options when it comes to making your wedding day truly represent your authentic relationship and awesome selves. Yes you can decorate your wedding venue however you want or elope in the most epic locations but one of the most meaningful moments during your wedding day will be your ceremony.
It is the most special moments of your day when you walk towards each other with the biggest smiles, share how much you love each other by exchanging vows, and sealing your marriage with a kiss.
To make your ceremony more special and intentional to who you and your partner are consider one of these unique unity ceremony ideas. Need help with ideas? Let me help you plan the most authentic wedding day ever!
Are you getting married or eloping? Don't do anything until you've read this guide!