9 Wedding Ceremony Unity Rituals to Symbolize Your Love

You might be used to seeing couples light a unity candle or blend sand together in a jar, but there are lots of other meaningful unity ceremonies you can choose from for your wedding. There are plenty of unity rites with religious ties such as the lazo, or Catholic wedding cord, but here are nine great non-traditional alternatives you can incorporate into your ceremony regardless of your faith or religion.

1. Ring Warming Ceremony

Give your guests the opportunity to give you well wishes in this meaningful tradition. Before you place the ring on your partner’s hand, the ring is passed from guest to guest as they give their good thoughts, prayers, and wishes while holding the ring. They pass it on to the next guest until it’s passed back up to you. It’s a lovely way to include your guests into the ceremony. With These Rings, a jewelry studio in Washington state that allows you to make your own wedding rings, loves this practice and you can find lots of great examples of this ceremony on their site.

2. Tree Planting Ceremony

Do something green and plant a tree! If you don’t want to get dirty get a cute miniature like this lemon tree and just water it together during your ceremony. Plant it at your new house or keep it inside your apartment. Together you can witness the fruit it and your relationship produces.

3. Give Everyone a Candle

Represent the love in the room by giving everyone a candle! Use a unity/pillar candle to light yours, then light your attendants’ candles and let them light the guest candles. Walk down the aisle married and enveloped in the glow of all the love there is for the two of you. As with any fire-based ceremony, ask the venue for permission and have some fire extinguishers at the ready.

4. Handfasting

A tradition with Celtic and Neopagan roots, handfasting’s been gaining in popularity in the past three years. It’s a beautiful way to literally tie the knot. Your officiant can explain the symbolism of your lives being bound together while you’re tied.

5. Chemistry, Science, & Other Things I’m Not Good At

Do this if you’re a scientist or under the supervision of scientists, please. I cannot stress that enough. If you want to have the coolest pictures from your ceremony consider a scientific unity ceremony. You can make your cylinders glow, bubble, and froth!

6. Light a Fire

If you’re dramatic and don’t want a single flame but a whole lot of flame as your backdrop, try lighting a fire together. Make sure you have proper fire safety precautions in place including a permit from your area’s fire marshal, if necessary. Let it burn for the duration of your wedding and let guests toast s’mores as late night snacks.

Photo by  Leah Moyers

Photo by Leah Moyers

7. Float Letters in a Bottle

Perfect for a beach wedding! Take love letters or copies of your vows and stuff them into a bottle. Together, send it off into the ocean. It’ll make for a picturesque moment, but just make sure the bottle is BPA free. If you want to go the extra mile, put a tracker in it. Wherever it washes ashore, visit for your anniversary.

8. Age Some Liquor

Pour some un-aged corn liquor into a mini barrel and let it age at home. It’s a super cute idea and a wonderful way to look forward to a future anniversary. Did we mention that it’s cute?!

Photo by  Love Me Do Photography . Design by  LVR Events .

Photo by Love Me Do Photography. Design by LVR Events.

9. 10th Anniversary Time Capsule

Some couples have used love letters, trinkets from their first apartment together, pictures, or movie stubs from their first date. You can fill your time capsule with whatever you please, but make it something you’ll want to open 10 years from now. Put it somewhere special but not somewhere inaccessible. You probably shouldn’t bury it, because you’ll likely forget it or move.


Jordan A. Maney is a San Antonio-based wedding planner and owner of All The Days Event Co. She she started her company as a planning haven for all the couples the industry chooses to ignore. Instead of just making a brand, she's building a community. Find more of her sass, humor, and Southern hospitality at allthedaysweddings.com.