Wedding Unity Candle Ceremony

The Unity Candle

unity candle ceremony bride and groom

One question I often get asked by people planning their marriage ceremony, is how can they “make their wedding ceremony special”?

One way to do that is by having a unity candle ceremony as part of your wedding. The unity candle ceremony is a very simple way to reinforce the meanings of your vows. It can also be  away to involve your family members, by having a different family member each light their own small candle and contribute to the group lighting of the larger unity candle. I have seen where its just the groom and bride light the candle, the mothers of the groom and bride light the unity candle, or the parents of the bride and groom light the candle.

If there are children from a previous marriage in by either of both of the bride and groom, then having the children join with the bride and groom in the lighting of the candle is a great way to enhance family unity and show everyone’s love.

unity candle ceremony family

The only drawback to the unity candle ceremony is that it can be difficult to perform in an out of doors setting. Often the wind does not cooperate and the candles get blown out.

Here is a sample Unity Candle Ceremony. If it is a secular wedding then the religious references can be removed.

Unity Candle Ceremony

Now we shall celebrate this union as it is symbolized through the lighting of the unity candle.

______and ________ please light the two taper candles. These candles represent your individual spirits, your individual connections with God, all that you are and, all that you have been, and all that you will become. ​

The center candle represents your relationship. It is the symbol of your marriage, the symbol of the joining of 2 spirits, 2 lives, 2 souls. Now you will take the tapers and light the center candle. As you do so, keep in mind the pledge you made to each other today. It is the pledge of the truth and purity of your every breath. The constant friendship of your hearts. The passion and fire of your spirits and the deepest love your souls have to give. It is the pledge of all that is within you. The only true pledge that one heart can offer to another.

You are now as husband/wife/spouse and husband/wife/spouse offering yourselves, and all that has come to pass unto each other, towards the creation of your future, and to all that is yet to come. The candle of your marriage shall burn brightly, but the 2 tapers of yourselves are not diminished. You do not disappear in marriage. You remain you. But in joining, both lights are brighter, each supports the other and miracles can happen. True Love shines brightly and today is but a beautiful beginning of the miracles to come.

Wedding Unity Sand Ceremony

Unity Sand Ceremony

Traditionally, weddings in the past have been a pretty standardized affair. Because of movies and television most people could summarize the ceremony from memory. In recent times however, weddings have become more personalized, with couples adding or subtracting components to the ceremony to suit their personal preferences.

unity sand ceremony
Photo courtesy of Eileen Rivaud

One example of a modern wedding innovation is the Unity Sand Ceremony. Like the unity candle which many people are familiar with, the sand ceremony ads a personal, non-traditional touch to a wedding ceremony. It is a symbolic, poignant moment during the ceremony where a couple visually demonstrate their joining as a couple.

The sand ceremony has quickly gained in popularity for several good reasons. It’s rather simple. It is visually appealing. And it is an easily modified ritual that contributes a bit of worldliness and also leaves the newlyweds with a meaningful souvenir of their big day.

One big added benefit is that, unlike the unity candle, this wedding ceremony isn’t complicated by a light breeze. I can’t tell you how many times I have had unity candles blown out by the wind during outside wedding ceremonies. Unity sand ceremonies can be used outdoors with no problem at all.

Following below is one example of a sand ceremony.

Example Sand Ceremony

GROOM and BRIDE you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and this is a pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives.

Today, this relationship is also symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, GROOM and One Representing you BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated, our prayer for you today is that your lives together would be blended like the seven seas and may your love swirl around each other like the changing tides.

Things You Should Know

Things to Know About Getting Married in SC

Getting married in South Carolina is very easy. No witnesses or blood tests are required. All you need is a marriage license and someone to perform (officiate) the ceremony. You obtain the license at the local clerk of courts office (or probate office) by visiting in person (both parties), paying the fee, and showing your identification.  See this page for further information on where to get your wedding licenses, fees, etc.