The Unity Candle ceremony is performed to symbolize the joining together of the couple's individual lives into one married life. The bride and groom use two pre-lit taper candles to light a single unlit candle. Once the single candle has been lit, the taper candles may be blown out, to indicate that their two lives have been permanently merged, or they may remain lit beside the single candle, symbolizing that they now share a life and also retain their individuality.
There are several variations of this ritual to consider. I would be happy to help you choose the one that's right for your wedding.
Unity Braid Ceremony The Unity Braid Ceremony celebrates that your marriage is more than a joining of two lives together. It is a unity with God as well. A gold strand represents God and his Majesty. A purple strand represents the groom. A white strand represents the bride.
Breaking of the Glass The Breaking of the Glass is a Jewish tradition that represents the destruction of the temple. It teaches us to treasure joy more when we can remember how quickly it can end.
Celtic Handfasting Hand-fasting was traditionally a very simple ceremony where the bride and groom faced each other and joined right hand to right hand and left hand to left hand and were bound by a ceremonial wrap or rope to signify their union in marriage. The expression "tying the knot" came from this Celtic marriage ritual. The hand-fasting may be used in place of the Declaration of Intent, used as the conclusion of the ceremony, or serve as the complete wedding ceremony.
Sand Ceremony The blending of sand is a beautiful and meaningful unifying ceremony from Hawaii that symbolizes the joining together of the bride and groom or the blending together of their families.
Glass containers are needed for the bride, groom, and each child represented (when children are included). Each container is filled with a different colored sand, representing each individual's uniqueness. (Optional: the officiant also may hold a vase filled with sand. He/she may begin the sand ceremony by pouring a layer of neutral colored sand into the Unity Sand Vase, which symbolizes the foundation of the marriage.) After the officiant reads the sand ceremony text, the bride and groom (and each child) pour their individual containers of sand into the Unity Sand Vase. They may wish to leave a small amount of sand in each container to symbolize that, although they now are joined as one, they still retain their own individuality.
Celtic Trinity Ceremony The Celtic Trinity is an ancient profession of faith which maintains that trust in the soul (demonstrated in the drinking of ale or wine), belief in the heart (demonstrated in the binding of the hands with rope) and faith in the mind (demonstrated in the lighting of the candles) are all that is needed to lead an honorable, loving and fulfilled life.
Rose Ceremony The Ceremony of the Rose symbolizes the merging of the bride and groom's families. When the bride enters, she has in her possession two roses, usually red. As she approaches the altar, the bride will stop and offer a rose and a kiss to her mother. In doing this, she is expressing her gratitude for preparing her for this moment and for receiving the man she is about to marry into her family. When the wedding ceremony has ended and she and the groom exit, the bride will stop and offer a rose and a kiss to the groom's mother. In doing this, she is expressing her gratitude for preparing her new husband for this moment and for receiving her into the groom's family.
A variation you may consider is to present both roses either upon the entrance or upon the exit.
Rose colors and their meanings:
Yellow - Friendship
Lavender-Enchantment Pink - Joy and Gratitude
Coral - Desire
Orange - Fascination
Red - Love and Passion Blessing of the Hands Hands are believed to be a connection to the heart, and the joining of hands symbolically unites two hearts. The hand blessing ceremony signifies the bond of the heart in the promises being made between the bride and groom. This ceremony is commonly placed just before the exchange of rings. There are more rituals to choose from and I would be happy to help you find the one that compliments your wedding.