If you're looking to incorporate a unity ceremony into your wedding, but don't want to have a "typical" unity candle ceremony, not to worry! Unity ceremonies can be anything you can think of and create to show the joining of the couple. Here are a few ideas for alternative unity ceremonies, some of them date back centuries (like jumping the broom) and some are new and unique to many couples.Alternatives to Unity Candles1) The Rose Ceremony
- the couple exchange roses to each other. Additionally, the groom can give the bride's mother a rose and the bride gives the groom's mother a rose.2) The Wine Ceremony
- the couple pours wine out of two decanters into a single glass which they both then drink from.3) The Water Ceremony
- the couple takes two different colored water and pours them into a single vase turning the two individual colors into a third color.4) The Sand Ceremony
- perfect for families because they can blend in more than one color sand. Also perfect for beach theme weddings. This is similar to the water and wine ceremonies as the individuals pour their sand into one glass.5) The Salt Ceremony
- In Indian weddings, the groom passes a handful of salt to his bride and then she passes to him. This is repeated three times before the bride exchanges the salt with the groom's family.6) Breaking Bread
- The bride and groom each tear off a piece of bread from one loaf and eat it. Additionally, the loaf can be shared among the rest of the family and friends attending the ceremony.7) Flower Ceremony
- In Indian and Hawaiian weddings the couple exchanges garlands of flowers or leis as a symbol of love and respect.8) Circling the Altar
- In Eastern Europe couples circle the altar three times as their first steps of husband and wife. In Hindu traditions, couples circle a fire seven times to seal their bond.9) Jumping The Broom
- In African American and Wiccan traditions the bride and groom jump over a broom together to signify their union.10) Breaking The Glass
- In the Jewish tradition the breaking of the glass can have many meanings, one of which is a broken wedding glass is forever changed, likewise, the couple are forever changed by the marriage and take on a new form.11) The Crowning
- In the Russian Orthodox tradition, the couple is crowned as the king and queen of their own little kingdom. The crowns refer to the crowns of martyrdom since every true marriage involves immeasurable self-sacrifice on both sides.12) The Lasso or Handfasting
- A lasso, rope, flowers or cloth is placed around the bride and grooms shoulders, neck or wrists to symbolize the joining of two.
There are many other traditions that can be used to symbolize the joining of the two individuals. Whatever you choose to use, whether it be a unity candle or sand ceremony set, be sure it is fitting to your customs, families and desires.
© 2010 Erica Tevis, Little Things Favors
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