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Inspiration Detail | A Symbol of Unity

A Symbol of Unity

You and your spouse may choose to demonstrate to one another and all your guests that you are truly committed to the union. This symbolic gesture represents the joining of you and your husband as a team—a united front. Lighting the unity candle to represent two becoming one can be a uniquely intimate moment during the wedding ceremony. But if the thought of marking this special moment with the typical candle lighting seems outdated to you, there are other options. Consider utilizing an equally poignant gesture in a way that better represents you as a couple. Nebraska WeddingDay offers some ideas on creative alternatives to the traditional unity candle, while still honoring the significance of that special moment.

A KNOT CEREMONY
For this simple gesture, use a decorative cord or ribbon. You tie a knot on one end and your husband ties a knot on the other. Then, tie the two knots together as a symbol of your coming together as one. This tradition comes with many cultural variations. 

HAND FASTENING
Similar to the knot-tying ritual, you can have your officiant gently tie you and your husband’s hands together with a decorative cord, ribbon, or special strip of cloth. This gesture symbolizes the act of marriage—binding you to one another. Hand fastening is an ancient Celtic wedding tradition and also a wonderful way to honor your Celtic heritage.

FLOWERS
Consider having you and your fiancé’s mother each bring a small vase of flowers to the front at the beginning of the ceremony. During the unity tradition, you and your hubby can transfer the small bouquets into a larger vase, symbolizing the beauty of your relationship and your union.

UNITY CUP
Have you and your fiancé’s mother each pour wine (or a non-alcoholic beverage) into your respective family cups. Then you and your husband can pour a portion from each family cup into a unity cup that you can both drink from together. If you wish to honor your individuality as well, you can each take a sip from your family cup before pouring the drink into the unity cup simultaneously. 

SAND
Pouring two containers of sand into one larger container is another meaningful way to represent your unbreakable bond. You can purchase two different colors to represent the blending together of yourselves. Have your mothers bring forward the sand and pour it into two individual containers that you and your groom will then pour into one.

SOIL
As an alternative to using sand, you and your groom can each bring a sampling of soil from your childhood homes to pour into a beautiful receptacle or pot. The soil will signify your childhood dreams being realized with the two of you having found one another and becoming one in a new life together. A variation might include having a special plant or tree sapling already planted in the pot to which you add your soil. Later the plant or tree could be transplanted when you purchase your first home. For example, a jasmine plant denotes love or a lavender plant signifies protection, love and longevity.

LOVE LETTERS
This heartfelt alternative holds much emotion that will be cherished for many years to come. Before your wedding day, write a love letter to your spouse and have him do the same. Find a small decorative chest where you can each place the love letters during the ceremony. Make plans to open the chest on your tenth wedding anniversary to read the love letters and relive the day of your wedding.

TIME CAPSULE
Another unique option includes you and your husband both bringing a variety of items that represent different elements of your relationship—a CD with your special song, a ticket stub from your first movie date, a photo of the two of you together. You can place the items in a time capsule to be opened on your tenth wedding anniversary. Rediscovering the items long forgotten so many years later will be a special moment for the two of you to share.

WINE
If permitted at your ceremony venue and as long as you don’t mind making a little noise, you and your hubby can place a bottle of wine into a special box and together nail on the lid. This is another tradition that can be celebrated on your tenth anniversary. Like a fine bottle of wine, your marriage only gets better with age. On your anniversary, open the box and enjoy! 

PLANT
Another variation includes planting a tree or other shrub together after the ceremony. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, this is a wonderful way to create a natural lasting bond between you and your man. As a bonus, it is a perfect gesture for couples hosting an earth-friendly wedding.

These are only a few suggestions as there are truly an endless number of ideas for representing your unity at the conclusion of your wedding ceremony. Any variations on these ideas that will serve to make it your own are also perfectly acceptable. If you have a unique idea, don’t hesitate to go for it! If it honors the relationship between you and your husband, it is guaranteed to be a special moment you will remember forever. |NWD|