POPULAR UNITY CEREMONIES
There are many unity ceremonies and wedding traditions from different cultures that can be incorporated into a wedding, elopement, vow renewal or civil union ceremony. These are sub-ceremonies incorporated into the main ceremony. The information below is other popular unity ceremonies for weddings you may or may not have heard and seen at weddings. Modern couples are being inventive by incorporating fun unity ceremonies that more reflect who they are as a couple. Unity ceremonies generally symbolize the joining of the two separate lives into one. When choosing a unity ceremony for your ceremony incorporate only what will be meaningful to both of you and make your ceremony special and specific to you as a couple.
The most popular unity ceremony for weddings in Hawaii is the lei unity ceremony. This very popular Hawaii wedding tradition has it’s own page. Click the link above to view.
Another popular tradition for weddings in Hawaii, especially beach weddings, is a sand unity ceremony. The couple is able to gather sand from where they are taking their vows to represent themselves as individuals then combine their sand into a bowl or jar to represent them blending their lives and love. This is a great unity ceremony if you are blending families or have children that you want to include in the ceremony. It can be used to symbolize uniting not only as a couple but as a family. The sand can also be a keepsake reminder of that special day!
Honi Honi is the Hawaiian way of kissing by touching foreheads and noses and breathing in through the nose at the same time to share the breath of life, known as Ha. Ancient Hawaiians recognized that their breath was the key to good health and believed it possessed mana, spiritual power. Sharing Ha is a great sign of respect and love and in the Hawaiian culture it is a tradition shared by wedding couples during their ceremony.
I officiated a wedding for a couple who were really into craft beer so they incorporated a beer unity ceremony. Each of the couple selected their favorite craft beer, the one that they felt represented them the best. Then during the beer unity ceremony they combined during the they combined their beers into a single stein and drank it. It sounds and looked really amazing, and it was. But after the ceremony the couple said the flavor of the beer when they combined it was not so tasty. They said they still loved the ceremony and the beer unity was a meaningful addition to their wedding but they wished they chose beers that better complemented each other once combined. If you are considering incorporating a beer unity ceremony taste test the combined beers before the ceremony and adjust if desired. Also, DO NOT forget a bottle opener if the beers are not able to be opened without one. My wedding couple forgot to bring a bottle opener but luckily one of their guests had one in their car.
A wine unity ceremony is a ideal for couples who enjoy wine. Be sure to taste test the two wines you plan to combine before the ceremony date and don’t forget a bottle opener for wine with corks. TIP: when placing the wine out before the wedding if using uncovered glasses or caraffes cover the glasses or caraffes with cellophane to keep the bugs out and then remove as you begin the unity ceremony. Bugs will be attracted to the sweetness of the wine if left uncovered.
Ideas for wines used in a wine unity ceremony:
* wines from the year each was born
* wines from the year the couple met
* the couple each chooses their favorite wine
* one wine the couple both enjoy
Other unity ceremonies that are very similar to the beer unity and wine unity ceremony where it symbolizes the blending of two lives into one are:
Water Unity Ceremony
Salt & Peppercorn Unity Ceremony
Candle Unity Ceremony – should only be incorporated in indoor weddings with no draft. Outdoor weddings tend to be too breezy and make lighting or keeping the candles lit very difficult.
Couples who are foodies may want to incorporate a sandwich unity or ice cream unity ceremony. During these unity ceremonies the ingredients to build the couples favorite sandwich or ice cream sundae are displayed individually. This symbolizes the couples as individuals in their lives before marriage, tasty ingredients on their own. During the ceremony the couple builds a sandwich or a sundae together symbolizing them combining their lives, building their marriage, and creating something even better, even tastier! The couple then shares in enjoying what they built together symbolizing the couples love and support of one another.
Painting unity ceremonies do not require any artistic skills. This unity ceremony starts with a blank canvas and two colors of paint, each representing one of the couple. During the unity ceremony the couple pours the paint on the canvas or uses paint brushes to apply strokes of their color. After the couple is done a unique piece of abstract art is created representing the joining of the two lives and creating something beautiful. The couple can hang the art in their home to remind them of their special day.
In a tree planting unity ceremony the couple nurtures a sapling tree together, watering it to symbolize their nurturing of their relationship with love. And because of their combined love the tree gets stronger and bigger like their love and their lives together in marriage. If the ceremony is held at a location that is special to the couple the couple may plant the tree at the ceremony site and go back to visit the tree together over the years to watch it grow. Some couples take the tree with them and plant it at their home and watch it grow over the years along with their love and their family.
In a handfasting unity ceremony the couple binds their hands together using ribbon, rope, or in Hawaii it is popular to use a braided ti lei. This tradition goes back to Pagen and Wiccan traditions where the binding of the hands represents the connection between the couple and their devotion to one another. It symbolizes their joining their lives together and going forward from that day as one. During the ceremony the binding cord can be laid a specific way so when the couple pulls apart the cord forms an infinity knot which resembles your never ending love for one another and makes a beautiful keepsake from the wedding ceremony.
For couples who are science lovers or couples who want to tie in the volcano connection with Hawaii a volcano unity ceremony may be a unity ceremony you would like to incorporate. The dormant volcano represents their lives before they met. The couple cause the volcano to erupt by combining the baking soda and the vinegar in the volcano symbolic of their joining their lives together and their eruption of love!
Two traditions that date back to ancient times is having a hand washing ceremony or feet washing ceremony incorporated into a wedding. The ceremony uses a bowl of water, optional float slices of lemon and/or flowers in the water to make it more pretty. Depending on if the couple decides to wash their hands or their feet, they take turns washing each other then pat them dry with a towel. The acts of hand and feet washing is symbolic of washing away the old life and starting life new and fresh as a couple. Also, it is a humble act for one person to wash another persons’ feet or hands showing the couples commitment to care for one another.
The Native Americans have a belief of if you whisper your wish to a butterfly then release it the butterfly will carry your wish up to the heavens to be granted. How couples incorporate a butterfly release into their ceremony is by whispering their wishes for their life as a couple to one or several butterflies at the end of their ceremony then release them to the sky. I officiated a ceremony where the couple incorporated a butterfly release for them and also provide butterflies for their guests so we all got to whisper our own wishes to the butterflies then released them.
There are hundreds of ceremonies and traditions that can be incorporated into weddings, vow renewals, elopements, and civil union ceremonies. The ones on this page are just a few. If you hear of one you think should be featured send a message using my contact page.
Want to share your unity ceremony or wedding tradition story to inspire other couples? Submit your unity ceremony or wedding tradition experience from the perspective of the couple or a guest at a ceremony one was incorporated using my contact page!