The unity ceremony has been a part of weddings for many years. It is typically done as a part of the ceremony- though you could make it a part of the reception- as a representation of a couple joining their hearts, home, and families as one. The unity ceremony can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish and personalized to reflect who you are as a couple.

Of all the decisions made about your wedding, perhaps one of the most significant is the unity ceremony. It can be fun or serious, religious, secular, incorporate your heritage, or even include other members of your family- it’s your call. Just be sure whatever you select represents who you are as a couple – after all, it’s about you.

Personalizing Your Unity Ceremony

Here are just a few of the many ways to make the unity ceremony yours.

Blending Paint

Want a fun way to express yourself? Then get a canvas, a small easel with a stand, and acrylic paint (1 each) that you both love, and pour the paint onto a canvas. The paints will run together as they travel down the canvas creating a unique work of art- much like a marriage. Another spin on painting is to have a blank canvas, a few colors of paint, and for you and your partner to create a masterpiece together.  Idea: Given the amount of time this may take it might be a good one to do during the reception.

Glass Pouring

Like sand pouring but using glass crystals. The container is then sent to Unity in Glass, where a gloss-blowing artist creates a custom design.


This ceremony is Celtic in origin and is achieved by the couple’s right hands being bound together during part of the ceremony. The officiant will read a chosen passage as the ropes are wrapped and tied. Many couples will choose to use ribbons that match their wedding colors.

Ring Warming

Want to involve your guests in the unity ceremony? Then this is the way. Before the ceremony and exchanging rings, guests are asked to hold the rings and offer prayers, blessings, and well wishes for the couple.

Sand Pouring

This unity ceremony involves the couple pouring colored sand from smaller vases into a larger container. They may pour the sand simultaneously or individually. This ceremony is often used when there is a blending of families. In these cases, many times the children of each family will also pour in the sand to represent the households becoming one.

Tie the Knot

This Irish custom is done by the couple tying a fisherman’s knot together (we recommended practicing before your big day). Unique to a fisherman’s knot is that it becomes tighter when pulled at or stretched, much like a marriage becomes stronger when adversity is faced together.

Tree/Plant Planting

Plant something together, be it a seedling, a flower, or another plant. Start with a pot to which you have already added some soil. During the unity ceremony, you and S.O. will add more dirt, the plant, and some water to represent that your marriage requires care to grow and bloom.

Unity Candle

Perhaps one of the most well-known, the unity candle involves the couple using smaller, individual candles to light a larger candle. Often, the smaller candles will be lit by the mothers, to show the merging of two families.

There is no specific way the unity ceremony must be done. Nor, is it a “must have” as part of your nuptials. But, if you choose to include it with your wedding ceremony, then opt for something special for you and your significant other. Then have fun and enjoy the moment.

Have questions about incorporating a unity ceremony into your wedding? Talk to one of Gala’s event coordinators. They will be happy to help.