25 Beautiful Wedding Rituals that Represent Unity
A wedding is an indication that you've found your forever person. It's the human being that you're hoping to spend the rest of your life with, your soul mate, your partner-in-crime, and your other half. Which is why many brides and grooms-to-be incorporate wedding unity rituals. After all, unity is the ultimate symbol of two souls joining together for eternity, and choosing one that is near and dear to you can truly mimic who you are as a couple.
So, if you're looking for a lovely unity ritual to perform on your beautiful wedding day, here are 25 different rituals that symbolize unity. You may just fall in love with one or more of them, making it the perfect way in which to bring meaning and closeness between you and your partner.
- Pot of Tea Ritual
- Burying the Vows Ritual
- Abstract Art Ritual
- Tug of War Ritual
- Create a Reaction Ritual
- Scottish Quaich Ritual
- Celtic Hand-Fasting Ritual
- Jump the Broom Ritual
- Complete the Puzzle Ritual
- Tree Planting Ritual
- Tying the Knot Ritual
- Wrapped Together in a Blanket Ritual
- Arch of Swords Exit Ritual
- Mixing of Sand Ritual
- Circling the Bride or Groom Ritual
- The Passing & Blessing of the Ring Ritual
- Wish Lantern Release Ritual
- Memory Capsule Box Ritual
- Unity Sandwich Ritual
- Light a Candle Ritual
- Cocktail Creation Ritual
- Sundial Ceremony Ritual
- Light a Fire Ritual
- Pot a Plant Ritual
- Water Cleansing Ritual
1. Pot of Tea Ritual
Various cultures across the world incorporate different tea ceremonies on their big day. An interesting one that you may want to use is that of combining two different blends of tea into one cup. This will then create one blended cup of tea, bringing about a symbol of unity despite all differences.
2. Burying the Vows Ritual
To keep the memory of your big day alive is something that many couples love to do. And to incorporate this unity tradition, you could bury your vows. To do this, write down your vows on eco-friendly paper and bury them somewhere that represents something special to you. It could be at the place where you celebrated your ceremony, or anywhere else that holds meaning for both of you.
3. Abstract Art Ritual
If both newlyweds are creative beings, creating a piece of abstract art together is a really innovative, unique, and enjoyable experience. It's a way in which to channel positive energy into something tangible that can be kept for years to come (or even hung up in your home). The great thing about abstract art is that it doesn't have to follow any conventions and doesn't require any artistic skill. Simply choose your favourite materials and invent something new, together.
4. Tug of War Ritual
Tug of war is a friendly game that represents strength and team work. And engaging in this game on your wedding day can symbolize the fact that a marriage, while being a relationship of give and take, is essentially about the fact that it takes two to tango. Working together is of utmost importance to create a long lasting and happy marriage.
5. Create a Reaction Ritual
This kind of wedding ritual is a fun one, and has the ability to represent two different people coming together to create one special and unique union. You can practice this kind of unity ritual with a number of different materials, such as different coloured water, or pouring ink into clear water. You could even opt for some kind of scientific material that causes a different and more surprising reaction.
6. Scottish Quaich Ritual
A Quaich is a word derived from the Scottish word, Gaelic, and is a cup or bowl that has two handles. Oftentimes this piece of crockery is referred to as a "love cup" and the tradition is for both the bride and the groom to hold the cup whilst taking a drink. The contents inside the cup aren't relevant as the action or sharing one piece of crockery is what symbolizes unity and sharing.
7. Celtic Hand-Fasting Ritual
This is an interesting wedding ritual in that it actually contains an element of bondage - that is tying the newlyweds' hands together in order to symbolize becoming one. This wedding tradition originates from the Pagan Celtic, but has been adapted and adopted by brides and grooms worldwide, as it's a true symbol of two become one.
8. Jump the Broom Ritual
This African wedding tradition came about in the 19th century. It was during this time that African slaves were forbidden to marry so instead, they would lay a broom on the ground and jump over it together. This was done as a means to sweep away the past and start over clean and fresh.
9. Complete the Puzzle Ritual
Many people describe meeting their other half as finding the missing puzzle piece in their life. The way in which two people fit together so perfectly is like that satisfying feeling you get when you finish a beautiful puzzle. And for that reason, completing a unity puzzle on your wedding day could be the most appropriate way in which to show your love.
10. Tree Planting Ritual
What better way to symbolize unity and growth than to plant your very own tree? Or, alternatively, you could choose your favourite tree - say, at the place where you are getting married - and make that your unity tree. At the end of the ceremony, you could have both parents of the bride and groom throw sand from their homes into the soil to honour the new marriage and to show where the newlyweds have come from.
11. Tying the Knot Ritual
Just like the saying, two couples getting married could, literally, tie the knot. This can be done with rope or ribbon (or another material of your choosing). And while it is a short and sweet unity wedding tradition, you could compliment it with a heartfelt poem or a Hebrew scripture if it's applicable (like that from Ecclesiastes 4:12).
12. Wrapped Together in a Blanket Ritual
This unity wedding tradition comes from Native American culture, and is a simple yet meaningful ritual. It involves the bride and groom covering themselves together with one quilt. This, in turn, symbolizes warmth and togetherness. Alternatively, and a more modern ritual of the same kind, would be to take on the Cherokee tradition. That is for each individual to wrap themselves in a blue blanket before being pronounced husband and wife. Then after their vows have been said, the couple will share one white blanket, with white being a symbol of peace.
13. Arch of Swords Exit Ritual
This unity wedding tradition is actually reserved for military weddings, making it even more unique and special. It entails service members holding their swords into the air at a 45-degree angle, so that an almost "shelter" is created. The newlyweds will then walk beneath the swords, which is then a pledge of fidelity, as well as a sign of protection from the military.
14. Mixing of Sand Ritual
A simple and fun yet meaningful ritual that symbolizes unity, is one that involves the mixing of sand. To do this, each partner will have two different colours of sand. They will then mix the sand together into one container in order to symbolize two becoming one. This is an excellent ritual, as it would be impossible to separate the two different kinds of sand - a perfect example of two people who cannot be separated.
15. Circling the Bride or Groom Ritual
This wedding tradition is a Jewish unity practice and it is when the bride walks around the groom seven times. She does this in an attempt to break down any barriers between them. Today, the ritual is often changed whereby both the bride and groom circle each other, making it not only a unity ritual of breaking down barriers but also one to symbolize equality.
16. The Passing & Blessing of the Ring Ritual
A beautiful wedding tradition that involves the entire wedding party is one where the sacred rings are passed to each guest in order for them to give it their blessing. The guest could choose to kiss the ring, hold it, or say a few words - anything that symbolizes sending positive thoughts and blessings towards the newlyweds.
17. Wish Lantern Release Ritual
While this tradition is not exclusive to weddings, it is still a special and thoughtful way in which to begin married life. To do this, both partners can write down one wish that they have for their new life onto the lantern, and then release the lantern into the night sky. What's also fun about this wedding tradition that symbolizes unity, is that you can involve your wedding party if you'd like. You could ask the elders to write down their blessings, and have everyone be a part of the releasing process.
18. Memory Capsule Box Ritual
This is an adorable idea for newlyweds who want to reminisce in a year or years to come. The execution is totally up to you - what material you use, how you decorate the box, what's inside, and when you decide to take a peek. An example would be to have a box custom-made with your names on it and fill it with love letters to one another. You could also place a great bottle of wine, or other items that are special to you inside. Then, on your 1st, 5th, or even 10th wedding anniversary you can open the box and read the letters whilst enjoying a glass of wine and be reminded of the wonderful journey that is married life.
19. Unity Sandwich Ritual
For playful couples - and those who love to use different kind of fillings on their sandwiches, a unity sandwich is such a cute idea… and so simple. To do this, each partner will choose the filling of their choice, for example peanut butter and jam, and on the big day, each will put their filling onto a piece of bread. Then, the two pieces will be brought together to symbolize unity and coming together.
20. Light a Candle Ritual
This is definitely one of the most popular rituals that symbolize unity, and is the perfect activity for those who are following a classical wedding theme. To enjoy this ritual, place three candles at the altar - two of which should have tapered ends. The third candle should be larger without a tapered end. Traditionally, one member from the bride's family and one member from the groom's family will light the two tapered-end candles before the ceremony. Then, after the ceremony, the bride and groom will each grab one tapered candle and light the larger candle, which symbolizes unity, in unison.
21. Cocktail Creation Ritual
For lovers of cocktails and mixed drinks, this is a fun ritual that will surely add a few laughs and smiles on your big day. To do this, you could opt to make an already-known cocktail together with your partner. But for more fun and creativeness, why not choose your own ingredients and prepare a brand-new cocktail? This is a great way for the pair of you to work together to create something brand new.
22. Sundial Ceremony Ritual
A gorgeous tradition from Ireland is the sundial ceremony. This is when both partners put their finger through the hole of a sundial at opposite ends until their fingers are touching. After this, the newlyweds could involve their wedding party into this unity ritual by asking them to pass a silk scarf through the hole three times whilst saying their wishes to the bride and groom out loud.
23. Light a Fire Ritual
As part of an old African tradition, fire represents unity and the coming together of two people in love. And traditionally, this would take place by each partner holding a hearth that contains a flame then placing them together to create one flame. A modified version of this ritual is to simply start a fire together as man and wife.
24. Pot a Plant Ritual
As beautiful as flowers are, there's something so special about potting a plant. This is because you'll have the ability to nurture and take care of your plant in order to see it grow over time. A plant lasts a lot longer than a flower, and thus is a great symbol of unity when it comes to two couples in marriage. It can also be a source of inspiration as your love for each other increases and grows.
25. Water Cleansing Ritual
This unity wedding ritual has roots in the Christian Bible, more specifically from John 13:1-7. In this passage, Jesus persists to wash his disciple's feet to represent love and humility. And so, this act is practiced at weddings worldwide not only to represent faith and starting off with a "clean slate", but also to take on a level of intimacy between partners.
So, have you found your perfect wedding tradition to symbolize unity and uninhibited love for your big day? The coming together of two people to create one unit is definitely something worth celebrating. So, whether you choose one or more, customizing it so that it's even more special and meaningful is what it's all about. Enjoy your new adventure!