Top Unity Candle Alternatives for Unique Wedding Ceremonies

Last updated on November 13, 2023

Discover unique and creative Unity Candle alternatives that will add a special touch to your wedding ceremony, symbolizing the union of two lives becoming one.

Weddings are all about love, unity, and the coming together of two souls. One of the most beautiful traditions in a wedding ceremony is the lighting of a unity candle.

It symbolizes the union of two individuals and their families becoming one. However, not everyone wants to follow this tradition or may be looking for alternative ways to express their unity.

That’s where we come in! In this blog post, we will explore some creative and budget-friendly alternatives to the traditional unity candle that will add a unique touch to your special day while still symbolizing your love and commitment to each other. So let’s dive in!

Introduction to Unity Candle Alternatives

Unity Candle

Unity Candle Alternatives are a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony. While the traditional unity candle is beautiful, it may not be for everyone.

Unity ceremonies have evolved over time and now offer many creative options that can better represent you as a couple.

The alternatives we will explore in this article range from simple and budget-friendly ideas like sand ceremonies or love letter exchanges, to more elaborate ones such as tree planting or glass blowing. Each of these unique rituals symbolizes the coming together of two individuals into one union.

Sand Ceremony

Sand Ceremony

It involves pouring different colored sands into a single container, symbolizing the blending of two lives becoming one. The couple can choose colors that represent their personalities or even mix in sand from special places they have visited together.

During the ceremony, each partner pours their respective color of sand into a central vase or container while reciting vows or exchanging rings. This creates an intricate pattern that represents both individuals coming together as one entity.

Afterward, this unique piece of art can be displayed in your home as a reminder of your special day and commitment to each other. The Sand Ceremony is perfect for beach weddings but also works well for indoor ceremonies with specially designed containers.

Handfasting Ritual

Handfasting Ritual

During this ceremony, the couple’s hands are bound together with cords or ribbons, representing their union and commitment to each other. The cords can be made from different materials such as silk, wool or cotton in colors that hold special meaning for the couple.

This ritual is perfect for couples who want a unique way of expressing their love while incorporating elements of history and culture into their wedding ceremony. It also allows them to involve family members or friends by having them tie the knots around their wrists.

Wine Blending

During this ceremony, two different wines are blended together to create a unique blend that represents the coming together of two individuals. The process involves pouring equal amounts of red and white wine into one glass or decanter, which signifies the unity between two people with different backgrounds.

The couple can choose their favorite types of wines or select them based on their personal preferences. They can also opt for personalized labels for each bottle as keepsakes from their special day.

This alternative unity ceremony is not only romantic but also fun and interactive for guests who get to taste-test the newly created blend during cocktail hour or dinner reception.

Love Letter Exchange

bride holding love letter

This alternative to the unity candle involves writing heartfelt letters to one another, expressing your feelings, hopes, and dreams for your future together. The letters are then sealed in an envelope with a special message on it that only you two will know about.

During the ceremony, you’ll exchange these envelopes with each other without reading them yet. You can choose whether or not you want someone else (like a close friend or family member) to hold onto them until after the wedding day.

This Love Letter Exchange is perfect if you’re looking for something more personal than lighting candles or pouring sand into vases. It’s also great because it gives couples something tangible they can keep as a reminder of their special day and their commitment to each other.

So take some time before your big day and write down all those things that make your partner so special – what drew you towards them in the first place? What do they mean to you now? What are some of those little moments that have made up this journey together?.

Unity Painting

It’s perfect for couples who want to create something unique and meaningful together that they can cherish forever. The idea behind this ceremony is simple: the couple chooses a canvas or other painting surface, each takes turns adding their own brushstrokes until it becomes one cohesive piece of art.

During the wedding ceremony, you can set up an easel with blank canvas or paper on it along with paintbrushes and paints in your chosen colors. After exchanging vows, rings, or any other symbolic gesture of your choice as per tradition; take turns adding brush strokes onto the canvas while explaining what each stroke represents about your relationship.

The beauty of Unity Painting lies in its simplicity yet profoundness – two individuals coming together to create something beautiful that symbolizes their love for one another.

Tree Planting

Tree Planting wedding

It symbolizes the growth of your love and commitment, just like how a tree grows over time. During this ceremony, you can plant a sapling or small tree together in soil that represents your new life together as one.

As you both hold onto the shovel and work together to plant the tree, it signifies that you are building something strong and long-lasting for your future. You can even choose to have family members or close friends participate by adding their own shovelfuls of dirt around the base of the newly planted tree.

Glass Ceremony

Glass sand Ceremony

In this ceremony, the couple each takes a glass vessel filled with different colored sand and pours them into one larger container, creating a stunning layered effect. The blending of colors symbolizes the coming together of two individuals and their families becoming one.

Not only does this ceremony create an eye-catching display that can be kept as a keepsake after your wedding day, but it also allows for personalization by choosing sand colors that represent you as individuals or reflect your wedding theme.

To make it even more special, consider having family members or close friends participate in pouring their own vessels of sand into the larger container to represent their support for your union. This will add an extra layer of meaning to this already touching ceremony.

Puzzle Piece Unity

In this ceremony, each partner holds a puzzle piece that represents their individuality and uniqueness. As they join hands, they fit their pieces together to create one complete puzzle, representing the unity of their lives.

This alternative is perfect for couples who want something interactive during the ceremony or those who love puzzles! It’s also an excellent option for blended families as children can be included in this ritual by holding additional pieces that will connect with the couple’s pieces.

The Puzzle Piece Unity Ceremony can be customized in many ways; you could use a custom-made wooden puzzle with your names engraved on it or choose different colors to match your wedding theme. You could even have guests sign individual puzzle pieces before joining them together during the ceremony!

God’s Knot

It involves tying three cords together, symbolizing the bride, groom, and God. The knot represents their commitment to each other and their faith in God as they embark on this new journey together.

During the ceremony, the couple braids three cords of different colors into one rope while reciting vows or exchanging promises. The first cord represents the bride; it is tied with a special knot that signifies her strengths and weaknesses as an individual.

The second cord represents the groom; it too has its own unique knot representing his qualities as an individual.

They tie a third cord around both of them at once which symbolizes their union with each other through Christ’s love for them both.

This beautiful tradition can be customized by choosing colors that represent your wedding theme or personal preferences. You can also add charms or beads to make it more personalized.

Lantern Release

lantern release couple wedding

It’s an ancient tradition that has been used in many cultures around the world for centuries. The idea behind it is to release lanterns into the sky, symbolizing your love and commitment to each other.

To perform this ceremony, you will need paper lanterns with candles inside them. You can choose any color or design that suits your wedding theme or personal preference.

During the ceremony, you and your partner will light up the candle inside each of these lanterns together before releasing them into the sky.

As they float away towards infinity, it creates a magical moment for everyone present at your wedding celebration while also representing hope for a bright future together as one unit.

It’s important to note that safety should always be considered when performing this ritual; make sure there are no trees nearby or anything else flammable in case of accidents during lighting up process.

Unity Rock

This ritual involves selecting two rocks, one for each partner, that will be brought together during the wedding ceremony. The couple can choose to decorate their rocks with paint or markers beforehand or leave them in their natural state.

During the ceremony, both partners hold onto their rock as they exchange vows and promises of love and commitment. Then, at a designated moment in the service, they place their individual stones into a decorative container symbolizing unity.

The Unity Rock Ceremony is perfect for couples who want something simple yet powerful that represents strength and stability in marriage. It’s also an excellent option if you’re having an outdoor wedding since it incorporates nature into your special day.

Time Capsule

It’s an opportunity for you to capture the essence of this special moment in time, preserving it for years to come. The idea behind a time capsule is simple: you gather items that represent who you are as individuals and as a couple, seal them in a container, and bury or store it away until an agreed-upon date when you will open it together.

To create your own wedding day time capsule, start by choosing what kind of container or box would be best suited for the items that will go inside. You can choose something decorative like an antique tin box or opt for something more practical like plastic storage containers.

Next comes the fun part – deciding what goes inside! Consider including things such as photos from your engagement shoot or pictures from throughout your relationship; letters written by each other expressing why they fell in love with one another; small trinkets representing important moments shared between both families; newspaper clippings about current events happening at the moment of marriage etc.

Once everything has been gathered up into one place put all these things into chosen container/box then seal tightly with tape so nothing falls out during transportation/storage period before opening again later down line!.

Dove Release

wedding Dove Release

It’s an ancient tradition that symbolizes love, peace, and new beginnings. The release of doves represents the couple’s commitment to each other as they embark on their journey together.

During the ceremony, two pure white doves are released into the sky by both partners simultaneously or one dove each from separate cages representing their individuality coming together in harmony. As they fly away towards freedom, it signifies a new beginning for both individuals who have chosen to unite in marriage.

The sight of these graceful birds soaring through the air creates an unforgettable moment that will be cherished forever by you and your guests alike. Doves are known for being loyal creatures; hence releasing them during your wedding day symbolizes loyalty between couples.

Flower Ceremony

It involves the couple exchanging flowers as a symbol of their love and commitment to each other. The ceremony can be performed in different ways, but one popular method is for each partner to hold a vase filled with water, representing their individual lives before they met.

They then take turns adding flowers into each other’s vase, symbolizing how they are now intertwined and growing together as one.

This ceremony allows couples to incorporate personal touches by choosing specific types or colors of flowers that have special meaning for them or represent important people in their lives. For example, if the bride’s grandmother loved roses, she could choose roses as her flower while her partner chooses daisies because it reminds him/her of his/her childhood home.

The Flower Ceremony also provides an opportunity for family members or close friends who may not have been included in other parts of the wedding ceremony to participate by presenting them with small bouquets that can be added into either vase during this part of the service.

Unity Quilt

It involves sewing together different pieces of fabric, each representing a special memory or moment in the couple’s lives. The quilt can be made up of squares contributed by family members and friends, symbolizing their love and support for the newlyweds.

During the wedding ceremony, each square is sewn together by either the bride or groom as they exchange vows. This represents how two separate lives are coming together to create something new – just like how individual pieces of fabric come together to form a beautiful quilt.

Afterward, this unique piece becomes an heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation as it tells your story through its colors and patterns.

Ring Warming

wedding guest holding ring

It involves passing your wedding rings around to all of your guests, allowing them to hold and warm the rings with their love, blessings, and well wishes for your marriage.

As each guest holds the ring in their hands, they can take a moment to silently offer up prayers or positive thoughts for you both. This creates an intimate connection between you as a couple and all of those who are present on this special day.

The Ring Warming ceremony can be done at any point during the wedding ceremony but is typically done before exchanging vows. The officiant will explain what’s happening so that everyone understands what they need to do when it’s time for them to hold onto the rings.

This unique ritual adds an extra layer of meaning by involving all guests in blessing your union while also creating memories that will last forever.

Unity Watercolor

This ceremony involves mixing watercolors in a vase or bowl, representing the blending of two lives into one. The couple then takes turns adding colors to create a stunning piece of art that they can display in their home as a reminder of their special day.

To perform this ceremony, you will need some watercolor paints and brushes, along with paper or canvas for your artwork. You can choose any color palette that speaks to you both as individuals and as partners.

During the wedding ceremony, have someone pour some water into a large glass vase or bowl while explaining what Unity Watercolor represents. Then provide each partner with different colored paint tubes so they can take turns pouring them into the vessel until it’s full.

Once all colors are added, use brushes to mix them together creating an abstract painting that reflects your love story beautifully! Afterward, sign it together before framing it up on your wall at home where everyone who visits will admire its beauty!.

Family Medallion

It involves presenting each member of the family with a medallion that symbolizes their love, commitment, and support for one another. The medallions can be personalized with names or special messages to make them even more unique.

During the wedding ceremony, after exchanging vows and rings, each family member is presented with their own Family Medallion. The bride and groom then exchange medallions as a symbol of their union as husband and wife.

This ritual not only celebrates the joining of two individuals but also acknowledges that marriage brings together two families who will now share in life’s joys and challenges together. It’s an excellent way to involve children or other close relatives in your wedding ceremony while emphasizing how important they are in your lives.

Unity Stained Glass

This alternative is perfect for couples who love art and want to create something that will last forever. During the ceremony, each partner chooses their favorite colored glass piece and places it on the table.

Then they work together to arrange all of the pieces into one stunning stained glass panel that represents their union.

The finished product can be displayed in your home as a reminder of your special day or given as gifts to family members who were present at the wedding. The best part about this alternative is that it’s not only symbolic but also practical since you’ll have an actual piece of artwork created by both partners during such an important moment in life.

Unity Lock Ceremony

Lock Ceremony wedding

This ceremony involves locking a padlock onto a fence or gate, with each partner holding one half of the key. The lock represents their love and commitment to each other, while the key symbolizes trust and unity.

During the ceremony, couples can choose to have their guests write messages on small pieces of paper that are then locked inside with them. This adds an extra layer of meaning as it signifies that they are not alone in this journey but surrounded by loved ones who support them.

Afterward, couples can take home their half of the key as a keepsake from this special day. Some even choose to return years later on anniversaries or milestones in their relationship to unlock it together and read those heartfelt messages once again.

Unity Fire Pit

The fire represents warmth, light, and passion – all qualities that are essential in any relationship. During the ceremony, each partner adds wood or kindling to the fire pit as a symbol of their commitment to keeping their love burning bright.

The Unity Fire Pit can be customized with personal touches such as adding stones or crystals that represent different aspects of your relationship. You can also choose specific types of wood for added symbolism; for example, oak represents strength while cherry symbolizes love.

After exchanging vows and rings, lighting up your unity fire pit will create an unforgettable moment filled with warmth and romance. It’s perfect for outdoor weddings or ceremonies held at night when you want to add some extra ambiance.

Unity Prayer Flags

This tradition originated in Tibet, where prayer flags were hung outside homes and temples to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags are usually made of cotton or silk cloth with prayers or mantras printed on them.

In a Unity Prayer Flag ceremony at weddings, the couple writes their own vows or blessings on small pieces of fabric that will be tied onto strings along with other guests’ wishes for the couple’s future together. These strings can then be hung up as part of the decor during the reception.

The act of writing down personal messages creates an intimate moment between loved ones while also symbolizing unity among all those present at this special occasion. It is a beautiful reminder that love transcends beyond just two individuals but extends to family members and friends who have come together to celebrate this union.

Unity Canvas

It’s an art project that involves painting on a canvas together, representing the blending of two lives into one. The Unity Canvas can be customized with colors, patterns, and designs that are meaningful to you as a couple.

To create your own Unity Canvas, start by selecting a blank canvas in any size you prefer. You can choose acrylic or oil paints depending on your preference and skill level.

Next, decide on the design or pattern you want to paint together; it could be something abstract or representational.

During the ceremony itself (or before), set up an easel with your blank canvas at an appropriate location where everyone can see what’s happening without being too close for comfort! Then take turns adding brushstrokes until both partners feel satisfied with their contribution.

Unity Cross

It involves two interlocking crosses, one representing the groom and his faith, while the other represents the bride and her faith. The groom places his cross inside of hers, symbolizing their union in marriage under God’s love.

This symbolic gesture can be done during any part of your wedding ceremony that you choose. Some couples prefer to do it after exchanging vows or rings as a way to seal their commitment before they are pronounced husband and wife.

One great thing about this option is that it provides a lasting keepsake for you both to cherish long after your special day has passed. You can display it in your home as a reminder of your love for each other and how important faith is in keeping you united.

Braided Manzanita Branch

This ceremony involves braiding three strands of ribbon or cord around a Manzanita branch, symbolizing the coming together of two individuals and their families as one.

Manzanita branches are native to California and have been used in Native American ceremonies for centuries. They are known for their strength, beauty, and resilience – all qualities that make them perfect for this special occasion.

During the Braided Manzanita Branch ceremony, each strand represents something different: one strand represents the bride or groom’s family; another stands for friends; while the third signifies their new family unit. The couple then takes turns braiding each strand around the branch until it becomes intertwined with all three cords representing unity.

This ritual can be customized by using ribbons or cords in colors that hold significance to you both as a couple. You can also add charms or beads onto each cord before braiding them together if you want an extra touch of personalization.

Unity Crystal Ceremony

This ceremony involves each partner holding a crystal in their hand, representing their individuality and uniqueness. The couple then places the crystals into a container, signifying that they are now united as one.

This ceremony can be customized by choosing different types of crystals that hold special meaning for you both. For example, rose quartz represents love and harmony while amethyst promotes calmness and clarity.

After the wedding day, you can keep your unity crystal container on display in your home as a reminder of your commitment to each other. You could even add more crystals over time to represent milestones or challenges overcome together.

The Unity Crystal Ceremony is perfect for couples who want something meaningful but not too elaborate or expensive. It’s also an excellent option if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional unity ceremonies like lighting candles or pouring sand into one vessel.

Jumping the Broom

jumping couple wedding

It symbolizes sweeping away the old and welcoming in the new, as well as jumping into a new life together. The broom itself can be decorated to match your wedding theme or personal style, making it an excellent addition to any ceremony.

During this ritual, couples hold hands while jumping over a broomstick placed on the ground. This act represents their commitment to each other and their willingness to work together through all of life’s challenges.

If you’re looking for something unique yet traditional for your wedding ceremony, Jumping the Broom may be just what you need! It’s also an excellent way to honor cultural heritage or pay tribute to ancestors who have passed away.

Handprint Unity Canvas

Handprint Unity Canvas

This ceremony involves painting your hands with different colors of paint and then pressing them onto a canvas, creating a unique piece of art that symbolizes the coming together of two individuals.

This activity can be done before or during the wedding ceremony, depending on your preference. You can choose to use any color combination that represents you as a couple or matches your wedding theme.

The handprints are arranged in such a way that they form an image or pattern on the canvas.

Afterward, you can display this artwork in your home as an everlasting reminder of your special day and commitment to each other. It’s also something fun for guests to participate in if you want them involved in some way during the ceremony.

Unity Float

It’s perfect for couples who want to add a fun and playful touch to their wedding while still symbolizing their love and commitment. The Unity Float involves filling a large container with water, flowers, candles, or any other decorative items of your choice.

Then each partner adds an object that represents them or their relationship into the container.

As you watch your objects float together in harmony on top of the water, it symbolizes how two individuals can come together as one without losing themselves in the process. This beautiful display will be sure to leave an impression on all your guests.

The Unity Float is also versatile as it can be customized according to different themes such as beach weddings where seashells could be used instead of flowers or rustic weddings where twigs could replace candles.

Unity in Glass

This option allows couples to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art that symbolizes their love and commitment. During the wedding ceremony, each partner pours different colored glass crystals into a vase or bowl, creating layers of colors that represent their individuality.

Then, they mix the two sets of crystals together as an expression of their union.

Afterward, these mixed crystals are sent to Unity in Glass where they are transformed into stunning works of art such as vases or sculptures by professional glassblowers using high-quality materials and techniques.

The finished product serves not only as a reminder for couples about their special day but also makes for an excellent conversation starter when displayed at home after the wedding.

Unity in Glass offers various designs ranging from classic shapes like hearts and globes to more intricate ones like flowers or seashells. Couples can even customize them with engraved messages or names on some pieces!

Unity Plant

This ceremony involves planting a tree or plant together, symbolizing your love growing and flourishing over time. It’s perfect for couples who want to make their wedding day more sustainable while also creating a lasting memory.

To perform this ceremony, you will need soil, seeds or saplings of your chosen plant species, and two small pots. During the wedding ceremony, each partner pours soil into their pot before adding the seedling or seeds on top of it.

Then they water it together as an expression of nurturing their relationship.

Afterward, both partners can take home one pot each with them as a reminder of that special moment in time when they planted something new together – just like how they are starting something new in life by getting married! The other option is to combine both plants into one larger container which represents unity between two people becoming one entity.

Love Letters and Wine Box

Wine Box wedding

This ceremony involves writing love letters to each other, sealing them in an envelope, and placing them inside a wine box along with your favorite bottle of wine. During the wedding ceremony, you will seal the box together as a symbol of your commitment to each other.

The idea behind this ritual is that when times get tough in your marriage or relationship, you can open up the box together on an anniversary or special occasion. You can read through those love letters again while enjoying that bottle of wine from years ago.

This beautiful tradition allows couples to reflect on their journey together and remember why they fell in love with each other in the first place. It’s also perfect for couples who want something more personal than lighting candles during their wedding day.

Unity Sandwich

This ceremony involves creating a sandwich together, with each partner choosing their favorite ingredients to add. The sandwich can be as simple or elaborate as you like, depending on your preferences.

During the ceremony, both partners will take turns adding their chosen ingredients to create one delicious sandwich that represents their unity. Once complete, they will cut it in half and share it with each other while exchanging vows or promises.

This alternative is perfect for couples who love food and want something lighthearted yet meaningful for their wedding ceremony. It’s also an excellent option if you’re looking for something budget-friendly since all you need are some bread slices and fillings of your choice!

Unity Ceremonies Including Other Guests

But what if you want to include your loved ones in this special moment? Unity ceremonies that involve other guests can be a great way to do just that.

One popular option is the unity sand ceremony, where each guest adds their own colored sand into one container with the couple’s sand, representing how everyone plays an important role in their lives. Another idea is having guests write messages on small stones or shells and placing them all together as part of a larger display.

You could also have family members or close friends participate in rituals like handfasting or braiding ribbons around your hands, signifying their support for your union. The possibilities are endless!

Including others in your unity ceremony not only makes it more meaningful but also creates lasting memories for everyone involved.

Wishing Stones

This ceremony involves each guest receiving a small stone upon arrival at the wedding ceremony. During the ceremony, guests will be invited to hold their stones and make a wish or blessing for the couple’s future together before placing them in a designated container.

The wishing stones can then be displayed in your home as an ongoing reminder of all of your loved ones’ well wishes on your special day. You could even incorporate these stones into other decor elements such as centerpieces or table settings.

This is not only an excellent way to involve all of your guests in celebrating this special moment but also creates lasting memories that you can cherish forever.

Lantern Lighting

It’s perfect for outdoor weddings or evening ceremonies, adding a romantic touch to your special day. The couple can choose their favorite lanterns that represent their personalities and style, making it unique and personal.

During the ceremony, each partner lights their own lantern from a central flame or candle representing the love they share. They then release them into the sky together as an expression of hope for their future together.

This ritual symbolizes letting go of past experiences while embracing new beginnings with positivity and optimism. As you watch your lanterns float away into the night sky, you’ll feel connected not only to each other but also to nature itself.

Unity Salt

This ceremony involves combining two different types of salt into one container, symbolizing the coming together of two individuals in marriage. The salt can be collected from special places that hold significance for each partner, such as their hometowns or favorite vacation spots.

During the wedding ceremony, each partner pours their chosen type of salt into a shared container while reciting vows or exchanging promises. As they pour their individual salts together, it becomes impossible to separate them again – just like how it will be impossible for them to ever truly separate after becoming united in marriage.

The resulting mixture can then be used as table decor at your reception or kept as a keepsake in your home. Unity Salt is not only visually stunning but also serves as an enduring reminder of your love and commitment to one another.

Lock and Key Ceremony

Lock and Key wedding Ceremony

During this ceremony, the couple will each have a lock with their name on it, which they will attach to a chain or board. They will then take turns locking and unlocking each other’s locks using one key that represents their love for one another.

This unique ceremony can be customized in many ways. For example, you could use different types of locks or keys that represent something special about your relationship.

You could also invite guests to write messages on small tags attached to the locks before attaching them together.

The Lock and Key Ceremony is not only symbolic but also practical as you can display your locked chains at home as an art piece reminding you of your special day forevermore!.


Are unity candles still a thing?

Yes, unity candles are still a thing, as they have become more common in modern wedding ceremonies, particularly in secular options.

Is unity candle necessary?

Answer: No, a unity candle is not necessary, but it may be a perfect fit for you and your partner depending on your preferences for religious, historical, or secular ceremony options.

What religion uses unity candles?

The Christian faith uses unity candles in their wedding ceremonies as a representation of the bride, groom, and their covenant marriage.

What are some creative alternatives to unity candles for wedding ceremonies?

Some creative alternatives to unity candles for wedding ceremonies include sand ceremonies, wine or cocktail mixing, handfasting, tree planting, and creating a unity painting.

How can couples personalize the unity candle tradition for their wedding?

Couples can personalize the unity candle tradition by choosing meaningful colors, incorporating their heritage, or using a customized design to represent their unique relationship.

What is the history and symbolism behind the use of unity candles in weddings?

The unity candle in weddings symbolizes the joining of two families and their love for each other, originating from both Christian and secular traditions.


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