The rituals that symbolize the joining of two people always seem lovely when I see them in weddings. Now that we’re planning our own wedding, those rituals don’t feel “right” to me.
The unity candle, probably the most popular wedding ritual these days, is actually a fairly new item. Wikipedia says unity candles might have only been around for about 30–40 years. That was a surprise to me. I’ve seen so many unity candles that I assumed they had been around for much longer.
A few months ago, I started hearing about alternatives to the traditional unity candle. I first thought the alternatives were weird, but a few started to grow on me.
There’s the pouring of sand, which has become so popular that companies are making special vessels for the sand.
Congratulations, Beonce and Paul! / From WeddingEngraver.com
Even newer than sand pouring is blending wine or planting a tree. I have to admit that I thought the tree planting was kind of cute! I don’t know if that was because Mr. Mink likes the term “tree hugger” or if I liked the idea of taking the tree home and planting it. Forget the fact that I live in a condo and don’t have a yard. Details, details!
We thought about the wine-box ceremony, too. The couple writes letters to themselves (or each other) on the wedding day. The letters are sealed in a box with a bottle of wine during the ceremony. Some say that the box is opened on a major anniversary or if the couple ever has a rough spot.
The last ritual we considered was one I heard about on the Weddingbee Boards. It’s the “Chord of Three Strands.” The couple braids three short lengths of rope during their wedding ceremony to symbolize the bride, the groom, and God in their marriage. Aside from the blog where I found the picture below, the information I found about this was coming from the company that sold the chords.
The “Chord of Three Strands” / From Crystal Goss Photography
In the end, we decided not to have a unity ritual at our wedding. None of the things I described above felt right for us. Exchanging rings and saying our vows will be pretty powerful acts for us. We aren’t convinced that we need something extra to drive the point home.
Are you having a unity ritual at your wedding? Did you consider any alternatives?
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- College Administrator
- Wedding Date:
- June 2012
- Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards