Capturing the Essence of Your Relationship: Unforgettable Unity Ceremony Ideas for 2023

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A wedding ceremony is a gem with many facets. The unity ceremony is the symbolic conclusion that occurs after a couple delivers vows and right before the wedding rings are exchanged. While some couples don’t put much emphasis on this, others are very curious about their options with unity ceremony ideas. This is a unique opportunity for you to include a tradition from your family heritage or alternative wedding ceremony ideas that capture your attention.  The unity ceremony is a chance to show the core of your relationship in a symbolic way. Use this guide to discover a perfect fit for your wedding.

Sand Ceremony

Sand is a perfect symbol of unity. When two separate jars of sand are poured into a single container, the grains blend together in an effortless way. Separating the grains again in the same way is an impossible task. It is easy to see how this showcases the importance of marriage From this point on, your life will be joined with your spouse for better or worse. Pouring sand is a perfect idea for a unity ceremony for your outdoor wedding. Used colored sand and create a visual ritual that will captivate your guests and cut to the heart of your relationship.

unity ceremony ideas - sand ceremony
Source: Alex Tihonovs

Water Ceremony

Your wedding is a special day celebrating love and togetherness. To capture this sentiment through your union ceremony rituals, consider a water ceremony. Much like the sand ceremony, this ritual involves pouring two cups of water together. Again, using colored water is a wonderful way to boost the visual impact of this process. Play around with different color combinations so you end up with a finished product that looks as stunning as you and your partner do when you are together. 

wedding ceremony ideas - water ceremony unity

Unity Candle Ceremony

One of the most classic union ceremony ideas is the candle lighting ceremony. Candlelight is romantic by nature and this option is an ideal fit for couples who are looking to make their ceremonies more intimate. There are many different ways to go about this idea. Some people incorporate family members or the wedding party, giving everyone candles to light the final unity candle from. Other couples keep it simple, lighting a family unity candle together to showcase how they will handle all future challenges as one. You may even wish to incorporate some text or a song to be performed as accompaniment to the ritual. This is one of the better unity ceremony ideas with child, as you can easily include the children of your blended families into the activity. 

unity candle ceremony

Lasso Unity Ceremony

There are many interesting ways to go about your big day. If you’re looking for a non traditional approach to your union ritual, consider a lasso ceremony. The idea here is to take a rope-like item like a lasso and wrap it around the shoulders of the bride and groom several times. Much like the wedding bands, the lasso is meant to symbolize the infinite nature of love. If this has been a long-standing tradition in your own family, you may wish to incorporate a lasso or rope that has been used over the generations. 

unity ceremony ideas - candle unity


Anyone who has watched the popular television series “Game of Thrones” is pretty familiar with the idea of handfasting. Based on an old Celtic tradition, the handfasting ceremony involves binding the hands of the couple together to symbolize their union. This is a non-traditional way to go about your wedding unity ideas and there are several options on how you execute the ritual. Watch some videos online to see the different methods that couples use for handfasting. 

unity ceremony ideas - handfasting

Pot a Plant

Another non-traditional option to explore with wedding unity ideas is potting a plant. Whether indoors or outside, this is a fantastic way to incorporate a natural element into your wedding events. Marriage is all about putting down roots and a plant is the obvious symbol to go with in this regard. For more of an emotional impact, place the plant in a significant spot. Whether planted in a park where you had your first kiss or on the property you now own, the plant can play a big part in the future you start together.   

wedding unity ideas - pot the plant

Tree Planting

Much like the plant potting ceremony, a tree planting ritual incorporate the beauty of nature into the symbol of wedding unity. A tree is a great symbol because it is strong, long-lasting, and adds to the value of the world around it. Similar to potting a plant, this idea is far more impactful when you select a location that holds some type of sentimental value to you and your partner. If you’ve recently purchased a home together, then this is the ideal place to have the tree planted. 

Tree Planting

Flower Ceremony

Flowers play a big part in most weddings. If you want to keep things simple with your unity ceremony ideas, consider playing around with alternative wedding ceremony ideas like a flower ceremony. With this option, you and your partner will hand each other flowers of significance, then place the two flowers together in a vase. Many couples use roses for this ceremony, but you don’t need to adhere to this. Select whatever flowers are in season, personal favorites, or simply the most affordable. Since you likely will have plenty of floral arrangements involved in your wedding, it won’t be difficult to find two single flowers to exchange.

Flower Ceremony

Unity Tea Ceremony

Tea is an ancient drink that holds deep significance across a vast number of cultures. Incorporating a tea ceremony into the unity portion of your wedding can be a lovely way to slow things down and take a moment to focus. With this tradition, you and your partner will pour a cup of tea together from a pot. After, you will share a drink of the tea together. Use a blend that you enjoy or one meant to encourage good luck and prosperity in the future. The idea here is to share the drink together in a moment that is quiet and reverent. 

unique unity ceremony - tea unity ceremony

Tie the Knot

Ever wonder where the wedding expression “tie the knot” comes from? Tying the knot is actually an Irish tradition that has been practiced for many generations. With this ceremony idea, the bride and groom take a ribbon and tie a knot together. Typically, a fisherman’s knot will be used, as this is one of the most difficult knots to break. The tying of the knot is meant to symbolize the couple working together to forge a bond that will last the tests of time. 

Tie the Knot - unity ceremony ideas

Blending Paint

For the artistic couple looking for a non traditional approach to unity ceremony ideas, blending paint is a creative way to go. You and your partner will both select a shade of paint that you love. During the ceremony, you will approach a blank canvas and pour your respective paint onto the surface. The colors will swirl and blend together, symbolizing the melding of your lives. Plus, you will have beautiful and unique piece of art you can hang in your home after starting your life together.

Blending Paint - wedding unity ideas

Washing of Hands or Feet

For same-sex couples, there are plenty of interesting LGBT unity ceremony ideas to consider. If you’re a particularly religious individual, you may wish to include the washing of hands or feet as part of the ritual. Based around the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, this action has the couple washing each other’s hands or feet as a sign of love and devotion. Though a strange activity in some ways, there is a deep and profound significance to such a simple and thoughtful action.

traditional wedding ceremony - wash hands and feet

Unity Beers or Cocktails

Looking for a very relaxed way to go about your unity ritual? Nothing is easier or more meaningful than sharing a drink with a person you love. Though you’ll be tossing back plenty of beverages throughout the night, you can get the celebration started early and kill your nerves by having a beer or cocktail as part of your ceremony. Toast together and enjoy a quick drink before exchanging rings. Provide guests with glasses of champagne to bring everyone in on this part of the ceremony! 

Unity Beers or Cocktails

Time Capsule

Want to remember your wedding forever? Photos will help, but there are ways to take the future into account today. Burying a time capsule as part of your ceremony is an amazing way to preserve this specific moment in time. Include items of personal significance that have helped shape the road your relationship has taken to reach your wedding. As a bonus, take a polaroid picture of everyone at your service and place it in the capsule. When you dig it up on your anniversary many years down the line, you’ll have tears of joy as you gaze backward at how your story began. 

unity ceremony ideas - time capsule

Unity Canvas Painting

Creating a piece of art together is another wonderful way to go about your unity ceremony. All you need to do is select a small canvas and a few paint colors that you both love. Using a brush, carefully drip the paint over the canvas so the colors run down and merge together. This is a simple and colorful way for you to symbolize the beautiful and sometimes messy directions relationships can take. Whether you paint together in front of your guests or simply showcase the final product as part of your ceremony, there are plenty of interesting ways to go! 

canvas painting - wedding unity ideas

Blanket Unity Ceremony

A blanket unity ceremony is based around the ancient traditions of several Native American tribes. While a beautiful and impactful way to capture your love and devotion, it is important to only include such a ritual in your wedding if it is a part of your own heritage. Taking from a culture that isn’t yours means you may miss the significance of the ritual or execute it incorrectly. If this is a part of your family’s tradition, however, it is a wonderful way to include your ancestor’s on your wedding day. 

unique unity ceremony ideas - blanket

Pass the Rope

Want to bring all of your guests in on the fun with your unity ceremony ideas? Passing the rope is a timeless tradition that can be a ton of fun. Essentially, you take a long rope and wind it through the guests in attendance so that every person is holding a portion of the rope. Once everyone has touched the rope, the bride and groom will tie or braid it together. This helps to show how everyone present plays a big part in strengthening the relationship moving forward. 

pass the rope unity ceremony ideas

Barrel of Whiskey

Some people love to drink at weddings. If you want to include your love of whiskey on your big day, there are some seriously exciting options available to you. This ritual can be involved, but it is worth the effort. To get started, you will need a barrel and two different unaged whiskey options. Using a funnel, pour the whiskeys into the barrel during the ceremony. Seal the barrel and celebrate your union as usual. A few months down the line, you can open the barrel and taste the aged concoction you made together as part of your unity ceremony. 

Barrel of Whiskey

Make A Sandwich

Feeling a little peckish during your wedding day festivities? Making a sandwich during your unity ceremony is a very practical and unique way to go about things. If you’re looking for memorable wedding ceremony ideas, this is one your guests will not soon forget. A sandwich is a great symbol of a relationship, as it takes a bunch of disparate ingredients and brings them together for a synthesized flavor experience. Whether you keep it simple with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or you get more creative with your culinary treat, this is definitely an idea you can sink your teeth into. 

Make A Sandwich

Release a Sky Lantern

Sky lanterns have become quite popular to include in wedding ceremonies. Though most couples will use these beautiful devices at the end of the night, you can feel free to add the lanterns into any part of the ceremony you wish. By adding a lantern to your unity ceremony, you can have the flame of the lantern blessed by those present. Release the sky lantern and watch as all of the hopes and dreams for your future sail beautifully toward the sky. Since fire is involved, you also want to make sure you are diligent about safety. Research any local laws to avoid getting a fine for lighting a fire where you aren’t supposed to. 

wedding unity ideas - release a sky lanterns

Unity Puzzle

In search of some rustic unity ceremony ideas? A puzzle is a fantastic way to go. Romance is all about searching for the missing piece to your own puzzle. Take this to a literal level by making your own puzzle together! Use a photo of the two of you or a message of love that you particularly enjoy. Keep the puzzle simple, as you want to assemble it fast for your guests. A large-piece puzzle is the most sensible fit, as well. Make it big enough that everyone can easily see what you have put together. 

wedding ceremony ideas - unity puzzle

Salt Unity Ceremony

Based on the idea of the sand ceremony, the salt ceremony is an easy way to showcase the love you have for your partner. Swapping out sand for salt, you will be pouring your salt together as a way of symbolizing the joining of your lives. While the finished container of salt can make for a nice piece of decor in your home, you may also wish to simply use the salt to flavor the first meals that you make together as a married couple. Look into the details of the salt covenant to see if this is a ceremony that you should include. 

Salt Unity Ceremony Ideas

Love-Letter Ceremony

Letters of love have been a part of romance for generations. If you want to pursue some simple LGBT unity ceremony ideas, consider writing love letters. The idea is to write down your deepest feelings about your partner and seal them in a letter that will be read at a later date. You can decide to open and read the letters in front of your guests or during a more intimate time when the two of your are alone. 

Love-Letter Ceremony

Each component of your wedding should hold some type of personal significance to you and your partner. By taking time to incorporate some meaningful unity ceremony ideas into the mix, you can have a bigger emotional impact with your ritual. Take time to find the perfect fit for your needs and bring some extra life to your big day.

Related post: 29 Unique Wedding Ceremony Ideas for Your Big Day

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