Photo taken at The Columbia Club
by Summerly Photography
by Summerly Photography
The Unity Ceremony!
A unity ceremony is an element that can be included in your ceremony. It's used to represent your joining in marriage in a physical way. Usually, you join two things together to symbolize the who of you. I think the most popular unity ceremony is the Sand Ceremony followed by the Unity Candle. The most popular in recent years has been the bourbon ceremony - when you combine two flavors of moonshine and wait for it to age. Physical tying a knot is popular too.
These are scripts of the most popular unity ceremonies you are welcome to include in the $250 Formal Ceremony Package. If you would like to create something new, we can definitely do that! That would be part of the $350 Personalized Ceremony Package.
Some couples come up with some really interesting ideas! Keep in mind, you may not want to make a sandwich, paint a canvas or wash each other's feet in the middle of your wedding ceremony. The chances of a dirty dress are pretty high! But, you probably won't be wearing it again either...
Unity Candle Option 1
Name and Name, as you light this candle of unity, you symbolize the flame of your own individual selves joining to ignite the partnership of marriage. You also bring the warmth, strength and wisdom of your family’s fire as kindling for your own. Your flames are separate, yet they feed the same fire. From this day onward, may you bask in the beauty of the light of your love, may its light shine bright and steady upon your path together and may its heat keep you warm through all the days of your lives and beyond.
Unity Candle Option 2
Name and Name, are now going to light their unity candle.
The two separate candles symbolize your separate lives up until today. Your separate families, separate sets of friends, and everything and everyone that has worked together to make each of you who you are as the unique and fabulous individuals that you are! Your mothers are going to come up and light those candles. They are the women who started all, giving birth to you, nurturing and loving you, starting you on the way to this moment. You will then use those two candles to light the center candle.
Mothers come up and light their candles, then the couple lights their candle.
Spoken during the lighting (Can also play music instead)
True love is a sacred flame that burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones and hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart and true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands it neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands the hearts that it entwines.
Sand Ceremony Option 1
This is for just the couple
Today, this relationship is symbolized by pouring these two individual containers of sand. Each container represents all that each of you was, all that you are, and all that you will ever be. The pouring of your containers of sand together symbolizes the joining of your lives. Combining the sand into this special container creates a work of art. May you find that your marriage is also a work of art. The two of you together will continue to become so much more than the sum of your parts.
Sand Ceremony Option 2
This is an option for including younger children
Name and Name, along with their children, will now perform a sand ceremony. Today as mom and dad make their lifelong commitment, they wanted to have a little fun as they celebrate their family and include everyone in this part of the ceremony.
Here, you can see these containers of sand, one for each of them, and this bigger vessel they will each pour their sand into to make one big work of unique art.
Each individual vessel of sand represents each person and all they ever were, all they are today, and all they ever will be. Each of their special, unique, and fabulous personalities! Once the sand has all been poured together, it can never be separated. Just like this family is formally joined together by marriage today, you can never be separated and return to the way you were. You will always be better off being part of the family!
Now, pour your sand.
Sand Ceremony Option 3
For a large family with children of all ages.
Name and Name, today you are making a lifelong commitment to share the rest of your lives together. In the process, you are also joining your individual families together, creating one big, beautiful, blended family.
The gathering of this new family will have an impact on everyone. We wish for your home together to be a happy one. As you realize your individual wants and needs and try to figure out how you can make the whole puzzle work together to create a happy home, we wish you all the love and understanding you need - and a good sense of humor!
Now, we are going to symbolize the creation of your new family with a sand ceremony. It’s a bit of a puzzle itself, with each of you getting your sand into the common container, but it can be a fun experience, and you are allowed to giggle and laugh as you do it!
You each get your own individual containers of sand. They represent each of you, (Can name the children here,) and all that you were before today, all that you are standing here today, and all that you will ever be. Each of you is individual and unique. You are each very special! You all bring your unique specialness to the family, and when you do so, you will find the sum of your parts is greater than you ever imagined! Your coming together as a family is meant to enhance who you are as individuals and make you better - Together! Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into individual containers, so will your family be - together forever.
You may now blend the sand together.
The Hand Ceremony/Handfasting
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
The Box Ceremony
At this time, Name and Name would like to do something to remember this special day. First, they have this box created and personalized just for them. They are going to put memories in the box to keep until their 5th anniversary. The first memory is a bottle of wine. They chose to get married here, in this beautiful vineyard, so it is only fitting they choose a bottle of wine produced here, at Mallow Run Winery. The other things going into the box are these two letters they have written to each other. The letters are about how they feel today about themselves, each other and their hopes for the future as a married couple. On their 5th anniversary, they will open the box, enjoy the wine and read the letters they have written. They will be able to look back and see the love they share today, their wedding day, in its innocence and beauty. Hopefully, as they look back, they will be able to see how they have grown as individuals and how their love and relationship has changed and matured through marriage.
The Cord of Three Strands
Name and Name have decided to perform the ceremony of the Cord of Three Strands. It’s based on the Book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 4, Verse 12 that says “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
The bible reference can be removed to make this a secular unity ceremony instead.
It states that the two of them together are stronger than they are separate and alone. We often use the word synergy to say that the sum is greater than the parts. But what is it that actually makes us greater? What’s that magical ingredient? The ingredient is Love. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It’s a power we can each lend ourselves to and allow to be the place from where we operate. We can love ourselves and act in the world from a place of love. Imagine a world where we all operate from a place of love. No one can speak for the whole world, but today, by performing this ceremony, Name and Name are saying that they will act from a place of love in their marriage. They are saying that the power of love is greater than they are and that it’s a power that can make each of them better people and better together as a married couple. As your marriage changes and grows, there will be times you wonder about the love that binds you. You may not always feel it and think it is gone. At those times, I hope you look at this cord and realize it’s still there.
They have 3 strands here - 3 cords. One stands for each of them, and the third stands for love - the tie that binds. They will now braid them together.
Name and Name have decided to celebrate the unity of becoming a family with their children (Name here) by building a puzzle to symbolize their bond, which will continue to strengthen as the years pass. The puzzle is in the shape of a circle showing no end and no beginning. As each of you places your puzzle piece together, it symbolizes the individuality and strength you bring to make the bond stronger. Because A family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs, the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, the ones who give you unconditional love. The stories of our lives are written on the same page, Memories that will be made and treasured always. It is important to be there for each other, supporting and caring, Helping and understanding, sharing and walking life’s path together, and making the journey more beautiful because you are a family, and Families, Live, Love & Laugh together.
Name and Name are now going to perform a glass ceremony to symbolize their marriage. Here, you can see they have three vessels. Two of them are filled with colored glass. The third is the vessel into which they will pour the glass. Each of their vessels of glass represent who they are as individuals. Who they are today and everything before this day that makes them who they are today. This includes their families, their upbringings, and all of you here today, who by your friendship and kindness have helped make them who they are. Once they pour the glasses together they can never separate the two again. Next, it will be sent to a glassblower who will melt the glass and skillfully blow it into a work of art for Name and Name to cherish for years to come.
Today, Name and Name have chosen to “Tie the Knot” Literally, They will be tying these cords together with what is called a Lover’s Knot to symbolize the two of them coming together as one. The “lover’s knot” is the strongest knot there is. When tied correctly, it doesn’t break, it only become stronger when under pressure. The rope itself will break before the knot comes undone. By performing this ceremony today and intertwining your separate lives into one. The finished knot symbolizes your future, and how your love and marriage will continue to be strong despite any trials life may throw your way.
Jump the Broom
This is an African American tradition and Celtic tradition often incorporated in a handfasting.
As we conclude the ceremony today and pronounce Name and Name married, they are going to jump the broom! They are sweeping away the past and jumping together into their common future!
At this time, I’m going to pass around the wedding rings. We call this a ring warming. We are asking that as you pass them you share your positive vibes, blessings and prayers. When they make their way back to the front Name and Name will exchange them and carry your love with them as they embark on their journey through life together. They are starting out as cold pieces of metal and they will return to them ready to exchange warmed with your love.
Name and Name are now going to perform a Whiskey Ceremony! Whisky starts straight off the still as moonshine. The longer the moonshine sits, the more it matures into a fine bourbon whiskey. Moonshine can be flavored in all sorts or ways. Name and Name each have their own bottle of moonshine that reflects their own personal flavor. They are now going to mix them together in this barrel and let them age. A year or two from now, they can open the barrel and have a drink together. The hope is, just as the whiskey ages, getting better with time, so will their love for one another. The flavors will blend and mellow and go down smooth warming them from the inside out.
Breaking the Glass
It is a Jewish custom to end the wedding ceremony with the breaking of a glass. Some people say that this symbolizes the irrevocable change in the lives of the couple standing before us; others say it represents both the joy and sorrow within a marriage, with a commitment to stand by your partner even through the hard times. And, of course, the breaking of the glass marks the beginning of the celebration.
So please, after Name breaks the glass, I invite everyone to shout the Hebrew words “Mazel Tov,” meaning “Congratulations.”
Name and Name will now plant a tree signifying the joining of their
lives together, the commitment that they have made to one another, and
the strength and nurturing each will provide to the relationship as
they grow and mature together.
(The couple will pour soil into the pot. This can be from their parents back yards to symbolize where they came from. Another option is to water the tree or plant. It's cleaner.)
I like to read this as you pour the dirt or water:
“Thoughts in a Garden”
by R. Gerhardt
Your home is a special place, a place where you have brought beautiful flowers and plants to establish them, to nurture and care for them, that they may forever surround you with the beauty we now see. And into this place where we stand, you have brought something else beautiful -- the relationship that is becoming your marriage. Here you are declaring it and pledging it, promising to establish and nurture it. We are aware of the special beauty between the two of you, just as we are aware of the special beauty of this place. We are with you now in this appropriate place to celebrate your relationship as it is and as it is yet to be, and in doing so, we ask only that you remember how your life together will have the same seasons and needs as your gardens. There will be growth like spring and loss like fall; there will be giving as the blossoming flower, and rest as the seed beneath the snow. All the seasons will be yours, but remember, too, that gardens are not must happenings. The more wonderful the garden, the more skilled the gardener. So you will have to care deeply for your new tree and for the life that is now yours together. Nurture it. Appreciate your differences and cultivate them. You will have to take care of yourself, if for no other reason than out of love for the other. And you will need the support of family and friends to reach full growth. As you caringly chose to plant this tree as a declaration of your marriage, so remember its lessons for your life together through the seasons that are yours to share. And may those seasons bring you and yours joy and happiness.
At this time, Name and Name will assemble the Unity Cross, a beautiful sculpture they will display in their home to remind them of the covenant they are making today.
In Genesis chapter 1, we read that God created man in His own image. That means that He created man bold, strong, to be a leader, to be a protector of his wife and family.
Holding the groom's piece of the Unity Cross, Officiant says:
The outer form of the Unity Cross represents the strength, leadership, and protection of the man. The book of Ephesians reminds husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, totally and completely giving himself for her.
At this time the Officiant hands the piece to the groom and he places his cross onto the base.
Holding the bride's piece of the cross, the officiant says:
The Book of Genesis Chapter 2 Verses 20-23 tells us that the woman was taken from man. The bride's piece of the Unity Cross represents the beauty and the many capabilities of the woman, designed with intricate, beautiful detail and is placed inside the protection of the groom's cross, completing the sculpture and representing the Two Becoming One.
At this time, the officiant hands the bride her piece of the cross and she places it into the center of the man's cross.
To complete this sculpture, representing the couple's covenant, we are placing three pegs to hold it together. These pegs represent the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, showing God's place in this covenant and the security and completeness that only our Heavenly Father can give.
At this time the three pegs will be placed into the Unity Cross, completing the sculpture.
The scriptures tell us that a three-stranded cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Matthew 19: 5-6 says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
** Formal Wedding Ceremony Guide ** Formal Wedding Ceremony Scripts ** Elopement Ceremony Guide ** Elopement Ceremony Scripts ** Parts of a Wedding Ceremony ** Vow Writing Guide ** Unplugged Ceremony ** Opening Prayers ** Welcoming ** Moment of Silence ** Declaration of Support ** About Love and Marriage ** Non-Religious Readings ** Christian Readings ** Secular I-do's! ** Christian I-do-s! ** Ring Meaning ** Ring Blessings ** Secular Ring Exchanges ** Christian Ring Exchanges ** Unity Ceremonies ** Secular Blessings ** Christian Blessings ** The-pronouncement-Secular ** The Pronouncement - Christian **
I am open to marrying any couple. It is my goal to meet each couple where they are and help them to have a positive wedding experience. In order to meet you where you are, I approach every wedding with an open mind - I don’t know anything about you until you tell me and that’s only if you choose to tell me. Wedding ceremony scripts have been written for years for brides and grooms. Now, bride and bride or groom and groom are very common. Some couples are choosing to forego traditional gender roles altogether and are using the terms spouse or partner. If you have made the choice to use non-traditional pronouns, please let me know, and I will be happy to honor your preferences. Any wedding ceremony script can be changed to reflect those personal preferences.