From sand to science: 14 unity ceremonies to symbolize your new partnership

Unity Sandwich- "You may now…take a bite"
Behold… the UNITY SANDWICH! Photo by Patty Michels Photography

Unity candles, unity sand ceremonies, unity salt ceremonies, unity cocktails, and even the UNITY SANDWICH! Rachel and her groom decided that the ever-popular sammich was the ideal metaphor for their marriage.

Unity ceremonies are a great way to symbolize the bringing together of two individuals into one partnership and, at times, the blending of families.

Here are a few of my favorite unity ceremony options — a few you've probably seen before, two will require protective eye-gear, and a couple even involve science!

Unity candle

Our Newly Official FamilyUnity candles can be good for two or a whole family of people! Emily says, "We decided to light a unity candle to symbolize how our lives were going to burn close together from now on."

Salt covenant

Centered Ceramics came up with a salt ceremony. It works just like a sand ceremony, but the salt egg can become a fixture in your kitchen and used daily.

Sand ceremony

Claudia & Eddie's weddingWhen Claudia and Eddie got married, they brought together their children as well. So each family member had a colored sand that represented themselves and they combined them all together.

Your own take on a sand or salt ceremony

Salt and Pepper UnityWhat about taking the same concept of the sand ceremony but adding a personal spin… Celebrant Jessie Blum explained, "I love all things spiced and spicy — my husband is a salt fiend. So we did our own twist on a sand ceremony and poured white peppercorns and black lava salt!"

Bread breaking ceremony

Breaking bread
Photo by Shannon Michele Photography
Nicole and Sean shared a bread breaking ceremony: "The bread was from my favorite local baker, and was sweetened with honey butter I made from local organic honey."

Handfasting

handfastingHandfasting, or tying your hand together to symbolize the joining together in marriage, is very popular on Offbeat Bride.

Water ceremony

Photo by Whitney Lee.
Cat and Andrew came up witha science-based ceremony: "Since Andrew is a Chemist, and a big science nerd. His favorite moment was our special version of a candle lighting/unity ceremony. We each poured a vase what looked like plain water into a large pitcher, causing an instant color change from clear to pink. Magic! (I mean… science!) The audience gasped and applauded, and we were beaming."

Tree planting ceremony

PlantingTribe member Sneff and her husband planted a tree together during their ceremony. Similarly, Mina and Adam planted an Evergreen sapling, as a symbol of their love.

Eternity flowers

Photo by Maggie Winters
We love this flower laying ceremony from Victoria & Jacqueline's wedding. "We loved the idea of incorporating the concept of eternity, and we'd tossed around the idea of a handfasting, but we ended up crafting our own ritual. All the guests came forward, picked flowers out of a vase, and laid them in two conjoined circles around us, making an eternity symbol. We placed this about halfway through the ceremony, so we stood in the circles through the rest."

Unity cocktail

Unity cocktails are an Offbeat Bride favorite. We have an entire tag devoted to the them.

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Wine lock box ceremony

arfrwed14Sarah and Todd did what they called a wine lock box ceremony. "Instead of a unity candle, we did a wine lock box ceremony. We sealed love letters and a bottle of wine into a box. Our officiant was thrilled to use the 'making of wine' as a metaphor for marriage. I LOVED getting to hammer nails in the middle of the ceremony." The photo above is from Flickr member Dirt2Mud's wine box ceremony. She explains, "The bottle was picked specifically as it should age well and be at its peak around our 5th anniversary when we will open the box. We also bought special break-resistant stemware."

Unity painting/art-making

Rose_Aaron_Wedding_214_CGA painting ceremony has been brought up by a few of our brides. From a unity finger painting to Tribe member Zombiefrog Bunny's painting of concentric spirals, creating art together is a good way to honor your passions and your new partnership.

Welding ceremony

csj_488_w600_h900Sarah Joy and Joseph are both pipe fitters so they had a welding ceremony. Warning: only to be attempted by trained professionals!

Unity volcano

The Unity Volcano Eruptus Forth
Photo by Jon Bolden
Kaci and Roy had a unity volcano — you know, that awesome science fair project!

We have SO many more ideas for you — pages and pages of them!

Thanks to all the amazing offbeat brides who brought us all of these ideas, now to the rest of you… what unity ceremonies did I forget about?

  1. Love these ideas! I'm actually really digging either the water magic or the laying of flowers in an eternity circle. :)

    8 agree
  2. Hello! I love love LOVE the idea of Cat and Andrew's science unity experiment (for lack of a better phrase). My fiance Ken is a math teacher and I was a bio major/statistician, and we both love nerdy and fun things. Would anyone know how this magic (science!) happened? I assume some kind of pH indicator, but I would love to snag it for my own ceremony. Thanks!

    16 agree
    • O.o

      We need to do a color-changing water ceremony. This is a thing that needs to happen.

      We'll probably do something with kitchen-available stuff, though–from what I can tell, the example used phenolphthalein, and while really fun to type and say, I don't have the hookup to get it cheap. We'll probably just boil some red cabbage to get purple liquid, and combine our purple liquid with a clear base to get a pretty green-blue liquid. I'm weird, and I sometimes just do this when I'm bored and have some red cabbage lying around.

      11 agree
      • Make the "clear liquid" part of your mixture lemon juice or other acidic-spike. This will turn your cabbage juice a lovely pink. Be sure to experiment with different concentrations of acid before hand to zone in on the exact effect you want.
        Oh, PS – Phenolphthalein will run you about $35 for 100g. Try Fisher Scientific or Restek for suppliers.

        8 agree
    • Okay, really late to this party, but on another indicator note, you can also get clear to blue, but it isn't instantaneous as the clear to pink with phenolphthalein.

      If you mix iodine with vitamin C, it will turn clear. In the other vase, pour liquid laundry starch (you could also mix corn starch and water, but it will be cloudy). When you pour the two together, the mixture will take a few minutes to turn blue.

      Also, I typically find Frey to be the cheapest provider of chemicals & supplies (I am a high school science teacher).

      4 agree
    • Whats a German Bridal Cup? My fiance is German, I'm Australian, and we're getting married in Vietnam. I keep asking him for ideas on German wedding culture…cause I really want there to be a bit of both of us in our ceremony…but he's a bit hopeless, and doesnt really know any!

      0 agree
      • I just read about a German bridal cup the other day! There is a historical "story" that goes with the tradition. You can find it easy enough in a google search. Long story short fair maidens wealthy nobleman father did not approve of her love beau, a simple goldsmith, and imprisoned him. That did not ebb her love though so he set a challenge that he was sure could not be met. If it was then they could be wed. Of couse the challenge was met! The challenge was
        "If your goldsmith can make a chalice from which two people can drink at the same time without spilling one single drop, I will free him and you shall become his bride".
        Inspired by love and with skillful hands, the young goldsmith created a masterpiece. He sculpted a girl with a smile as beautiful as his own true love's. Her skirt was hollowed to serve as a cup. Her raised arms held a bucket that swivels so that it could be filled and then swung towards a second drinker.

        4 agree
    • We're doing this too! We're both Germanists (met in our PhD program) and heritage speakers, and while my other half's family is from Northern Germany, this Southern German tradition is definitely appropriate to my family. We're also sawing a log. :)

      1 agrees
  3. Thank you for posting! It's really nice to see some of the creative ways other couples are approaching this.

    1 agrees
  4. We did an hourglass ceremony. It's a take on the sand ceremony except we have a cooler memento and we will turn it on every anniversary. The idea is that when you put each color of sand in the glass they're inseparable but not entwined. As time continues on the colors become so entwined they are impossible to part. So it's a bit like a salt covenant, too. We liked the idea that it also portrayed the growth within marriage as well, since not a lot of unity ceremonies involve that aspect, but we thought it was important to point out that the best was still to come! I'll scrounge up a picture and see if I can stick it in the flickr pool.

    50 agree
      • Done! I, er, forgot to add a description, but I'm OBT member Wowjunkie and the pic is a ridiculously tall man in a monkey suit and a chick in a white ball gown with blue pearls pouring sand into a wooden hourglass.

        2 agree
          • We got ours from heirloomhourglass.com. We ordered our sand from them as well and I Goodwill'ed the holders. Heirloom hourglass seemed to offer the biggest variety of hourglasses we could find, and more importantly the hourglasses close with caps that are screwed on so we could immediately close it and turn (which was important to us – the first mixing of sand) and most of the others we had found you had to send off to have them recapped. They sell all sorts of different end caps so you could customize. I will warn you they're a bit pricey for my taste but ours is beautiful and it was really important to my husband. Oh, and it's totally possible to make your hourglass an actual hourglass but we decided not to drive ourselves crazy and meter it out.

            5 agree
    • I'm not gonna lie, I got all teary-eyed reading this. I love this idea so much!

      0 agree
    • Omg I'm sorry but I'm stealing it. We did plan on doing just a normal sand ceremony but when I read your post it really touched me. (Plus my fiance has a fascination of watches, and the first little gift he gave me was a bottle of red sand because I said I wanted to go to death valley in Nevada) Then when I found a site with the actual reading I started crying as I read it. I love it, and thank you so much for posting it, because now I feel like we have a ceremony that fits when nothing else was.

      2 agree
    • This is amazing. And brilliant. Thank you for this idea!

      0 agree
    • We will definitely be using this! I've been trying to come up with a good unity ceremony that doesn't involve a candle or alcohol and this is PERFECT. My fiance is black, I'm white, and a lot of our wedding has a theme of the blending of our families and our cultures. The visual representation of the blending is perfect for us. :)

      3 agree
  5. there is a middle-eastern honey sharing ritual

    2 agree
    • I read the honey one, where they each place honey on each others lips, but I at one time read a "honey and Water" ceremony and the saying something like, let the sweetness of this drink erase the bitterness of your pass etc HELP, I lost the information

      0 agree
  6. I've been toying with the idea of some type of unity ceremony for months but I can't decide what would work best for us and wouldn't be too over the top in our short, simple ceremony (we're already exchanging rings and having a reading on top of vows). They're all cool and fun, which makes picking the right one hard!

    I like the idea of combining spices, we both like cooking and spicy food but it's not very visually interesting. Or maybe cocktails. We could combine Bailey's and Tia Maria which looks pretty and no one would know but my ex-local bar called it a 'BJ'. :D

    1 agrees
  7. I totally thought the "Bread Breaking Ceremony" said "Breaking Bad Ceremony". I was all like "wuuuuut! Do they make meth!?" Then I re-read it and it sounds NOMMY.

    17 agree
    • hahaha!! breaking bad… id love to see someone do that. just too funny. im so glad you posted what you thought it said. thank you

      2 agree
  8. I don't know if this is technically a unity ceremony – but my fiance and I are planning on exchanging love letters that will go in a small bird cage that we'll either open if we come to a point in our marriage where we need to remind each other why we got married, or on our 5th anniversary. (Which ever comes first and hopefully the latter!)

    5 agree
  9. the Lakota have a special jug to drink from as part of their weddings – you can get them hand painted to suit you

    3 agree
  10. My beau and I are big tea-drinkers, so we're going to have a tea ceremony. We'll mix two types of tea and letting it steep while we read our vows. Then we'll pour a cup for each other.

    15 agree
  11. I've seen a painting ceremony where the bride had red and the groom blue. They each painted a side of the canvas, then poured the paints together and painted the center purple. Oh, and the groom tied an apron on his bride before painting to protect her dress — very cute.

    6 agree
  12. In the Hebrew Bible people would exchange shoes to symbolize a covenant . . . I could see that being really neat for a same gender couple as a way to twist a really ancient Judeo-Christian tradition. It could work for a couple of different gender expressions too, but there are more complications! Not to mention, the issue of shoe size!

    3 agree
  13. Usually I find unity ceremonies kind of saccharine and over used. We get it, you're turning two into one that's the whole point of marriage, way to figure it out. That said, I can totally get behind the magic "water" and volcano ceremonies. Not to mention the science flavor is perfect for humanist/atheist ceremonies. Hate to say it, but I might have to jack one of those ideas.

    8 agree
  14. For my husband and I, offbeat Christians, in our faith tradition, communion is the ultimate unity ceremony – as it means union both with God and with our fellow participants. At our wedding, there was communion for the whole congregation, and our first act as a married couple was to bring the bread and wine forward, to serve our community. I loved taking part in the ceremony, because it reminded me that my marriage is a part of a larger community, and those people took part in the wedding and pledged to support us in our marriage.

    Bringing the bread and wine forward – http://carissabyers.com/p971514465/h356eee2e#h356eee2e

    13 agree
    • I LOVE this! I've always known we'd have communion during our ceremony, but I never thought of serving it to our guests as well. What a beautiful picture of Christ. That I'm now stealing ;)

      5 agree
      • What a good idea to cement the idea of service to the community. I love this.

        2 agree
    • See this is why I'm sometimes jealous of religious couples. So many beautiful, meaningful ceremonies already built in.

      6 agree
      • Yeah, I'm struggling to find how to fill a secular ceremony with things that are meaningful to us. In the Tribe, there's a secular group with lots of ideas how to make a beautiful non-religious ceremony.

        1 agrees
  15. We had a "rose ceremony." It's pretty similar to the sand ceremony, but using a vase of flowers (roses). Two were already in the vase (us), and four others were on the table the vase was on. Each of our four parents came up and took one from the table, with my parents giving theirs to my husband and his parents to me, then us placing the roses into the vase. It was meant to symbolize not just us starting our own family, but of each of us being welcomed into our existing families.

    3 agree
  16. I went to a wedding where the bride and groom soldered together two halves of a copper wire heart, which they later attached to a wooden plaque to hang on their wall. It was adorable, and perfect given the groom has been tinkering around and building electrical stuff since he was a kid.

    4 agree
    • I love this idea! This would be super cute for us

      0 agree
  17. We're doing a punch ceremony where each of the moms and each of us will have an ingredient to mix together which will make punch that will then be sipped by each of us out of the same goblet during the ceremony and the remainder served at dinner. It will also be our go-to recipe for punch after that. :)

    3 agree
  18. So we are in the process of making a Spin Art Ceremony in which we make a badass spin-art painting. Each of us will use one color and then the paint will spin joyously together like our love. Also, we are both little kids at heart so this is perfect for us.

    10 agree
  19. We kind of did the Wine Lock Box Ceremony just minus the wine. Neither of us are big drinkers so the wine part didn't make sense for us. Instead we filled it with mix CDs, copies of toasts that people were going to do at the reception, and then each year on our anniversary we're going to put some pictures in of what we've done in the past year. We've decided not to read the letters until our 15th anniversary.

    9 agree
  20. We're both huge beer snobs, so we're having a "beer making" ceremony, where all our attendants (i.e. closest, dearest friends) will contribute handfuls of grains into a giant bowl, then my fella and I will add the last handfuls, stir them all up, and (later) brew a beer from what has been collected to share with all our friends. We're planning on composing something profound about fermentation and maturation being parallels to the growth of our love to be read while people are mixing.

    11 agree
    • I love this idea! You can have all kinds of symbolism for the hops, the malt, and the grain. Great metaphor for life and partnership!!

      0 agree
  21. Hi guys, well we're christian and we found the unity cross ceremony appealed to both of us. The site defines the different parts as being female and male but I disagreed so I think our pastor is going to make it more about us. Its pretty and we're excited to have it be a part of our decor in our home.
    But I gotta say the hour glass thing is AWESOME.

    4 agree
    • Sheri, I had never heard of the unity cross ceremony until reading your post. After researching it, it's perfect! (Plus, I think my parents – who are a little sad that we aren't getting married in church – will be a fan). Thanks.

      1 agrees
  22. We're doing a version of the wine box ceremony (I've seen it called the anniversary box, so that's what we're calling it). I love the science experiments though! So tempting, but I think we have enough meaning and enough length to our ceremony as is.

    0 agree
  23. I love some of these ideas, y'all are so amazingly creative!
    The Dude and I are in talks of mixing some of these together into a cool, nerdy unity ceremony. We were thinking of each making a "cocktail" of what makes us individuals and combining them into a mason jar that we'd seal and keep on display in our home. For example, mine would be made of little buttons and beads, bits of thread, some spices and tea leaves. His would be tiny broken microchips, cut-up Magic the Gathering cards, coiled bits of wires and guitar picks. I'm wondering if this would be really symbolic of our vastly different lives coming together as they have in the past (by then) 10 years, or if it would be something dumb that we'd just end up tossing out with other junk.

    5 agree
  24. We are planning a Ring Warming ceremony. The rings will be circulated through all of our seated guests starting with my sister (my mother has passed on) and ending with Mr. D's step-mom.

    It gives an opportunity for everyone to infuse our rings with their prayers, good wishes and positive energy before we say our vows and exchange rings. We sooo appreciate the support of our loved ones!

    We are having an intimate wedding of 80 guests max – not sure if this would work for a large wedding.

    5 agree
  25. We also did a tree planting for unity! We held our wedding at our home so it was easy to just plant the tree where we wanted it to live. (I don't know how to embed a picture, can someone tell me how?)

    0 agree
  26. I know I'm spilling the beans, but what the heck. Mi amor and I are actually doing a color blending mini-ceremony. We'll come in wearing accessories in separate colors (him green tie, me blue gloves). After we exchange vows (but before the kiss), we'll swap out our accessories for blue-green items to show that we are united in spirit but will always maintain our own identities since within the right shade of blue-green you can see each color separately.

    6 agree
  27. Love the hour glass idea! We're doing a version of the Hindu seven blessings for our vows, where the couple takes seven steps around a sacred fire and a blessing is read for each step. The wording will have to be changed a little as it's very "the man will provide and the woman will care for the home." One of the blessings is for many healthy children, and we're not crazy about having kids so we'll probably change that one too. My hubby-to-be also wants to do some type of candle ceremony so we'll incorporate that in with the fire I think.

    2 agree
  28. I've always loved the handfasting ceremonies, but also like the idea of the love letter/wine box as something to have years later… would it be weird/too much to have TWO unity ceremonies? or could one be incorporated somewhere else in the proceedings?…

    0 agree
    • I'm thinking about doing a handfasting using multiple wide ribbons – one from each guest – and giving the guests an opportunity to write messages on their ribbon, and maybe weave them all together. This obviously only works for a small group of guests, but the idea is that they have all contributed to who we are, and we're making a commitment to them as well as to each other, and counting on them to support our relationship. Also, we'll have the ribbons to keep – maybe hang something on the ends to make a windchime?

      0 agree
    • we're having two! but not both during the ceremony. we're doing the sand during the ceremony, but then also the wine box. BUT! there's a twist!

      each table will have a bottle of wine on it and some gold/silver markers that they can use to write messages on the bottle with, like a guest book. there'll be a little station set up where guests can put the bottle in a numbered box (the same number as their table number), seal it up, and we'll open the box on the corresponding anniversary (so we'll drink table 5's on our fifth anniversary, etc.) our table numbers don't go from 1 -10 though, they're just random numbers that have a special meaning for us (e.g. '16' the day in march we met, '29' the street number of our first home together).

      You only have this day once so may as well do it however you want!!

      6 agree
  29. I'm super late to the party on this post, but I just came across it in the archives. My fiance and I are putting our own spin on the sand ceremony. I'm a geologist, so buying some run-of-the-mill random, colored sand won't do…we're going to get some sand from two states that hold a lot of significance for us — Virginia (because I lived there while we did long distance for 2+ years) and Arizona (where we took our first REAL vacation together). The thought of combining two very different types of sand from two very different geologic areas of the country excites me like you wouldn't believe. :)

    11 agree
    • Amazing! We're both geologists but from hardrock regions in Scotland. There will be some rock-ness in there somewhere but for unity ceremony we'll propably use a quaich, and share a dram.

      Quaichs or friendship cups are used as symbol of trust and friendship. the bride and groom hold the cup while the other drinks. It can then be used toast the couple, with each person making a toast before having a drink before passing it on. I love the idea that this can bring non family members into the centre of the ceremony :)

      heres some more backstory: http://kiltmakers.co.uk/scottish-drinking-cup

      0 agree
  30. Oh man. I wish we would have thought of the bread breaking ceremony. We were stumped, so we didn't do anything. Scott would have been so excited! Bread is his favorite.

    0 agree
  31. We had a unity campfire! We met at a summer camp and had the wedding there, and deciding that was the only thing that really fit us. I even had a ceremonial apron to make sure my dress didn't get dirty while we lit the fire.

    2 agree
  32. cool idea withe that volcano :) nice tips indeed..congratulations

    0 agree
  33. Love the eternity flower idea – very sweet and simple. We had a take on a handfasting as well as a tasting ceremony.
    The tasting ceremony (I think an African custom…starts with Y..?) was essentially feeding each other or tasting 4 ingredients which represent married life/ relationship. We had these items ready on a platter in little bowls with spoons. also a jug of water and 2 glasses. Vinegar for the sour times, Lemon for the bitter times, Cayenne pepper for the hot /passion times and Honey for the Sweet times. Great photo opportunties and it was fun. Physical reminder of vows. No-one will ever forget the cayenne pepper!!! lol

    6 agree
  34. We are having our ceremony outdoors in my dads backyard, and there is a firepit next to where we will be at. We decided that we are going to use two marshmallow roasting sticks together to roast a marshmallow and have a unity smore. Dorky but delicious.

    10 agree
  35. Our twist on both the unity cocktail and the tasting ceremony was to do ritual hot chocolate; each ingredient (cream, chocolate, sugar, spices) had a symbolic meaning, we assembled it together as part of our vows, and then we drank it together. Delicious and very meaningful, and now we have an anniversary tradition!

    5 agree
  36. My fiance and I are getting married on Jan 18th and we're thinking we're going to do something similar with the Unity Sand, but we're using marbles! lol I'm such a klutz and we figured if somehow I break the vase marbles are easier to clean up then sand

    3 agree
  37. We're going to do an hourglass sand ceremony, with the officiant also pouring sand to symbolize God (as we are Christian). When we have kids an the become old enough to understand, we want them to be able to add their own sand to it too :) in this way, it will symbolize our family becoming closer to God and each other over time.

    2 agree
    • What a cool idea!! We're doing a Ring Warming but I secretly want a Unity Volcano!!

      0 agree
  38. these are all very cool ideas we are going to be renewing our vowels next july and i want to do something like this when we do it i really like the sand idea thank you for sharing

    0 agree
  39. I love the idea of the scientific water ceremony. Can you tell me what the two chemicals are?

    1 agrees
    • Phenolphthalein is a pH tester, it turns purpleish pink when a base is present– FH and I are using this one (after we tried luminol and bleach to make a glowing reaction, it's too fast though…it's just a flash of light)and anything basic would work as your other "water" or clear liquid– ammonia is what we're using. You can order it online– we got ours from United Nuclear for just a few dollars.

      1 agrees
      • My FH and I are going to do to this ceremony with the phenolphthalein and pH 10 in water. I work in the pharma industry and this is perfect to "wow" our guests. I am struggling with wording for the ceremony though. Does anyone have any suggestions on what our officiant should say?

        0 agree
  40. My fiance and I are both chefs. We met in culinary school, so we're doing some kind of unity ingredient. We still haven't decided which to use… salt and pepper, cinnamon and sugar… there are SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM!!!

    0 agree
  41. We are both huge horror movie buffs… especially zombie movies… And we are having a horror movie sort of theme to the wedding.
    So we are going to slay a zombie together. Paper mache zombie head. Stuffed with red confetti… hopefully his head will pop just right when we hit him so the confettie blows everywhere!
    I really like the colored water thing tho, that is pretty cool… I am just not patient enough to figure out how to do it! :D

    2 agree
  42. We are making a sand globe with our guests. We will pass around an empty globe on a tray with a bowl of sand and a bowl of shells. Each person will be asked to add a scoop of sand and a shell into the sand globe as they make a wish for us. We will each add the final sand and shells. Then it will be sealed up later (after wedding) and we will have a beautiful sand globe of wedding wishes for our home. My wedding favors are small (4") sand globes I made. This idea only works for a small wedding but is perfect for my destination wedding in Costa Rica with about 30 guests.

    2 agree
  43. I almost hate to share, because it's so special to me and I don't want it to become super popular (did I mention I'm a closet hipster? lol), but in the spirit of OBB…

    My intended and I are planning to do a unity-wax-sealing. For my 16th birthday, I got a wax sealing kit (for sealing envelopes with your personal "crest", you know?), and every letter I ever wrote to my man was sealed with wax and my stamp. In our courtship, the Celtic eternity knot has come to mean a lot to us. How does this all combine?

    During the ceremony, we will have a very cool looking piece of paper with our vows printed on it in a very cool font, and we will mingle two colors of wax at the bottom of the page, sealing it with a Celtic eternity knot stamp. Then we can frame it and hang it in our future home as a reminder. (I can't wait for the hypothetical kiddos to ask about it!)

    5 agree
  44. my husband and i did our own take on the sand ceremony, using soil from our hometowns.

    1 agrees
  45. My dude and I are planning on doing a whiskey ceremony. I found a 1-liter white oak barrel (Amazon, $45). Dude and I will both have 1/2 liter bottles of unaged whiskey that we'll pour into the barrel to be drunk on our first anniversary. Because awesome.

    3 agree
  46. Thank you! We are going to do the chemistry unity ceremony — what a great idea! :)

    0 agree
  47. I love the hometown soil idea, especially as his is a vibrant red clay. It may be a bad idea in the end for us as we'd have to smuggle his Aussie or my American soil into the other country without Customs confiscating it. :O

    0 agree
  48. My husband and I (both Christians) did a feet washing ceremony, and used pitchers of water presented to us from each set of parents. I loved the symbolism of serving each other.

    1 agrees
  49. I love so many of these ideas! I'm not fond of a unity candle since I've seen it go poorly in the past. Long story short, it wouldn't light (probably a drafty room), but then the marriage ended shortly there after. I'm not usually superstitious, but it has made me hesitant to do one at my own wedding. I love the water pouring, salt, hand binding, and tree planting ceremonies! It's so good to know that I don't have to do a candle or sand if I want to do a unity ceremony!

    1 agrees
  50. Husband and I literally tied the knot. He's a sailor so we picked up two pieces of rope and tied them together. We now have our knot in a shadow box with our vows behind it.

    0 agree
  51. We did a Uni-tea Ceremony. One pot had one flavor tea, which my dad drank from. Another pot had a different flavor, which husband's mom and dad drank from. They poured the rest of the tea into a third pot, which husband and I drank from.
    We liked the symbolism of taking into ourselves part of our families, a sort of blending of the two lines.

    1 agrees
  52. It didn't quite go according to plan, but I still love our "unity candle"… we chopped a zombie head together :)

    0 agree
  53. Hi guys! The fiance and I are big history/political buffs, and wedding will be americana themed. Any idea on how we can incorporate that? Maybe write the vows on old-timey paper and wax seal initals as stated above? We also lovel traveling together and crossword/brain puzzles. Thanks in advance!

    0 agree
  54. My groom and I are going to be doing a Unity in Glass ceremony and I'm so excited about it! We purchased glass crystals in our wedding colors which we'll pour together as you would in a normal sand ceremony. After the wedding, we'll send the glass crystals back to the glass artist and he will make it into this really cool sculpture! If you haven't heard of it yet, definitely check it out! http://www.unityinglass.com/

    1 agrees
  55. Oh my gosh! Someone else thought of this too??? We are totally doing a unity volcano- just like the people in the picture! We have lab coats and safety glasses. The lab coat should help not getting anything on my dress :-)

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  56. Wow, I love all of these ideas!! I just might do some of them at my up coming weddings !

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  57. We are using the "Virgin White" liquor from the Six and Twenty Distillery (whose own story is based on a local love story from when this area was only trading posts and British colonial stakes) and putting it into a tiny cask to age for six months and then transferring it to a bottle to be sealed until our 25th!

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  58. My fiancé loves to fish, so we're going to be tying a fisherman's knot. The symbolism is that this is the strongest knot and the more you pull on it the tighter it gets, symbolizing that any relationship struggles will only make your union stronger. We plan on then displaying the knot in our bedroom as a reminder that we can make it through anything.

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