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

By on Apr. 18th
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

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

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.

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?