3 Most Popular Unity Ceremony Ideas

Well, we’ve gotta say, our Ask Emmaline inbox is blowing up! We love reading your wedding questions… like this one that comes from bride-to-be, Megan. She writes, “We want to do a unity ceremony at our wedding. Is there more than one type?” Fantastic question! Today we’ll show you three of the most popular unity ceremony ideas and tell you how they work. Let’s begin, shall we?

Unity Ceremony Ideas

The three most popular unity ceremony ideas are the sand ceremony, the unity candle, and the wine ceremony. Each of these unity ceremony ideas are used to show a couple’s partnership and is usually performed after the vows have been read.

1. Sand Ceremony

For a sand ceremony, you’ll need three containers (two the same size, one larger) and sand. At the ceremony, two containers are filled with sand; the larger container in the middle is empty. The bride and groom then pour their containers of sand into the center container to mix the two together as a sign of their unity. This is an especially fitting idea for beach weddings.

Sand Unity Ceremony (photo: michelle gardella) - Unity Ceremony Ideas

photo: michelle gardella | see the real wedding

Here’s an example of a sand ceremony set:

Sand Unity Ceremony Set - Unity Ceremony Ideas


2. Unity Candle Ceremony

The unity candle ceremony is the most traditional of the three. It uses two taper candles with a large pillar candle (called the “unity candle”) placed in the center. The taper candles are lit and the bride and groom use them to light the unity candle together as a sign of their unity.

Unity Candle Ceremony (photo: liv hefner photography) - Unity Ceremony Ideas

photo: liv hefner photography | see the real wedding

Here’s a unity candle set that’s personalized (we love!):

Personalized unity candle set (by Susabella) - Unity Ceremony Ideas width=


3. Wine Ceremony

There are two ways you can do a wine ceremony. One example is to have a wine box ceremony, where you place a bottle of wine inside a personalized wood box along with two (pre-written) letters, one from the bride and one from the groom. Together, you nail the box shut and open on your first anniversary.

Wine Ceremony (photo: meghan christine) - Unity Ceremony Ideas

photo: meghan christine | see the real wedding

Look for a personalized wine box, like this one:

Wine Ceremony Box (by PNZ Designs, photo by I {Heart} Photos, bouquet by Curious Floral)

box: pnz designs, bouquet: curious floral, photo: i {heart} photos

Another type of wine ceremony involves actual pouring of wine. You’ll need two wine glasses filled with wine and a decanter. Together, pour the wine into the decanter and then into your wine glasses and sip.

Wine - Unity Ceremony Ideas (photo: sarah lyn)

photo: sarah lyn photography via floridian weddings

You can find a personalized set like this:

Wine Ceremony Set by Scissormill- Unity Ceremony Ideas


Which of these unity ceremony ideas is your favorite?

Are you doing a unity ceremony at your wedding? Tell us with a comment below! We’d love to hear about your wedding, whether you’re picking a traditional unity ceremony, non-traditional, or skipping it altogether.

P.S. Do you have a wedding advice question? Just Ask Emmaline! It’s free… and your question may appear in an upcoming post!


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