Most of us have either seen or heard of the unity candle ceremony that is conducted in church weddings, in which both the bride and the groom light individual candles, and then, light another big candle together, to symbolize their union in matrimony. This ritual has been a part of weddings for a very long time. Young couples who are planning to get married, are often want some variations in this ceremony, to make it more interesting and appealing.
Unity Candle...With a Difference
This ritual can be made more enjoyable, if the guests are also included in it. A lit candle can be given to the oldest relative of either the bride or the groom. All the other guests are given unlit candles. The flame is then passed on from this relative to the guest sitting next to him and so on, till everybody's candles are lit. Afterward, the bride and the groom also light their unity candle. This is one of the most wonderful ideas, wherein candle lighting by the guests represents their acceptance, approval, and blessings for the couple's union.
Ever wondered where the term "tying the knot" originated from? It came from the age-old Irish tradition of tying the hands of the bride and the groom with handfasting ribbons, representing their union as husband and wife. To conduct this ceremony, the officiant asks the bride and groom to hold hands, and he ties a ribbon around their wrists to "Join" them forever.
Garland and Circling Ceremony
It is derived from the Indian Hindu weddings. In this ritual, the bride puts a garland, known as "Varmala" in Hindi, around the neck of the groom during marriage, which the groom accepts by putting a garland around the bride's neck. After this, both of them proceed to circle the altar three times. This action signifies an unbroken bond and commitment to each other.
Unity Sand Ceremony
Some say that the origin of this ritual can be traced back to the native Americans, while others say that it is the Hawaiians who started including it in their weddings. For this ceremony, both the bride and the groom have their individual containers, in which sands of two different colors are placed. The couple start pouring their individual sands into one large container. This blending of different sand colors symbolizes the couple's union. A simple variation in this ceremony can be done, if the bride and the groom leave a little amount of sand in their individual containers, signifying that though they are married, they are complete as individuals.
Unique and distinctive ideas like the ones mentioned above, provide the young couples, the flexibility to personalize their weddings according to their lifestyles and beliefs. In addition, a differently conducted ceremony will remain etched in the guest's, as well as the couple's mind for a very long time, creating memories that can last forever.