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Unity Traditions


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#1 CourtneyV

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    Posted 04 April 2007 - 09:15 PM

    Hey guys, I just found this really handy article since this has been coming up in a few threads...

    enjoy!



    Meaningful Unity Traditions to Include in Your Wedding Ceremony
    Looking to include a unity candle ceremony or similar tradition in your wedding? Gaining in popularity, some of these are recent innovations, while others are cultural traditions that go back hundreds and hundreds of years.

    The Unity Candle: one of the most common ceremonies. The bride and groom each take a lit candle and simultaneously light a third larger "unity candle." They may blow out their individual lights, or leave them lit, symbolizing that they have not lost their individuality in their unity. Stores are now selling elaborate unity candle setups, including a candleabra that holds the central unity candle higher than the others. You may also have your unity candle personalized with your names and the date, allowing it to be a keepsake from your wedding.

    Variations: All guests are given a candle, and the first guest's is lit. Guests pass the flame until all are lit, and then the bride and groom together light their unity candle. This variation typically includes a proclamation that this ceremony represents the unity of friends and family supporting the couple in their marriage.

    Rose Ceremony: A simple unity ceremony where the bride and groom exchange roses. Other variations: the families exchange roses, the bride and groom exchange roses with their families, the bride and groom exchange roses, then present their mothers with the roses.

    Wine Ceremony: The bride and groom each take a carafe of wine and pour it into a single glass, which they both drink from.

    Water Ceremony: The couple each pour a different colored water into a single glass, creating a third color.

    Sand Ceremony: similar to the water ceremony, the bride and groom both pour different colored sand into a glass.

    Salt Ceremony: Indian weddings often include a salt ceremony, where the bride passes a handful of salt to her groom without spilling any. He then passes it back to her and the exchange is repeated three times. She then performs the salt exchange with all the members of the groom's family, symbolizing her blending in with her new family.

    Breaking Bread Ceremony: The bride and groom tear off pieces of bread, and then each eat a piece. Sometimes the bread is also shared with family and friends. It symbolizes their future as a family together.

    Garland Ceremony or Lei Ceremony: The bride and groom exchange garlands of flowers. This is a common part of Indian weddings, where the ceremony is called varmala or jaimala, and represents a proposal by the bride and acceptance by the groom. It also represents their new unity, blessed by nature. In Hawaian weddings, the bride and groom typically exchange leis. The families may also exchange leis with the couple. Leis represent the love and respect you have for the person you are giving it to, and the unity of the new family.

    Circling: In Eastern European ceremonies, the bride and groom circle the altar three times, which are their first steps together as husband and wife. In Hindu ceremonies, couples circle the fire seven times, sealing their bond. The unbroken circle represents the unbroken committment to each other.

    Broom Jumping: An African-American tradition that has its roots in slavery times when slaves couldn't marry. Typically the family places the broom on the ground, and the bride and groom jump over it together. The broom can then decorate a place of honor in their home.

    Lasso Ceremony: Lasso or rope is placed around the bride and groom's shoulders, usually by the officiant. Sometimes rosary beads, or orange flowers are used instead of rope. It can also be placed around the couple's necks, or wrists.

    Update: Reader Molly Scannell wrote in to tell us about two Unity ceremonies that she is using in her upcoming wedding. While these aren't "Unity Ceremonies" in the sense of combining two families, they do emphasize the unity of the couple.

    The first is a Celtic Oathing Stone. Molly writes "The couple holds or puts their hands on a stone during their vows to "set them in stone" (I also believe this is where this phrase comes from, or so the rumor goes)."

    Molly is also planning to use is a Truce Bell. A bell is rung on the wedding day, the happiest day of the couple's lives and then is placed in a central location in the home. If the couple starts to argue, one of them can ring the truce bell, reminding them both of that happiness and hopefully ending the disagreement quickly.

    By Nina Callaway

    Happily Married since May 9, 2008
    Proud Mama to Evelyn Eileen since June 8, 2010

    #2 *JillD*

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      Posted 04 April 2007 - 09:41 PM

      Thanks Courtney, that is really helpful! I like the idea of the truce bell, I think thats really cute and it would be nice to have that little reminder for those not so fun times.

      on a side note, and no offense to anyone, but can you see one of us doing the broom ceremony, jumping over the broom, tripping over our dress, and ending up upside down in the sand, too funny!

      #3 CourtneyV

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        Posted 04 April 2007 - 09:57 PM

        I like the water ceremony too... but I could see myself spilling the colour-dyed water on my white dress!! Yikes!

        Which also means, yes I'd trip on the broom too!!!
        Happily Married since May 9, 2008
        Proud Mama to Evelyn Eileen since June 8, 2010

        #4 Christine

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        Posted 04 April 2007 - 10:53 PM

        thanks those were interesting
        Christine + Will (married 7/20/07) + Ainsleigh (born 6/25/08) + Nolan (born 11/9/10) + Delaney (born 12/31/13) = One Very Happy Family!

        #5 LCBride2007

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          Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:10 AM

          we could post all of the examples of each ceremony on here too - good idea! i know a couple people have posted their wording in various places - it would be great to have them in one spot!

          #6 ~Melissa~

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          Posted 05 April 2007 - 11:36 AM

          that must have taken you a while courtney! great find!!!

          #7 LadyP

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            Posted 05 April 2007 - 06:39 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by jilly76
            Thanks Courtney, that is really helpful! I like the idea of the truce bell, I think thats really cute and it would be nice to have that little reminder for those not so fun times.

            on a side note, and no offense to anyone, but can you see one of us doing the broom ceremony, jumping over the broom, tripping over our dress, and ending up upside down in the sand, too funny!
            The broom ceremony is not as hard as it seems. You place the broom on the ground and skip not jump like the pole jump.. Yes I could see me falling over the broom so wish me luck. It will be a part of my ceremony

            #8 *JillD*

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              Posted 06 April 2007 - 04:24 PM

              good luck, no falling down, lol!! make sure we get to see pictures of this! I'm so scared of tripping over my dress, just walking, I'm not very graceful!




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