Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wedding Traditions: Unity Candle Ceremony

The unity candle has become a popular part of many modern American weddings. Although the fact that the origin of this ceremony is unknown, the ceremony became quite popular lately. The bride and groom take part in the candle lighting to celebrate their union.

two taper candles with a large pillar candle


No one knows for sure when the unity candle was first used in a wedding ceremony. The origin of the unity candle is unclear although some have suggested that it is at least thirty to forty years old. Although others say there may be some evidence to suggest it goes back to at least the 1930s if not earlier.

Unity candle tradition at the weddings


As a rule in the ceremony participate the mothers of the bride and groom. At the beginning the mothers light two tapered candles and then pass them to the bride and groom so that they could use them at the rest of the ceremony. Besides, the children of the couple along with the close friends and family members sometimes participate in the ceremony.

mother of the bride and groom lighting the unity candle

Ceremony scheduling

The candle lighting ceremony is usually held once the bride and groom exchange their wedding vows. It should take place indoors in order to protect the fire from the wind and other weather conditions.


The master of ceremony the one who should explain the symbolism of the unity candle ceremony to those guests that are unfamiliar with it. This ceremony should be mentioned at the printed wedding programs.

bride and groom lighting the unity candle before the priest

Responsibilities of the bride and groom

Each the bride and groom receive the tapered candles. At the same time the couple lights the unity pillar candle as a symbol or their connection in marriage. Some couples go for the decorated candles with the bride's and groom's names written on them. As the ceremony ends, the tapered candles could be either blown out or remain burning. Tapers should be put in the candelabras.

Unity Candles Today

Many couples still continue to use unity candles to show their love for one another and their union as one. In the case of blended families may choose to include their children in the ceremony. Additionally, there are many other types of unity ceremonies including: sand, oil, water, rose exchanges, salt, circling of the altar, jumping the broom and more. You do not need to have a unity candle to celebrate your union, as couples are electing to become more unique in their style of marriage.

unity sand ceremony

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