Top 9 Favorite Traditional and Unique Wedding Unity Ceremony Ideas

Wedding Planning

As a wedding musician and DJ, I’ve had the honor of witnessing hundred and hundreds of weddings in my career. 

What I’ve found is that every wedding is as unique as the couples involved. 

That individuality extends to the popular unity service, a symbolic moment during the wedding day when a couple expresses their commitment to each other and becomes one as a family.  Like the ring exchange or the father-daughter dance, a wedding unity ceremony can be filled with beautiful wedding symbolism. 

If you’ve been to a handful of weddings, you’ve likely seen a few of these ceremonies firsthand. Today, I’ll show you some of my favorites, including some great unity candle alternatives.

My 9 Top Unity Service Ideas

Here are nine of my favorite unity ceremony ideas: 

The Candle Ceremony

The popular candle ceremony is best done indoors where the wind can’t interfere. Often, the moms will come up before the service to light the outer candles, and then the couple will light the center candle during the ceremony. 

Pro tips: Make sure you have a working lighter and pre-light the candles to make it easier for them to burn when the moment arrives.

The Sand Ceremony

Along with the candle service, the sand unity ceremony is among the most popular options for this point of the wedding service. 

During the sand ceremony, couples pour different colored sand into a decorative container.  The mixed sand, of course, represents the couple mixing their entire selves together. 

The Wine Ceremony

This one is relatively simple, which makes it another great unity candle alternative: Share a glass of your favorite wine.  Raise the vino to your new beginning.

The Beer Ceremony

Like the wine ceremony, the beer unity ceremony simply requires you to toast your guests with your favorite brewski.  Of course, you get bonus points if you brew your own for this exact moment !

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Ceremony

This is one of my favorites because it’s a fun, unique unity ceremony idea.  Spread the Jif and the jam on your favorite bread, cut it in half and enjoy.  Make sure you have something to wash it down.

Remember: If you’re feeling nervous, you don’t necessarily need to eat the entire half of the sandwich, especially if you took the half with more peanut butter.

Tying Hands Together As A Top Unity Service Idea

The Handfasting Ceremony

The popular handfasting ceremony allows you to literally tie the knot.  During the handfasting ceremony, the officiant wraps a ribbon or cord around the hands of the couple and gently ties it together while you recite your vows.

The Science Experiment Ceremony

The first time I saw this creative wedding ritual idea, it was with a couple straight out of the Big Bang Theory TV show.  They mixed two different colored chemicals to make a third, different color. I don’t see that every weekend.

The Tree Planting Ceremony

The popular tree planting unity ceremony works best during backyard weddings, especially in the backyard of the couple’s home or at Mom and Dad’s house. 

However, the tree planting unity ceremony can really take place anywhere using a large planter pot.  Be sure to have someone ready to help you clean up the area and your clothes ! 

The Painting Ceremony

The painting ceremony is another great unity service idea that is especially moving when you consider that it often incorporates the entire family.  The couple and their children each pour a different paint hue over a canvas to create a one-of-a-kind piece of “modern art,” à la Jackson Pollock. 

Additional Wedding Planning Assistance

Your unity ceremony is only one of many decisions to make for your wedding day.  If you need additional guidance in picking a song or planning for your wedding, visit our wedding planning resources.  You’ll find a longer list of songs for the mother-son dance, recommendations for other parts of your wedding, and helpful guides for planning your wedding ceremony and your wedding reception.


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