How to Plant a Tree Instead of Unity Candles for Outdoor Weddings

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Unity candles symbolize the couple and their families uniting. Though it's a meaningful ceremony, it's not always ideal for an outdoor wedding due to the wind blowing the candles out. Plant a tree together instead of a unity candle ceremony as an alternative if you want an eco-friendly wedding or want something you can nurture along with your marriage. After the wedding, plant the tree somewhere meaningful to you, such as your first home together, a park where you plan to picnic and eventually take your children or your parent's home for safe-keeping.

Things You'll Need

  • Decorated pot
  • Tree or sapling
  • Decorated garden shovel
  • Wet towelettes or handkerchiefs
  • 2 Watering cans
  • Decorate a pot large enough to hold your tree or sapling. Use your wedding colors and theme as inspiration, or keep it simple by painting your initials and wedding date on the pot and tying a ribbon around it. Decorate one or two garden shovels the same way.

  • Plant the tree or sapling in the pot prior to the wedding unless your wedding ceremony is at the location you want the tree planted at. Pre-planting it will also keep you from getting filthy in your wedding dress.

  • Ask your officiant, parents or another important person to read a poem, story or scripture that pertains to trees and how they relate to marriage. For example, tell the story of the "USS Constitution" being made from oak and donning the nickname "Old Ironsides" due to her resiliency. Marriage must be resilient and strong to withstand the tides of time and trials of daily life, much like a battle ship.

    Alternatively, focus on the nourishment, sun, water and love the tree must receive, much like marriage needs nourishment, nurturing, love and commitment.

  • Use the decorated garden shovels to add soil to the potted tree. Alternatively, pick up a handful of dirt and place it in the pot. Involve your parents, children or guests by allowing everyone to add soil if you want to include everyone. Use soil from significant places, such as your childhood homes, the park where he proposed or where you met if you want the tree to have more meaning. Have wet towelettes or handkerchiefs to wipe your hands.

  • Water the tree together with watering cans already full and placed nearby to show that you will work together to nurture your marriage.

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  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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