Unity Candle Alternatives


Lighting a unity candle during a wedding ceremony symbolically brings two families together. However, for some weddings, a unity candle just doesn't work. Those having an outdoor wedding risk the unity candle going out with a strong gust of wind. But there are alternate ideas to create this symbolism without using a unity candle.


  • Use flowers as an alternative to the unity candle. There are several variations for this union available. Place bouquets of flowers in separate vases to be carried down the aisle by the two mothers. During the ceremony, the bride and groom pluck one flower from each bouquet and then place them together in a smaller vase. Another version is for the bride and groom to exchange a single flower as their first married gift to each other. Flowers as a symbol of unity also are appropriate for outdoor or garden weddings.

Knot Ceremony

  • Perform a knot ceremony. The bride and groom is presented with a cord or ribbon given by their families. The couple ties the two pieces of cord into a lover's knot, signaling their unity as one. A similar Mexican tradition is to place a lasso over the bride and groom's shoulders after the exchange of vows. This is done by someone special to the couple. The couple wears the lasso for the remainder of the ceremony. Placing the loop over the bride and groom is a symbol of their love, binding them together in the duties of marriage.

Unity Cup

  • Fill each family's unity cup with wine or a non-alcoholic beverage, if preferred. The bride and groom pour half of their respective cups into one shared cup. They sip from the shared cup as a symbol of their new union. Another option is taking a small sip from the family cup before pouring into the shared cup. This represents individuality as well as coming together as one.

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  • Photo Credit Benjamin Earwicker: sxc.hu
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