I find unity rituals fascinating. Every culture, religion and even time period seems to have its own ritual to symbolise the coming together of two people and two families. The reasons behind choosing to include a unity ritual in your ceremony maybe there’s something from your culture or religion that you’d like to include, or maybe you’d like to utilise it as a means of involving loved ones in your ceremony. The reasons behind a couple choosing a unity ceremony are just as fascinating as the rituals themselves. Here’s four unity ceremonies you could use in your ceremony:
Handtying is the binding together of a couples hands whilst exchanging vows, it is an integral part of a Handfasting but differs in that it does not include the more spiritual aspects. Handtying is believed to date from pre-Chrisitian times and of Celtic origins. It was originally used as a symbolism of betrothal but is increasingly used in wedding ceremonies as a visual representation of the vows a couple are making. Hands are bound together with ribbons. The colours of these ribbons could be meaningful to you as a couple or they could match your wedding colour scheme.
A ring warming is a great way to get all your guests involved and really hammers home that you are two people and two families becoming one. Your wedding rings are handed around your guests, who take it in turns to warm them in their palms and imbue your wedding rings with their best wishes, blessings and prayers for your future. When you exchange rings you’ll know that your union has been blessed by those you love most. Ring warming originated in Ireland.
Sand ceremonies are growing in popularity and are a great way to personalise your ceremony and involve loved ones if that’s what you’re looking to do. They consist of a few vases filled with coloured sand chosen by each of you – whether it’s just you and your spouse, or maybe the pair of you and your children – which you then take turns pouring into a larger central vase. It represents the blending together of your lives, and that just like you that sand can now never be separated! You end up with a visual reminder of your ceremony, of the vows you’ve made to one another and of the bonds between you and your family, that you can keep forever. By the end of the ceremony you have a beautiful piece of sand art. The best bit about sand ceremonies is they are completely customisable. You can have whatever sands you pick and can even have your vases personalised with your names, wedding date, or whatever you fancy!
One of my favourites and something I wanted to include in our ceremony, but the registrar said no! Oathing stones are an ancient Scottish tradition of ‘setting an oath in stone’. Any stone can be used but I would recommend a stone collected from a meaningful place, it is then washed and scrubbed and if you’d like it to have a sheen you can treat it with almond oil before drying. The stone can also be personalised by way of carving, or acrylic paint and then finished with varnish. You’ll make your vows with a hand on the stone and they are sometimes used between the palms during a handtying or handfasting – you could do this without the handtying or handfasting if you just wanted to hold the stone together. Like a sand ceremony, having an oathing stone gives you a physical reminded of your day to keep forever.
We love unity ceremonies here at Magical Moments Ceremonies, drop us a message and we can discuss how you can include one in your special day.