The Sand Ceremony has become quite popular as an alternative to the Unity Candle; because no flames are involved and it lends itself well to outdoor weddings. Its meaning is simple and beautiful: two becoming one. The couple mix two different colors of sand into one container, thereby symbolizing their lives and hearts entwined. Once combined, it would be extremely difficult to separate the sand out again, just as the couple are so joined together. This is one of the best unity-ceremony ideas for blended families, as children can also add sand to the family vase.
For this alternative unity ceremony the couple write love letters to each other, and then lock them in a box with a bottle of wine and some wine glasses, ready for later in the marriage such as a milestone anniversary.
The Unity Candle is probably the most well-known of the unification ceremonies. In this ceremony, either the bride and groom may light their individual candles or representatives of their respective families may do so. While the Officiant explains the symbolism of the ritual, the couple lights a central pillar using their two individual candles. This ceremony symbolizes the union of two lives into one. The couple may keep the candle. Some re-light the candle each year on their anniversary.
During the Wedding Ceremony, the bride and groom braid the Cord of Three Strands together. The groom holds a small metal ring with three attached strands. The bride then braids the strands together, symbolizing the union of God, husband and wife.
One of the most popular flowers-inspired alternative unity ceremony ideas is the Flower Ceremony Roses are a traditional symbol of love and are therefore perfect to feature in a wedding ceremony. The couple each has a rose, and so does every family member they wish to take part in the ceremony. Then the bride and groom swap their roses as a first gift to each other before placing them together into a vase. Then all of the family members add their roses to the mix.
One of the oldest of these alternative unity ceremony ideas, and particularly known in Pagan wedding ceremonies, hand-fasting is the joining of the bride and groom’s hands and wrists using vines, cord, rope, or ribbon tied into a knot. It’s often said that this is where we get the expression “tying the knot” from, and it often takes place at the end of the wedding ceremony as a final promise from one person to the other to bind their lives together.
Also called "el lazo" this ritual—traditional in Mexican, Filipino, and Spanish cultures—takes place after the vows have been said. At that time, the officiant (or whomever the couple has designated) drapes a floral garland or rosary around the couple, twisting it into an infinity symbol. At the end of the ceremony, the bestow-er of the lasso removes it and the couple saves it as a symbol of their love and unity.
The time-capsule ceremony is a reminder of the durability of your love and the lifetime commitment of marriage. Before the ceremony, the couple should gather up important mementos from their relationship: ticket stubs, hotel room keys, notes, cards, etc. In addition, each should write a love letter to each other. During the ceremony, all these tokens of love are sealed up in a box, and the couple can open it on their 5, 10, or 20 year anniversary.
Broom jumping is a centuries-old tradition that has become more increasingly popular due largely to the book “Roots” and the film “Jumping the Broom”. You’ll need a handmade natural-bristled broom decorated with ribbons, flowers, and mementos (making the broom is a perfect date night idea!). The bride and groom jump over the broom as an act of sweeping away any past wrongdoings and welcoming new beginnings as husband and wife.
Believed to be an Irish wedding ceremony tradition, the warming of the rings takes place when the couple’s wedding bands are passed around by guests during the ceremony. Each person is asked to briefly hold the rings in their hands while also saying a short, silent prayer for the couple. Then the rings are returned to the couple with blessings and for a long, happy marriage.
Make your wedding day as special as possible by including your little ones in the celebration. If you're having a unity candle, sand ceremony or nontraditional unity ceremony alternative, this is the perfect chance to involve your kids. Let them help light the candle or include multiple sand colors. You can also add special vows for children in a second marriage. The children could be asked if they promise to love and honor their mother’s new partner.
Your wedding day is a celebration with loved ones, so it's only natural to want to include those friends, relatives and even “pets” who've passed away before you get to say "I do." Your inclusion of a deceased loved one can be as subtle as a symbolic white rose in your bouquet or as public as a “moment of silence” at your ceremony. You can also adorn your bouquet or its ribbons with a locket, photo pin, handkerchief or other small but sentimental trinket that once belonged to your loved one.
The butterfly symbolizes new beginnings and rebirths. What better way to celebrate the beginning of a new life together than with the releasing of butterflies at your wedding. Every release is unique and special just as every wedding and every moment of our life is unique and special. Your "butterfly release" will inspire a memorable and unique experience to be cherished for a lifetime.
For centuries, white doves have been released at wedding ceremonies and are the perfect symbol of the bond made in matrimony. At the wedding ceremony, two white doves may be released by the bride and groom symbolizing their union as they begin their journey together.
The Breaking of the Glass symbolizes the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Couples include this tradition in their wedding ceremony as it symbolizes the absolute finality of the marital covenant.
The Mother's Rose Ceremony is a great way of honoring the Bride & Groom's mothers or other family members during a wedding ceremony. The Rose or Flower ceremony allows the bride and groom a way for them to show gratitude for the love bestowed upon them.
In the Rose Ceremony, the Bride and Groom give each other a Rose. Two roses are all that is necessary. The Rose Ceremony is placed at the end of the ceremony just before being pronounced husband and wife.