The Quick Guide to Creating a Unique Unity Ceremony

I love unity pieces in wedding ceremonies. Symbolizing our lives is a great way to think about where we are now, where we will go in the future, and who we might become. Though, I don’t like unity pieces just for the heck of them. 

If you’re working with me and pitch me a unity piece that really doesn’t fit with anything we’ve talked about, I’m going to tell you honestly. For example, if you don’t like going to the beach, why on earth would we add a sand pouring unity to your ceremony? You should also not include a unity element solely to kill time. There are plenty of ways to make your wedding ceremony unique to you without creating some cheesy metaphor for your love. 

So how do you go about developing a unity ceremony that’s truly you?

Here are the 5 elements I consider when brainstorming unity pieces with couples. 

Photo Credit: Rubinski Works

1.

What do you both love equally?

Do you cook dinners together? Do you want to travel the world together? Do you love lifting weights? Do you celebrate holidays like nobody’s business? Make a list of activities, hobbies, or locations that truly mean something to you. For example, if you like drinking mimosas, but mimosas don’t symbolize the two of you, don’t write it down. If your friends would be confused why you’re drinking mimosas in your ceremony, it shouldn’t be there in the first place.

2.

What actions could the unity ceremony consist of?

A unity ceremony is meant to symbolize the combining of two souls. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those two souls have to become one, but there does need to be some action each person can partake in. For example, if you and your partner fish every weekend, what activities could you do to symbolize that? You could combine fishing materials into a box. Or you could sign your names onto a fishing rod. These are terrible examples, but hopefully this is simple enough to get you thinking. 

3.

Will this be something you want to keep?

Don’t do a unity ceremony just to do a unity ceremony. If you’re not really interested in keeping that vase of sand after, then don’t do a sand unity! Maybe a unity ceremony really isn’t the thing for you. Maybe you’re a minimalist. Maybe you just aren’t symbolic people. You don’t need a unity ceremony to make a wedding ceremony. You just need the two of you. And if you’re totally down for a unity ceremony, think of items you would love to have after your wedding day.

4.

Do you want to include anyone in the unity?

If you have children, this is a great way to blend them into your ceremony easily. Or maybe you really want to include your parents. If you’d like to include anyone else in addition to the two of you, you’ll want to brainstorm additional elements that can create an action in the unity ceremony.

5.

How much time do you have to devote to a unity piece?

A unity piece always includes a physical element. If you’re cramming for time, throwing together a unity piece isn’t a good idea. If you’ve got time to shop around or DIY your own symbolic element, then heck, go for it!

Photo Credit: Elena Stanton

Hopefully this gets your mind thinking about unity pieces. As with everything else in the ceremony, the most important part is that you two are present and engaged. You don’t need this to make your marriage, so if you’re going to add a unity piece, be certain that it completely represents the both of you!

Have your unity piece ready and need some help with other elements of your ceremony? Check out our post here on actually useful tips for writing your wedding vows. 

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