Unity Rites and Your Wedding

After the questions of intent (see ceremony script here) and before the ring exchange, you could add a unity rite.

A Unity Rite is an activity that further underscores the importance of your wedding: you're tying the knot and merging two families into a new one. Traditionally this happens after the Questions of Intent, but before your ring exchange. However, you can put it wherever you’d like to and it can take any form you’d like to. Here are a few of our favorite unity rites.


How it works: Your Fab! officiant will explain, while music is playing or not, that the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom will each light a candle to symbolize the love and allegiance that their family has for their child and the relationship they are marrying into. You and your fiancé will take your mothers’s candles and, together, light a single (unity) candle. As the bride and groom use these two flames to light the unity candle, they bring the love of both families together in a united love of the new couple. Generally, the two tapers are left burning in their holders. 

What you need: two people designated as candle lighters with individual lighters. Two tapered candles. One large candle.

Variations: It does not need to be your moms, but should be a representative of your family. The candles can be unique, just make sure that you have prelim the wicks and have a back up plan (pretending to light the candles) if it is too windy out.


Sand pouring can be a great way to incorporate children into your ceremony. How it works: You and your fiancé (and any children in the relationship) have their own vessel filled with sand. This sand can be different colored or from locations you’ve visited together. Your officiant will tell guests what is happening as the two (or more) of you simultaneously pour your sands into a vessel. or vase.

What you need: A vase for each participator with sand in it. One empty vessel to pour sand into. Perhaps think about lids for easier transport.


Handfasting is an ancient ritual, originating in the custom of tying a couple’s hands together to show that they are bound together. The phrases "tying the knot" and "joining hands" are clearly connected to this rite. How it works: The officiant will recite a short speech about tying your lives together while placing ribbon or fabric over your held hands.

What you need: ribbon or a strip of fabric. Pick something meaningful (like Vikings colors) or colors that match your wedding colors.


The rose ceremony involves giving each other a flower, while the officiant explains that the most important gift is the tenderness your relationship deserves.

You will be urged to find a place for roses in your home, and to put a rose there whenever words are difficult to find. 

Roses can also be used in a wedding to include children (they can bring the roses), or roses can be given to parents, to acknowledge their role in raising the bride and groom into becoming the people they are now.

What you need: two dethroned roses and two bud vases.

Are you thinking about incorporating a unity rite in your ceremony? How will you enhance your wedding ceremony?




Photo by Lynne Halterman