Unity Candle Ritual for Weddings, Large & Small

One of the goals I embrace as a wedding officiant and celebrate in New York is creating personalized ceremonies, in weddings large and small.  Regardless of Covid-related restrictions on guests lists and what not, we can work together to create a ceremony that will truly be beyond your greatest expectation.  For some couples, creating that special ceremony includes incorporating rituals.  One such addition to the wedding is the always popular unity candle ritual.

Just a few days ago, I had the honor to marry a couple from Pennsylvania.  The mother-of-the-bride suggested that the couple might want to include the familiar Unity Candle Ritual, despite the fact that the micro-wedding was in Central Park.  It worked out beautifully!

As readers may know, the Unity Candle Ritual can be choreographed in a number of ways.  In one version two guests (often mothers) will light taper candles held by the couple who will then light one candle together, the so-called Unity Candle.  In other instances, the couple will simply light their candles independently and then like the larger Unity Candle. 

In our case the groom’s mother held a small votive candle.  After I lit it, the bride and groom used the votive to light their own taper candles.  The bride’s mother held the unity candle which the couple proceeded to light.

This ceremony idea can be described using typically Christian language or a purely secular description.  Regardless, the idea of sharing light, joining flames and unifying lives is familiar and intuitive.