Taking two separate lives and interweaving them together for the rest of time is what marriage is all about! Including a unity ceremony or two in your wedding can really capture who you both are today. You can also incorporate ancestral traditions and who you hope to become as a unified couple in the future. Here are 11 of our favorite unity ceremony ideas to unify your past and present into a beautifully interwoven future!
1. Rent a Peerspace venue with unity in mind
Find the perfect space that speaks to who you are as a couple. On Peerspace, you can choose from thousands of spaces that draw you in, speak to who you are as a couple, and will forever be remembered as a symbol of your unity. Choose from outdoor havens with panoramic skyline views, luxury beach homes, or acres of land, all perfect for your unity ceremony ideas.
Just search your metro on Peerspace, browse through photos of all the gorgeous locations, and choose the right one for you. To narrow things down, you can add specific filters, like the number of guests or the amenities you are specifically looking for. If you have any questions about the space, you can message the host directly, and once you feel ready— booking is simple and easy, choose your dates and go!
2. German log cutting ceremony
Looking for a unity ceremony idea that will show off the months of hard work you have put in at the gym to get ready for the wedding? Then a log cutting ceremony is perfect for you! This German tradition symbolizes your commitment to work together to overcome obstacles. The log itself symbolizes the first obstacle in your marriage that you must overcome together. So go ahead, take hold of the long saw handle, and ax that challenge!
3. Jump the broom
This unity tradition gained popularity during slavery in America when slaves were forbidden to marry and forced to do so in secret. The couple would jump over a broom lying on the ground to symbolize their unity as a married couple. Now, this practice is frequently used as a tribute to tradition in African and African American weddings. Some people even use the term “jumping the broom” as a synonym for getting married!
4. Jewish circling ceremony
The circling ceremony may be a perfect unity ceremony idea for those with a Jewish background. This traditional unity ceremony is performed at Ashkenazi Jewish weddings. The bride circles the groom several times under the Chuppah (a four-post canopy) to symbolize bringing strength and a new family circle to the couple.
5. Knot tying ceremony
We’ve all heard of a wedding referred to as “tying the knot,” but do you know where it comes from? This tradition, used in many different cultures, literally ties the bride and groom together! In Celtic culture, the knot tying ceremony is known as handfasting, and the couple’s hands and wrists are tied together, usually with ribbon, to symbolize their unity.
6. El lazo ceremony
For unity ceremony ideas with Latin flair, consider adding in la ceremonia del lazo— the lasso ceremony! This tradition is incorporated into many Catholic weddings and involves a large rosary draping over the couple with two loops to form the eternity symbol. The rosary stays draped over the couple until the end of the service. If you aren’t Catholic, the ceremony can still be performed with fabric instead of a rosary.
7. Military Arch of Swords ceremony
The Arch of Swords (as it’s known in the Navy and Marine Corps) or the Arch of Sabers (as it is known in the Army and Air Force) is a beautiful unity ceremony idea if the bride and/or groom is in the service. The bride and groom pass under an “arch” of military service members, whose swords are drawn above their heads. As they come to the end of the arch, the last two members of the arch may drop their swords, requiring the couple to kiss before they pass. This isn’t the only use of swords in a military wedding, either. If the bride or groom is an officer (or NCO), it’s also tradition for them to use the ceremonial military sword to cut the cake!
8. Native American blanket ceremony
Each Native American tribe has its own unity ceremony ideas, traditions, and rituals. The Cherokee tribe is known for its blanket ceremony. In this ceremony, the bride and groom both start with individual blue blankets draped over them. The blue represents their past lives. After their vows, the individual blue blankets are replaced with one white blanket, draped over both of them. The white blankets symbolize peace and happiness. The white blanket is often carefully handcrafted and kept at the foot of the bed to remind the couple of their love for each other!
9. Plant a tree
Planting a tree is not only a fun unity ceremony idea. It’s also a beautiful keepsake that will grow alongside your marriage. As you grow as a couple, so will the tree you planted. Elm trees are great trees to plant because they symbolize unity and freedom. Or a Maple tree! They symbolize longevity, abundance, and protection.
10. Fire lighting ceremony
For unity ceremony ideas that are traditional but also have the flexibility to change and make your own, consider a fire lighting ceremony! Traditionally, the bride and groom are each given a candle and light a larger candle together using their smaller flames. This tradition can easily be modified to make it more unique to you as a couple, though! For example, if you are getting married in the mountains—how about you build a fire together? If you are at the beach, each takes a vial of sand and mixes them!
11. Create your own tradition!
What makes you feel united as a couple? If none of these unity ceremony ideas speak to you, consider coming up with your own. It can be silly (maybe a three-legged race?), creative (how about a time capsule?), or active (unexpectedly zooming in on rented Vespa scooters?) The choice is yours.