Unity Candle Wedding Ceremony

Written by    Last updated: July 22, 2013

The wedding receptions are becoming more personalised every year, with couples finding new and unique suppliers, increasingly crafty DIY projects, and looking for ways to make the day their own. It’s no surprise then that the need to personalise the wedding day is spilling over to the ceremony as well. Find out if the unity candle wedding ceremony may be ideal for your wedding.

Image courtesy of weddingbee.com

As you change from bride-and-groom-to-be to Mr and Mrs, it is only right that this moment should be meaningful to you both. However, as you will have probably discovered, aside from the obvious importance, wedding ceremonies aren’t all that exciting for all their importance. The registry office or the church are still the top two places to get wed, this means the order of the ceremony is pretty much pre-written for you.

Here at Confetti we are seeing a definite increase in the popularity of personalised wedding ceremonies – the sand ceremony and the rose ceremony are being embraced by more couples than ever before. The candle ceremony is yet another option – and it’s the one with the most romance! So simple in accessories yet so deeply meaningful, you really should consider it for your ceremony.

Unity ceremony accessories

-          Three candles – one main and two smaller to represent the bride and groom

-          Optional additional smaller candles if you want to involve any family members

-          Candle stand

-          Storage box for keeping the candles until your anniversary or vow renewal

Your choice of candles is limited only by your imagination – you can get them in any colour, shape or size. You can also get sets specially designed for this purpose, with personalisation options of your names, wedding date, or special message.

A candle stand can be a tray or a special 3-sided holder. This holder gives you an added option of having the candles on display in your marital home after your wedding day.

How to prepare your unity candle ceremony

First, you’ll need to agree with the groom at what point in the ceremony you would like to light the candles – for example, before or after the vows or readings? Would you like to have any words or music?

Secondly, you should check with the registrar or the vicar/priest whether you are allowed to insert the candle ceremony into the proceedings and whether there are any restrictions or rules you need to follow in relation to your chosen words and music or anything else.

Decide if you’d like to involve any family members in lighting the candles. As with the sand ceremony, it is especially meaningful if you already have children from previous relationships and you are joining two families together – they all light the same flame together.

Then, you can shop for your candles and accessories!


Clockwise from top left, at the Confetti shop: ‘flower of love’ candle ceremony set | ‘happily ever after’ personalised unity candle | expressions unity candle in white or ivory, with 8 text colours | modern personalised unity candles in white or ivory

Unity candle ceremony examples

There will be a minimum of three candles – the main one, and two smaller ones.

The father of the bride could be the one to light the main candle, then the bride and the groom will take their candles and light them from the main one. Alternatively, if it’s a church wedding, the priest can light the main candle with one of the altar candles, for added religious symbolism.

Another option is for the parents of the bride and groom to light each one of the smaller candles and pass them to the bride and groom. The bride and groom then light the main candle together.

If there are more family members involved, they can also join in lighting their smaller candles from the big candle, or vice versa.

During this you can have music playing (pre-approved by the registrar or priest) or a reading taking place.

Once the candles are lit they are to be placed aside and left burning until the end of the ceremony. It’s best to assign an usher or a bridesmaid to extinguish the candles and put them away safely after the ceremony for the rest of the day. Please note that you won’t be allowed to place the candles on the altar at a church wedding.

After the wedding

Some couples will prefer to store their candles – it’s worth it to keep in mind the temperature (probably not in the attic then) and the fragility, so a sturdy box that won’t stain the candles is a must.

If you have purchased a special three-arm candle holder then you can display the candles at home, just as you would the vessel from the sand ceremony or the vase from the rose ceremony.

The candles can be lit again on your wedding anniversary, vow renewal ceremony, or any other family occasion as required.

It may seem like a small gesture, but a candle ceremony adds lovely symbolism to an otherwise pre-prepared ceremony. The guests feel they are witnessing something very special, in fact for many guests this is the most memorable part of the ceremony, and perhaps even one they’ve never seen before. Making the ceremony unique sets a lovely tone for the rest of the day and makes it even more unforgettable.

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