Candle Lighting Ceremony or Ceremony of Light

Why not celebrate your beautiful bond of marriage with one of the traditions rooted in the most romance? The Unity Candle Ceremony is when you each take a lit candle and light what is known as the 'unity candle', symbolising the merging of two people and the first steps as a union, while maintaining your individuality, showing the joining of both families.

The Unity Candle Ceremony involves three candles. One candle is held by each of you, representing two family candles and the other candle symbolises the union of your families and stands alone usually on a candle stand.

Often, the mothers will light the initial family candles and then the couple will light the Unity candle together. However, you could have a father, child, sibling, friend or someone special to you both, to light your candles. This is your day and it is all about showing the joining together of two different identities in the eternal union of marriage. Symbolising love, passion, adoration and enduring commitment in the flaming candles light.

The individual family candles are lit at the beginning of the ceremony and the Unity candle is lit immediately after you have exchanged vows. You could have a reading, poem, singer, instrumental or music played at this point to entertain your guests whilst you light the candles. Remember though, it won't take too long!

Although it is traditional to have the mothers of the bride or groom light the candles in the ceremony, there is no reason that you cannot adjust the tradition based on your own needs and have guest inclusivity.

You could ask the friend who brought you and your partner together to light the candle, to symbolise their role in your relationship. Or you could ask a child in the ceremony to light the candle, this is especially symbolic when two families are blending and bringing stepchildren into one family unit. 

Another idea is to include all guests in the candle lighting ceremony. Each guest would be given an unlit candle as they joined the ceremony. The newly married couple would then light the candle of someone in the front row, who would pass the flame to the next person, then the next and so on. When the final candle is lit, they would use it to light the candles of the couple, who would then light the Unity candle. The idea is that of uniting not just a family, but all of your loved ones.

Reverse Unity Candle lighting is memorable and can be the most authentic part of your ceremony. To make this happen, you must ensure that all your guests have a candle. Start by lighting one with your spouse, and then you light those of the people who are included in the wedding or those sitting in the first rows. Then the guests pass the flame to one another until all candles are lit.

This is one of the most emotional and special Unity candle ideas that will uniquely mark the beginning of your married life.