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Creating Unforgettable Unity Moments: Unique Ceremony Ideas for Your Wedding

Charles and Kayla lighting the unity candle during their ceremony at Jan Serr Studio in Milwaukee. Photo Credit: Naomi Love Photography, Naomi Love Photography

What is a Unity Ceremony?

A unity ceremony is a short & symbolic part of a wedding ceremony that signifies the union of the bride and groom. Typically taking place after vows, this moment is where couples can get creative and showcase their special bond. Unity ceremonies originated in the 1970s and were a staple of American Christian ceremonies. In 1981, the popularity of unity ceremonies skyrocketed when the popular Soap Opera General Hospital featured a Unity Candle lighting during Luke & Laura’s wedding (an episode shattering Soap Opera records drawing over 30 million viewers!). Since then, unity ceremonies have become a regular occurrence in weddings, with couples using this as a personalized moment to share their loved story with beloved family & friends.

Caption: Luke and Laura’s wedding episode of General Hospital. Photo credit: ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

The Timeless Tradition of Lighting the Unity Candle

While weddings have evolved quite a bit since the 80s, the lighting of the unity candle still remains a timeless tradition, and one of the most popular unity ceremonies. Below, David and Omar light their unity candle at the Field Museum. Our Chicago quartet accompanied this moment by playing I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me.

Photo Credit: Zach Caddy

Modern Twists on Unity Ceremonies

Erika and Hunter put a modern twist on the unity ceremony by creating Unity Beer at the Elliot in Cleveland. While concocting their special brew, our Cleveland quartet played I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.

Caption: Photo Credit: Brittney Lunt

Creating Lasting Memories with Unique Unity Ceremonies

While the light of a candle will eventually fade, and beverages will be enjoyed to the very last drop, many couples have decided to create a unique piece for their unity ceremony. After the wedding, their new creation will be proudly displayed in their home as a souvenir that will hold a lifetime of memories. Below, Megan & Kelsey perform a unity sand ceremony at the Jewel Box in St. Louis. As the sand flowed through their creative piece, our quartet performed Precious Love by James Morrison.

Caption: Photo Credit: Bryson Buehrer

Choosing the Perfect Song for Your Unity Ceremony

Here at Innocenti Strings, we love working with couples to select the perfect song to accompany their unity moment. This often serves as a chance to share a favorite song or one that holds special meaning in their relationship. Here are some of our favorite songs we’ve played for recent unity ceremonies:

  • Air on a G String by Bach

  • Arioso by Bach

  • Jupiter from the Planets by Holst

  • Nessun Dorma by Puccini

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow

  • Unthinkable by Alicia Keys

  • Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton

  • Drunk in Love by Beyonce (for Unity wine, of course!)


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