Candle ceremonies within a marriage ceremony are a beautiful way to symbolise the joining of two families to form a new family. At a ceremony I conducted, the couple decided to include their wider family in the candle lighting ceremony when they were married in a park.
This wedding party was small with only 22 immediate family and a couple of friends who played a part in the ceremony. Each person held a long white taper candle and formed a circle. One of the best men lit the two candles held by guests opposite the bride and groom. They turned to the guest on their left and right respectively and lit their candle.
The flame travelled from guest to guest until reaching the bride and groom, who together lit their unity candle at the same time, symbolising the two families coming together.
Even with a calm day, not all of the candles lit easily, but it didn’t spoil the ritual at all for the small and obviously close group of people – it simply added to the moment! While guests were passing on their flame another gave a reading and the bride and groom had an opportunity to look out at their guests and take a moment to connect. You could see they were happy to have everyone involved in such a special moment.
This was a personal twist on the unity candle ceremony. The unity candle ceremony sees two smaller candles either side of a larger pillar candle lit by family or friends from each side at the beginning of the ceremony. Toward the end of the ceremony, the bride and groom will use taper candles to transfer the flames from the smaller candles to the pillar candle at the same time to symbolise their union. Using the taper candles will leave the flame exposed briefly so keep this in mind if performing this ceremony outdoors. It may be a good idea to include card around the bottom if you’re holding the taper candles during a reading to catch any dripping wax.
There are lots of ways to incorporate candle ceremonies into your ceremony, be it for a wedding, commitment ceremony, vow renewal or baby naming. I’d love to hear about how you included a candle ceremony on your wedding day. Share your stories in the comments area for other brides-to-be to read.