The Unity Candle Ceremony | St. Simons Island Wedding Planner

Lighting a Unity Candle is a symbolic wedding tradition using a simple taper, a plain white or ivory pillar candle, or a fancy decorated candle.  There are several ways to do the Unity Candle lighting.


One way is to use two small taper candles, one on each side of the Unity Candle. These can be pre-lit before the ceremony, or you can light them during the ceremony.  Be sure to have a small votive candle nearby to use for lighting these candles, rather than a match or lighter.


If the two smaller candles represent your individual lives up to this moment, then you can have them pre-lit, or you can light them at the beginning of the ceremony.  After you are pronounced husband and wife, each of you take one small candle in your opposite hands, facing each other, place the flames together over the Unity Candle, then lower them together and light the Unity Candle.  At this point you would blow out the two smaller candles, and place them back in their holders, symbolizing your union as one in marriage.  If you prefer, you could also leave all three candles lit in their holders.


Another way to use the Unity Candle in your wedding ceremony is by representing the union of both families.  In this way, you, or your mothers can light them at the beginning of the ceremony. As each mother is escorted down the aisle, the usher or groomsman takes her to the Unity Candle area where she lights one of the small candles and places it back in its holder, then she is seated. After you are pronounced husband and wife, you both walk to the Unity Candle, each of you taking one of the smaller candles, place the flames together and light the Unity Candle. You will place the still-lit smaller candles back in their holders, symbolizing the Bride’s family, the Groom’s family, and your new family of the Bride and Groom.


If you are having an outdoor ceremony and want to use a Unity Candle, be sure and use hurricane lamps over your candles to protect the flame.


Lighting the Unity Candle is the symbol of your union in Love. It is the lighting that is most important.

Unity Candle Vows

The Minister shall say:

Bride and Groom, the two lighted candies symbolize your separate lives, your separate families and your separate sets of friends. I ask that you each take one candle and that together you light the center candle. The individual candles represent your individual lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.


If Children are to be included:

The Minister shall say:

The lighting of the center candle represents not only the union of Bride and Groom in marriage, but the unity formed in this new family in which your lives will now shine as one family.


The Minister shall say:

Life is full of many such actions that speak to us of a deeper meaning that we cannot always put into words. You have used ancient symbols in this wedding service—the exchange of rings, the clasping of hands, the bearing of flowers. By such things you act instead of speak in regard to your promises. Now each of you will take a candle. And together you will light one larger candle. This is a vivid reminder that in true Christian marriage our lives are merged, even as we remain individuals.  This is a symbolic prayer that God will enhance your own individuality and bless your uniqueness as individuals, but also that God will make of your hands ONE hand…of your hearts ONE heart…and of your lives ONE life.



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6 thoughts on “The Unity Candle Ceremony | St. Simons Island Wedding Planner

      • I have looked and looked online for that same unity candle set, but unfortunately have been unable to locate one like it. I wrote the Unity Candle blog a good while back and evidently that candle is no longer made. I hope that you can at least find one similar. Good luck to you.

  1. Where can I buy the unity candle set holders in the first picture? It looks like the candles are no longer made but I love the stands as well.

    • I’m sorry, this was written several years ago and I’m sure that candle may not be offered any more. It was only an example. I hope you find something at least similar.

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