Probably the most standard unity ceremony for weddings is a candle lighting. I don’t think I saw another one growing up – these have really changed up over the last few years as couples put a more individual spin on their wedding. I’ve seen sand, wine, foot washing, and knot tying. All reflect the couple in some way.
When the time came to decide with Ryan what we would do we sought something unique but not so far out there. Thankfully we had one of the best officiants in the area. She performs hundreds of ceremonies every year. Her philosophy is to show love, to reflect love, and to marry those that love. (Plus her enunciation was on point so Grandma was happy)
I reached out to her saying I was concerned we couldn’t find a ceremony that really showed anything about us. In remembering the talks she and I had prior she knew that so much of what Ryan and I loved about each other revolved around our upbringing. We deeply care for each other’s parents and families. She suggested a tree planing. Ryan loved the idea! Our pianist played the song Falling In Love at a Coffee Shop, by Landon Pigg. It was a fun reference to my days working on campus as a barista when Ryan would come chat me up between classes. He got a lot of free coffee back then, and still has me make his coffee today.
This is what she read at our wedding:
The couple will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each others family today.
Today you stand before us ready to share the rest of your lives together as a married couple. But long before today your parents provided you with a foundation of love and caring which has brought you to this point. We will start by adding dirt from Brides childhood home and dirt from Groom’s childhood home. This dirt symbolizes their individual families, it has been through their years of love and support, that have helped shaped who Bride and groom are today, a man and a woman who are ready to be committed, in a loving marriage of their own. Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment.
It seems that today a lot of brides forget this is not a day all about her, nor a day just about the couple, but this is a day that celebrates family. Combining families, growing families, and generally showing love and appreciation for family. Because of the support Ryan and I had growing up we are fortunate to be in the position we are. This first year of marriage has gone faster than anticipated but we are both still always looking forward. Eager for the next chapter, and maybe a family of our own.
Stay tuned 🙂