Lighting Unity Candles At A Wedding Ceremony: The All You Need To Know Guide


Your wedding day is a celebration of love and unity, it’s a special occasion where two people in love intertwine their lives forever.

Among the beautiful traditions observed during a wedding ceremony is the lighting of unity candles. This symbolic act not only adds a touch of elegance to the ceremony, but also represents the merging of two families and the creation of a new one.

In this post, I will cover everything that’s important about lighting unity candles at your wedding, including who lights them, where to place them, when and how to light them, and much more. There is all you need to know, so don’t skip the rest of the article!


What Is A Unity Candle For A Wedding Ceremony?


Many brides and grooms often ask about unity candles and their significance in a wedding ceremony. Simply put, a unity candle is a candle that is lit during a wedding ceremony to symbolize the unity of the couple and their families.

It consists of two taper candles, usually placed on both sides of a larger candle, known as the unity candle.

These side candles represent the separate lives of the bride and groom, while the unity candle represents their union as a married couple.

The lighting of these candles is a beautiful and meaningful way to symbolize the blending of their families, the joining of their lives, and the beginning of their new journey together. It is a way to honor the commitment of the couple to each other.



Who Lights The Unity Candles At The Wedding Ceremony?


When it comes to lighting the unity candles, there are a few different options, it all depends on the couple’s preference.

Traditionally, the lighting of the unity candles involves the participation of the bride and groom’s mothers or other significant family members. As the ceremony begins, the mothers typically walk down the aisle and each light one of the taper candles. This act signifies the individual families, their love and support for the couple.

The bride and groom then take the lit taper candles and together light the unity candle, symbolizing their unity and the creation of a new family.

In another scenario, the bride and groom light the two taper candles individually before using them to light the larger unity candle together.

A yet another option is to have members of the wedding party light the taper candles. This might include the maid of honor and best man, or even all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. It’s a way to involve more people in the ceremony and create a sense of unity among the entire wedding party.


When Do You Light the Unity Candles At A Wedding?


The ideal time to light the unity candles during the wedding ceremony varies and will depend on personal preference and the structure of the event.

Typically, it is done after the exchange of vows and rings, often following a reading or musical interlude. This allows for a calm and intimate moment before proceeding with the rest of the ceremony.

However, some couples choose to light the unity candles earlier in the ceremony, right after the processional or during a special moment that holds significance for them. Either way, the timing is entirely up to you and your future husband or wife.


What Is A Good Time To Light Side Candles For The Unity Candle At A Wedding?


If you choose to include side candles along with the main unity candle, these can be lit at various points during the ceremony.

The side candles are usually placed on a table or candelabra adjacent to the unity candle. A good time to light the side candles is at the beginning of the ceremony, symbolizing the joining of families right from the start.

Alternatively, you can light them just before the unity candle, emphasizing the pivotal moment of the couple’s union.

Another option is to have the side candles already lit when the mothers or family members light the taper candles, creating a beautiful visual representation of the coming together of loved ones.



Where To Place The Unity Candles At The Wedding?


Choosing the right location for the unity candles adds an enchanting touch to your wedding ceremony.

Typically, a table is set up near the front of the venue, adorned with a tasteful arrangement that showcases the unity candle and the accompanying taper candles. This table can be decorated to match the overall theme and colors of your wedding.

It is recommended to place the unity candle table within reach of both the bride and groom so they can comfortably access the candles when it’s time to light them.


How To Light The Unity Candles At The Wedding?


Lighting the unity candles is a straightforward yet meaningful act.

If you want to ensure a smooth and graceful ceremony, follow these steps:


🕯 Prepare the candles

Before the ceremony begins, make sure the taper candles and the unity candle are securely inserted into their holders. Trim the wicks to a suitable length, and ensure a clean and steady burn.


🕯 Position the candles

Place the taper candles on their designated holders, one on either side of the unity candle. Arrange them symmetrically and adjust any decorations around the candles to your liking.


🕯 Light the taper candles

As the ceremony commences, the mothers or family members can walk down the aisle and light the taper candles. This action symbolizes the love and support each family brings to the couple’s union.


🕯 Take the taper candles

After the mothers have lit the taper candles, the bride and groom can approach the unity candle together. Each of them takes a lit taper candle in hand.


🕯 Light the unity candle

Standing side by side, the bride and groom simultaneously touch their lit taper candles to the wick of the unity candle, igniting it as a symbol of their unity. As they do so, they can speak words of commitment or exchange vows if they desire.


🕯 Extinguish the taper candles

After lighting the unity candle, the bride and groom can carefully extinguish their respective taper candles, signifying the merging of their lives and families.



Do You Need To Get Your Own Stand/Holder For The Unity Candles Or Does The Church Provide One For The Wedding Ceremony?


The availability of a stand or holder for unity candles can vary and it depends on the specific church and its policies.

In some cases, the church may provide a stand or holder for the unity candles as part of their wedding ceremony accessories.

To confirm this, it is best to check with the church or venue where the wedding ceremony will take place. They can provide you with specific details regarding their policies and whether they offer a stand or holder for unity candles.

However, it is also common for couples to bring their own stand or holder, particularly if they have a specific design or style in mind.


Do You Need To Have A Flower Arrangement For Your Unity Candles?


The decision to have a flower arrangement for your unity candles at a wedding ceremony is entirely a matter of personal preference or needs. It is ultimately up to the couple to decide if they want to include any additional decorations or symbols in their wedding ceremony.

While some couples choose to include flower arrangements around their unity candles to enhance the visual appeal and create a cohesive aesthetic, others do not, as it is not a strict requirement.

Ultimately, it depends on your individual taste, wedding theme, and the overall ambiance you wish to create for your ceremony. If you feel that a flower arrangement would complement your unity candles and add to the overall décor, then it can be a lovely addition.

However, if you prefer a more minimalist or simple look, you can certainly skip the flower arrangement and focus only on the candles themselves. The choice is yours.


Can A Wedding Unity Candle Be Refilled?


Yes, wedding unity candles can indeed be refilled. Refillable unity candles offer a practical and eco-friendly option, and allow you to reuse the same candle for future celebrations, or even pass it down as a cherished heirloom!

These candles typically feature a removable top or a refillable insert that can be replaced with new candles or wax as needed.

Refillable unity candles provide a cost-effective solution and at the same time, maintain the sentimental value associated with the original candle.


On A Final Note,

The unity candle ceremony is a time-honored tradition that adds a touch of symbolism and beauty to your wedding day.

By incorporating the lighting of the unity candles, you not only celebrate the joining of two individuals but also honor the unity of families and the creation of a new life together.

While unity candles are a popular choice for wedding ceremonies, they are not the only option. Other symbols of unity can also be incorporated into a wedding ceremony, for example, sand ceremonies or handfasting.

Also, keep in mind that the act of lighting the unity candles is a personal and meaningful moment that you can customize to reflect your unique love story. Whether you choose to include side candles, or when and where to light them, the ceremony is a testament to the love and commitment that you share with your partner.

So, embrace this enchanting tradition and let the warmth of the candles light up your path towards a lifetime of happiness and togetherness!



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