Now that Christmas is over, you can get very good string lights at very good prices. Stock up on those, as well as LED tea lights and LED votives (some are a steady 'flame' while others flicker realistically). String the string lights around every post, beam, and outline you can find, then place the LED tea lights anywhere that you'd normally put a candle.
Instead of a unity candle, try these ideas to celebrate the concept of unity:
Unity Glasses: Have the bride hold a glass of red wine (or grape juice) and the groom hole a glass of white wine/juice, then each pour their glass into a larger glass to blend the two together. Each may drink from this cup as part of the vows. In a Jewish ceremony, this would be the wine for blessing; in a Christian one, this could serve as their communion cup.
Unity Circle: The bride walks three times around the husband, then the groom walks three times around the bride, then the two join hands and create a final circle around one another (the 'center' being their joined hands). Walking the circle signifies that the two are enfolding and enclosing one another within their mutual affection; that each one claims ownership of the ceremony, willing participation in the marriage, and propriety over the other; and creates a protective, sacred space, a symbol of the home they will build for one another.
Unity Cake: The two share a petit four or a cupcake, signifying the sweetness of the love they share and the commitment to nourish and sustain one another physically and emotionally.
Unity Food: Similar to Unity Cake. The couple share a small piece of bread (sustenance) drizzled with honey (sweetness) and sprinkled with sea salt (the tears of joy they will cry together, and the tears of sorrow through which they will strengthen one another), and wine/grape juice (joy, consecration).
Unity Room: This one is my personal favorite, and it's the one featured in my own wedding. It's an old Jewish tradition called "yichud," which means "unity, oneness." There wouldn't be an overt symbol of unity during the ceremony itself. However, after the ceremony, the couple would avoid running down the aisle to a long and tiring receiving line. Instead, they would walk off to the side room to spend their first few married moments alone together. They should enjoy a small meal of whatever they like best, while everyone else is jostling to get to the reception hall and eat their meal. Whether it's just five minutes or more like a couple of hours, they should be able to rest, relax, and encounter one another as husband and wife for the first time. Then they can change into their reception outfits to match the mood of the reception, head to the venu, and join their guests in time for formal presentation as Mr. And Mrs. Couple. At this time, fortified with food and relaxation time, they can freely celebrate, receive individual greetings and congratulations, and be there in time for dancing and cake cutting.
Uniqueness Gifts: This can replace the other ideas, but I prefer the idea of using it in conjunction with one or more of the others. Rather than focusing on the blending and melding aspects of marriage, this idea brings forth the realization that these are two individuals, who lived for some twenty or more years before finding one another, and are whole and complete even separate (though much happier when not separated!). Bride and groom present one another with small gifts that relate to their separate identities. A man marrying a doctor might present her with a new stethoscope, engraved with her initials (married initials, if they're going to change) or with something indicative of love. A woman marrying a lover of the arts might gift him with season tickets to the symphony, or a print or lithograph of a painting he admires. A scholarly couple might offer one another a beautifully bound book, or an engraved writing set (matching fountain pen, rollerball, and pencil), or the Encyclopedia Britannica or OED on CD. Animal lovers might present one another with, say, a paid membership for their local no-kill animal shelter, and a promise to adopt a pet within their first year together.
I just attended a outside wedding a few weeks ago and they used decorative glass containers of sand for their unity candle - each mother carried one of two colors down the isle and when it was time to do the unity candle the bride took one glass with one color and the the groom took the other glass with another color and filled a larger container which had their monagram on it - it was really pretty cool. Good luck on your upcoming wedding!
We are having an outdoor wedding at my grandfather's house, and didn't want to worry him with candles being lit around the property; we are using LED tea light candles that we got 10 for $5 at Deals. They flicker and come in a frosted holder so no one will be able to tell they're fakes until they get real close. They look classy, and starting a fire is one less thing we have to worry about.
Maybe Solar Lights? They can continue to be used in your yard, on your deck, even for subtle indoor lighting (as long as they're kept in a sunny spot during the day) or given away as gifts to family and friends after the wedding :-)
Hi Darlene, you can buy the little battery tea lights or votive, put them in seashells. You can buy a box of 12 for about 7.00 at orientaltrader.com. They could be used so many ways. Take clear votive cups and glue shells on them and ad a tealight or votive(battery). I am a wedding planner and decorator and am always come up with cost cutting ideas. Hope that helps. Sandy C
How about mini lights? They sell them in shapes like stars and doves at Christmas. At Valentines they sell them in the shape of hearts. Or how about paper lanterns with battery operated candles inside?
Oriental trading company sells all sorts of beach theme decorations like string lights with that theme. Check them out.
I am LOST! My wedding is in April, and the reception hall does not allow candles, however my wedding is an evening wedding, so candles would not only be fitting, but the soft light is what I envision. Please help, any tips?
Lost in Indiana,
By Shirley Little
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