Couple weeks ago I was invited to take photos of the event that was organized by my co-worker. This was the first time I've seen Unity Candle Ceremony. But before going into the ballroom all the guests gathered at the nice park.
The weather was great, warm & sunny. Everyone who came to the park were close friends of the couple. There were lots of families, kids and grand parents.
I'll come back to the ceremony and will tell you more about it. The lighting of a unity candle is a relatively recent addition to the traditional wedding ceremony. The unity candle ceremony uses two taper candles with a large pillar candle (called the "unity candle") in the center.
At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, a representative from each family (usually the mothers of the bride and groom) light the two taper candles. Later in the ceremony (usually after the formal vows), the bride and groom use the two taper candles to light the large pillar (unity) candle together. The candles are almost always white. The lighting ceremony may be accompanied by special music, reading of a vow, an explanation of the symbolism.
It is sometimes performed to symbolize the joining together of the two families, and their love for the bride and the groom, into one united family that loves the new husband and wife. More often it is to symbolize the union of two individuals, becoming one in commitment. The popular explanation is that the taper candles are lit by representatives from each family to symbolize the love and allegiance that each family has for either the bride or the groom. As the bride and groom use these two flames to light the unity candle, they bring the love of both families together in a united love of the new couple.
Generally, the two tapers are left burning and replaced in their holders (because each family's love for their own will continue). However, in some ceremonies they may blow out their individual candles. The Unity Candle is saved and kept by the couple, to be lighted on each wedding anniversary, as a reminder of this first day when they gave their promise to each other.