Insider's Tips: Tip #33 - The Unity Candle
Come on baby, light my fire.
I know, it's pretty cheesy, but you are still reading....
The unity candle. I know that when John and I were going to get married, we told the families that we were not having a unity candle. At the time I didn't realize that it was going to cause WWIII. My goodness, I just didn't want to deal with another thing during the ceremony. I wasn't denouncing my religion! I understand the symbolism and I can appreciate it. And we see it all of the time and it is very beautiful. But here are four issues. And the last is the kicker!
1 - Wide candles or thin candles in wide glass containers don't work. In order to get the middle candle to light (while you are your groom are standing up there in front of 300 people), you practically have to turn the wide candle completely upside down. The wic is just too far apart. And now you have melted wax all over. Practice at home if you don't believe me. Sometimes it is a good thing that the Lord's Prayer is very long when sung as a solo.
2 - Parents don't understand which side to light. I know that the church lady goes over this during the rehearsal, but once again, remember all of those people you are standing in front of.
3- Half of the time, a lighter (fine for grilling out, but not so great for a wedding) is left to use for the Unity Candle. Sometimes this lighter is left on purpose with a ribbon around it. Or sometimes, someone forgets to light the "starter" candle for the parents and a guest gives the parents their lighter to use. In case you don't know, most moms don't know how to use a lighter or how to turn off the safety switch.
4 - And finally, the last little piece of information that I have about the unity candle. Several years ago,, I was speaking with Alene Gamel with I Do, I Do Wedding Planning about unity candles. She told me that they don't have a religious background at all. I didn't believe her. Remember the WWIII that I almost started with my crazy ways???? Well, she was right. Google it. The Unity Candle was popularized by Luke and Laura's TV wedding in the 70s. Here is one article..
I would like to end this tip with a reminder from a previous tip. Shorten the unity candle song, if you can. If all goes well, you do not need 4 minutes to light one candle.