Unity Ceremonies? Do I need one?

All you need is love and … a unity ceremony?

 

A unity ceremony is an act you can incorporate into your wedding ceremony which symbolises the joining of two separate lives, the idea is that as individuals you are both special and just as important separate, but when joined together you create something unique and beautiful. A unity ceremony  can also be used to symbolise the joining together of two families, if one or both of you already have children, either together or separately.

You do not have to do a unity ceremony, and you should (in my personal opinion) only include one if it is something that absolutely speaks to you.

There are a few different options, that I’ll outline below, and by no means is this the complete list, and there may be a suggestion on this list that sparks an idea with you and your loved one for something completely original.  Go for it I say!

Wine/Beer Ceremony – You each choose a wine (red and white work well), but obviously two that work well together, and you each pour a small amount from your individual glass into a centre glass and then both take turns taking a sip (or a gulp) from the center glass. This also works extremely well with beer if you’re not a wine fan.

Love Letter and Wine Box – You choose a bottle of favourite wine (or beer) and both add love letters to each other (that you have previously written) into a box, to be opened on your one year anniversary.  It’s a nice reminder of what you were both feeling on your wedding day.

Elephant Toothpaste – It’s a funny sounding science experiment, involving you both adding chemicals together to create a pretty spectacular explosion of types.  Awesome to add for a bit of drama to your ceremony.

Unity Candle – Use a large candle and then both the bride and groom light the candle using their own individual candles. This is probably the most common unity ceremony performed at weddings. Important to remember to use hurricane lamps if you are having your wedding ceremony outside, to protect your flame from going out.

Reverse Candle Lighting – The reverse candle lighting ceremony starts with the bride and groom lighting their individual candles from a single/joint one and then proceeding to then light candles held by their bridal party, who then help to light each guests candle.  You would end up with a beautiful sea of candle light, each lit from the same candle.

Sand Ceremony – Both the bride and groom (and children if they are being included) pour different coloured sands into a central vessel, creating a pretty pattern. Each different coloured sand represents a different person. If both the bride and groom are from different areas, you could use sand from your hometown beaches.

Hand Fasting – Hand fasting is a Celtic tradition which involves binding the hands of a couple with ribbon or cord either before, during or after reciting your vows, it is used as a way to symbolise your commitment and devotion to one another.

Tree planting – All about the environment and everything green? Then you may want to include a tree planting as a way of symbolising your union.  You can choose any type of plant/tree you like, and then the tree can be displayed in your home afterwards.

Unity sandwich – You like peanut butter, and he likes jam, perfect, use these two spreads (or any other favourite sandwich fillings) to create the perfect sandwich.

Jumping the broom -Jumping the broom is a time honoured tradition where the bride and groom actually jump over a broom.  The act symbolises a new beginning and the sweeping away of the past.

Hand washing ceremony – You and your groom wash your hands in a large bowl of water. The washing of your hands symbolises the fresh start that you are embarking upon in your marriage, while having your hands dried by your spouse symbolises the act of being vulnerable to each other, and letting yourself be cared for by another.

Mixing Oil and Herbs – If you’re both foodies, then you could mix herbs and oil together as part of your unity ceremony.

Creating art together – Purchase a large canvas, and then each of you choose a colour that represents you, and then you create a painting together using the two different colours. The upside is you now have a meaningful piece of art work to display in your home after.

Lock unity – Each of you choose a lock with a key, you both place your wedding band on the lock and use the key to lock it before the ceremony.  This symbolises your separate and individual lives, during the ceremony, you use the keys to open the locks, exchange your wedding bands and then entwine the two locks and lock them together, symbolising your commitment forever.

Unity hour glass – Very similar to a sand ceremony, you use a decorative hour glass to pour your separate sand into. Plus side is that you now have a useful item to use in your home.

Brand – For those of you farmers, or those getting married on a farm, you could have a brand made of your initials, either as two different brands that you could join together on the day or one brand with both your initials together, that you can brand a piece of decorative wood together. It would be a pretty impressive part of your ceremony.

Fishermans Knot – The Fishermans knot is also know as the ‘lovers knot’ It is made from two cords which represent you as individuals, as you fasten the two cords together this act represents the joining of your two lives in marriage. Once the knot is completed then this represents your future strong, and only becoming stronger under pressure.

As you can see there are a multitude of different options if you are thinking about including a unity ceremony as part of your wedding ceremony, and maybe this list may spark some ideas for something original to you as a couple.  The options are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

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People We Love: Hayden Campbell – Photographer

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Meet Hayden Campbell: Black Label Photography

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Business Name: Black Label Photography

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business:  I have been shooting for about 4 years , started out shooting  landscape and surf photography which still remain  my number one passion.  Living in the Catlins you cant walk five steps with out falling over something beautiful to photograph! The ocean and beach are my main focus for everything including portraits. I had some help getting in to wedding photography which I am really grateful for as it’s such a daunting thing to get into , one special day…don’t mess it up!!

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What do you love about your job? Meeting new people and hearing new yarns , everyone has had a beer or 8 and are dead keen for chat.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? Spare time? What is that!! Ha Chasing waves with the boys and hanging out with my 6 month old Asher !

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Time Management!! Happens every time  “we’ve got heaps of time ”   nope we had heaps of time and now we are late !

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Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? Nooo!!  Its all good , if you’re planning a wedding don’t let what’s in or out of trend influence what you do. If you love it and its your vision just roll with it , its your big day who cares what  old uncle Gary thinks !

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple?  Just the classic old Brides right in to it and the groom is over it, haha, groom normally gets a dirty look from his new bride and pulls his head in ,quite common …even I was one one these!!

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What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? First and most importantly enjoy it  , it goes by so quick , delegate jobs and dump some stress to other people , they will be happy to help and stoked to see you relax and enjoy the day!

Secondly Time Time Time ! Give yourselves heaps and expect things to go wrong, somethings you can not control but if you have a bit of time up your sleeve it will make it easier to deal with!

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One insider tip/trick to pass on? My insider tip relates to me actually photographing your wedding. Check your gear and check it again then check it some more! If its a vital piece of equipment (camera body ,flash ,memory cards ) have 2 of them.You do not want to be part way through the day and have something fail!This is my worst fear , SD cards can corrupt so shooting 2 simultaneously may just save the day. Enjoy the day and enjoy the people , the vibe you give off will have a massive impact on your images . Smiles are contagious!

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The man himself: Hayden Campbell

If you love the images you’ve seen and the wedding wisdom Hayden has imparted and his vibe and want to have a chat or see more you can contact him here:

Black Label Photography: Black Label Photography

Email: hayden.blacklabel66@gmail.com

Facebook: hayden.blacklabel photography

Instagram: @hayden.blacklabelphotography

People We Love: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Meet: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

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Business Name: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: A few years ago, some close friends of mine got engaged and asked me if I would take their wedding.  It was completely an honour to be asked and so I went about getting my licence to marry them.  Every wedding I’ve done has been special but that first wedding was EXTRA special as they are still good friends of mine, have been big supporters of my business, and it was so beautiful to watch them say their vows. And to choke up as I announced them as husband and wife! Since then I’ve done nearly 100 weddings and I’ve loved every single one.  I get to write a personalised ceremony for each couple and meet them in a really cool time in their life.  I feel very lucky to do this job, and to work with other celebrants and vendors in the industry that are cool, creative, and open minded.

What do you love about your job? What don’t I love!  Obviously I love love, and I love weddings otherwise I probably wouldn’t do this job.  But a couple of specific loves; 1) hanging out with the groom before the ceremony starts and the bride arrives and watching him tear up a bit when she comes in, 2) being able to marry Australian gay couples and celebrate their union when it’s not recognised at home. I also love the dresses and the vows and all the tears.

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What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests?  I house and pet sit so that keeps me moving house every few weeks and making numerous furry friends.  I do some nannying, cleaning, and help in a food truck as other sources of revenue.  I love weird films, documentaries, true crime stories, reading, and podcasts.  And chocolate.

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? That you can do pretty much anything to celebrate your wedding.  The legal requirements are so few, and any good celebrant will make sure they happen smoothly, so the rest of the day is totally up to you! There are no rules.

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Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I ask all of my couples if they want to get their wedding rings tattooed on during the ceremony, and if they want an eagle to fly their rings down the aisle.  I see  these things in blogs and would love to tick them off the bucket list.  I love mismatched colours and genders in the bridal party, and both parents walking both people getting married down the aisle.  I don’t want to call anything out that I’m sick of in weddings, so I’ll tactfully say that I would love people to only do things in weddings that are meaningful to them!

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? One 8 year old ring bearer wept through his uncle’s vows.  A bride said she appreciated how her soon to be husband loved her despite her farts, in her wedding vows.  Another couple wanted to do something memorable and symbolic of the awesome union of them coming together in marriage.  So we did a science experiment called the “elephant’s toothpaste” which foamed in a colourful mess.  You Tube it for more details.

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Elephant’s toothpaste science experiment

 At another wedding we surprised the two witnesses by putting two lollipops under two chairs in the ceremony space before all the guests arrived.  The two lucky people didn’t know they’d be signing the paperwork until we got to that part in the wedding, and I got everyone to look under their chair.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? At each decision point, ask yourself if what you’re doing is how you want to celebrate your day, or if you’re being dictated to by your friends, peers, parents, or Pinterest!  Invest in a videographer or just a friend who can set up a video.  The day will pass so quickly and it’s lovely to have a record of the ceremony which will feel like a blur.

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That one time the bride arrived on a donkey!

One insider tip/trick to pass on?  When your wedding starts, ask your celebrant or minister to invite you and your love to take a moment and a deep breath and look each other in the eye, pausing for a few seconds.  Again, the day passes so quickly and it’s nice to rest in the moment and acknowledge what’s happening, before we rush ahead to the next things.  Pausing is ok! You’ve got time!

If you think Laura is awesome and would love to get in contact with her, here’s where you can reach her:

Email:          laura.giddey@gmail.com

Instagram: @celebrantlauragiddey

Facebook: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Website: lauragiddey.co.nz

People we love: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Nicola Wall  – Marriage celebrant

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Business Name: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I am married to Tyron and have 3 children aged 7,5 and 1 1/2 . I’m trained, registered secondary school teacher (social sciences) who is currently at home running after no3 child and starting to look forward to picking up some part time teaching. I applied to become a celebrant initially because I had previously mentioned what an awesome job it would be – my little sister told me I had to do it as she could not find an available celebrant for any of her choices of wedding dates, and I have continued renewing my registration because I love it.

What do you love about your job? Absolutely no two weddings are the same.  I get to share in people’s most happiest of days and have a good stickybeak at the fabulous dresses, decorations and family dynamics!

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What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I have 3 children – what spare time?

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Grooms need to try on their wedding trousers prior to the day.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I wish people didn’t care so much what their families/tradition says – it’s good to a point, but the best weddings are the ones where the couples choose elements/elaborations that are uniquely ‘them’.

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? Do you mean like the time the butterflies wouldn’t leave their cage at the conclusion of the ceremony? Or the bride that was 45 minutes late because of stock on the road and no cell phone coverage? Interrupting a wedding because the thunderstorm hit 2 minutes too early? The couple that nearly couldn’t get married because they’d not collected their licence in time?

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What 2 pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Don’t be scared to ask questions and think outside the square.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? There is no ‘right way’ for a wedding ceremony nor one size fits all.

Think Nicola sounds like ‘the best celebrant ever’? Then contact her here:

email: nicolawallcelebrant@gmail.com

Phone: 0272317174 or 4544277

Website: www.nicolawall.weebly.com

 

 

 

“Tradie Tuesday” JC Beauty Co

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “Tradie Tuesday”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

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Business Name: JC Beauty Co.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: I am a 26 year old mum of 2, I studied in Christchurch at the National School of Aesthetics and sat 3 diplomas. I have worked both in Australia and NZ, including at the Sydney Fashion Show 2013. I was working full time in retail (in Dunedin) and my daughter was just 1 year old when I decided I’d had enough of working 36 hours a week, missing out on my kids and yet never moving forward financially so I pulled the plug on my full time job and jumped into what I knew best.

My daughter is now 2, and in this time I have managed to build a debt-free business from a bottle of oil with up to 6 staff, and now have opened 2 salons in the same month! (June 2016). We offer mobile and in-salon treatments, are licensed and fully qualified. I am really proud of how far we’ve come mostly from word of mouth, our passion really does show in our work.

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We now specialise in bridal hair and beauty, and cover the whole South Island, because there is a huge market for this. People are increasingly trying to find mobile and affordable beauty therapists without compromising on quality.  It’s about making the process as smooth as possible for the bride-to-be.

What do you love about your job?: Every day is different.  I am not tied down to the same four walls, and I have come up with a way that I can provide others the same joy and freedom I experience from working for JC Beauty.  I meed different people everyday with different backgrounds, personalities and taste in fashion/makeup trends.  I love the positive feedback and the look on our clients faces when they see our work 🙂

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I have my two kids, Jayden is 8 and Lilly is 2. I try to spend as much time as possible with them.  I have a few other small businesses which I oversee also, I have delegated the more time consuming jobs in these so I can spend my spare time with my family.  I’d love to travel with them soon, and spend more time outdoors.  However work will be full on for a while yet.

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? How fast the wedding day is over, to enjoy the process of planning and not to stress if something goes wrong.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? Personally at the moment I am loving rustic styled weddings, there’s just something about them, plus alot of it can be done by the wedding party – DIY table settings etc, which would make it super affordable.

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Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I generally work only with the females of the bridal party, but I have recently worked and was invited to a wedding in which Angela Port was the celebrant. A beautiful bride was very lucky to have been able to marry her soul mate after being diagnosed with Leukemia about a year earlier.  It was surreal, she had the whole room in tears; so much emotion in one room.  I was honoured to have been involved with their big day, I went home and told my family how much I loved them after that.

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What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Don’t do your own make up or self-tan!! Professional is always best, but be sure to research businesses and attend wedding shows! It’s amazing how many vouchers you can pick up by attending a wedding event, also by attending these you get to meet and talk with the businesses in the wedding industry directly.  You may find these businesses are more passionate about their work and will work more closely with you to ensure your day is perfect because they are more invested.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? Don’t skip your skincare! Your skin is the largest organ in your body.  It protects you! I’d recommend seeing a beauty therapist as soon as you’re engaged for a skin care routine that suits your budget. By investing in your skin you won’t only save money on photographer’s editing time, or the time and product of a make up artist but your skin will love you for it in the long run!

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 Come and have a chat with us at the Dunedin Wedding Show or the Southland Wedding Show.

We’re all over social media at

Facebook: JC Beauty Co

Instagram: @qualitymobilebeauty

Tumblr: qualitymobilebeauty.tumblr.com

and of course email: owner.jcbeautyco@gmail.com