THE UNITY CANDLE or Wedding Candle
There are various explanations as to the history of the Unity (Wedding) Candle and the interpretation of its symbolism. In essence the ceremony involves three candles. The central candle is the Unity (Wedding) Candle and not just placed in the centre but normally raised above the other two candles which flank the Unity (Wedding) Candle.
The popular explanation is that the two candles are either lit by representatives from each family to symbolise the love and allegiance that each family has for either the bride or the groom; or lit by the bride and groom themselves, one candle by the bride and the other by the groom signifying their individuality.
As the bride and groom use the flames from the two candles to light the unity candle, they bring the love of both families together, united, for the new couple. At some ceremonies the two candles flanking the Unity candle are left burning and replaced in their holders (because each family's love for their own will continue). However in some ceremonies they blow out their individual candles.
When the ceremony is performed to symbolise simply the joining together of the bride and groom, the candles flanking the Unity Candle may be left lit beside the central candle to symbolise that the now-married partners have not lost their individuality. However, more often, the bride and groom pick up the candles flanking the Unity candle to light the central Unity candle and then extinguish their own candles. This symbolises the union of two individuals where 'they are no more two but one in Christ Jesus'.
Whether it is used for reasons of the Liturgiy or as a Visual Aid it introduces a very visual expression of the symbolism of that commitment to be 'no more two but one in Christ Jesus'.
Often a unity candle is decorated with an inscription, a picture of the couple, or with symbols appropriate to the ceremony. The candles are almost always white. The lighting ceremony may be accompanied by an explanation of the symbolism.
In some circles, it is customary for the couple to save the unity candle and relight it on their Wedding Anniversaries as a re-statement of (commitment to) their wedding vows.
To attach a picture to a candle or light we require a good quality original picture. An original photograph can be posted to us.
Ideally the image can be forwarded to us by Email preferably jpg at 300dpi, although psd, esp, gif, tiff or pdf would prove acceptable
(dpi refers to dots per square inch - in other words the more dots per square inch the better the picture - too many however means the image may be too large to Email which is why 300 dpi is the ideal size.)
If you're struggling with the terminology just send us what you can and we'll report back!