Great question! Don’t know if anyone really knows when the lighting of the unity candle came to be, but, it was not always a tradition. Some may ask, “What is the lighting of the candle all about?”
The unity candle consists of three parts – two taper candles and one pillar candle. It can be either a small or a large expense depending on the quality and how elaborately the candles are decorated. It is, however, an expense and will need to be added to the budget.
Many Christians and non-Christians symbolically celebrate the merging of the two families into one union by lighting two taper candles at the start of the wedding ceremony. Typically, the mothers of the bride and the groom light the taper candles. However, a special aunt, an older sister, god-mother, close family friend, or anyone of their choosing can light the candles.
The lighting of pillar candle is usually done after the vows are said. This symbolizes the union of the couple. The bride and groom will each take a lit taper candle and simultaneously light the center pillar candle. This is a special moment when the couple will realize that they are now ‘one.’
Today, couples do things their own way according to their personal views and sentiments. There are no hard rules to follow here. However, etiquette should be followed when making decisions about how to conduct the wedding. Couples would do well in researching why certain traditions are done, and then decide if this is something that would be meaningful and add value to their wedding ceremony.
There are many ways to show unity in a wedding ceremony that include; sand, roses, rocks, and much more. Should you or shouldn’t you have a unity candle lighting ceremony? It’s up to you! Do what you feel in your heart! It’s your special day.