The Unity Tree Ceremony

Is anyone else kind of bored with the whole unity candle/sand/water/flowers/etc. ceremony? In theory, it’s sweet – here’s a visual representation of the vows we’re making. We’re becoming one! Or our lives are becoming blended but we’re maintaining our autonomy! Either way, it’s a nice thought. But really, how many brides and grooms keep their unity candles (or use them… are you allowed to do that)? What becomes of the colored sand that probably got all shaken together post-ceremony?


(via the lovely Micah Dahlberg Photography)

When considered what we one could replace the unity *whatever* with, I came across the wedding tree planting ceremony. Now this, I like. I am the kind of gal who isn’t a huge fan of cut flowers because they wilt and wither and die, and it bums me out. When a situation warrants the purchase of flora – a birth, a death, or so on – I will almost always buy a low low lowwwww maintenance plant instead of a bouquet.



(via the talented Worthington Photography)

There’s more than one way to perform a wedding tree planting ceremony. The couple can start with a sapling with a root ball and actually plant it in a container or in the ground. Brides and grooms can also plant the tree symbolically, starting with an already-planted sapling and adding soil to its container. Or a couple might simply simultaneously water a little tree that’s been previously potted. You can even include other wedding VIPs in the ceremony!


(via the fantastic people at 2000 Dollar Wedding, which is still awesome)

What does the officiant or the couple say during the wedding tree planting ceremony? My standard answer would be “whatever they want to say.” But for those brides and grooms for whom words do not come naturally, here are two ideas:


(via the amazing Cindy Patrick Photography)

The only downside? I’m thinking superstitious brides and grooms better be pretty religious about taking care of that sapling until it turns into a tree that can take care of itself, thankyouverymuch. Anyone remember the “love fern” from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? The Beard and I bought a fern once upon a time and jokingly called it our love fern after seeing that movie, and I’m not kidding you when I say it was kind of sad when it died. Because I planted it outside… in the fall… where it got literally no sun. You just don’t want to watch your wedding sapling die.

3 Responses to “The Unity Tree Ceremony”

  1. Paula@DreamWeddingItaly July 21, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Yep, my OH is VERY supersticious, I would be too scared to try this in case the tree died :S it’s a great idea though!

  2. Benjamin July 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Very unique, I like this idea much better than the tradition forms. Recently all Ive seen at weddings is the 3 color sand tubes. Nice thought, but how long before it gets all mixed up. A tree is so cool…represents a growing relationship and when you move to your first house, you get to watch the tree grow. I like the symbolism behind a plant/tree. I am definitely going to try and push this idea to my finance for our wedding.

  3. Victor July 22, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    I never really understood the whole “Unity Candle” thing, personally. A flame is such a fleeting thing, you know? (And I’ll snark on my brother’s Unity Candle ceremomy at a later time.) But I kinda like the tree idea, especially if it *is* taken care of so that it grows big and strong.

    However, I’m reminded of a Remembrance Tree planted by the main character in the novel “Duck” who, with his wife, planted a tree with their son’s ashes. It grew and thru the years they would visit it for the comfort it gave them. When his wife died, he tried to plant a tree for her next to his son’s tree, only to discover the tree (and the others around it) were being cut down by a developer (and the book gets sadder from there).

    So I guess what I’m saying is be careful where you plant the tree.