A favorite Christian wedding tradition is the lighting of the unity candle.
The set-up includes three candles: one that represents the bride, one that represents the groom, and one that represents their covenant marriage.
After the vows are exchanged, or after the pastor prounounces the bride and groom as husband and wife, the bride and groom move towards the candles, each taking their own lit candle and lighting together the middle pillar candle, symbolizing their two lives becoming one thus the Unity Candle.
When to Light or Blow The Groom’s Candles
Some prefer to have the candles already lit before the guests enter. This symbolism would lean more towards the candles representing you and your fiancé, and the unity candle symbolizing your one flesh. Having your mothers (or mothers and fathers) light them, however, would lean more towards the candles as symbols of your families. The unity candle would then symbolize the joining of families. Neither choice eradicates the other; it is simply an emphasis on your perspective of the symbolism.
Also, some prefer to blow the bride’s and groom’s candles out after the unity candle is lit. This would symbolize the fact that there no longer exists the one without the other, since they are now one flesh. Another perspective would be to keep the bride’s and groom’s candles lit, even after the unity candle is lit, because the joining into one flesh does not extinguish the individual masterpiece that God created you each to be, or in other words, the bride and groom do not lose themselves by being married; conversely, they find themselves more precisely by being one flesh in a covenant marriage.
Other ways that you can make this tradition your own are by choosing to offer a narration of symbolism while the candles are being lit, or by abstaining from narration and instead having a musical piece accompany the lighting. Also, you could stray from the traditional white pillar and taper candles and instead use candles that are symbolic of your heritage, that are of your favorite color, or that were given to you by a special mentor in your life.
Whatever twist you decide to put on this tradition, if you decide to use it, you can now do so knowing what lighting the unity candle means in regards to the covenant marriage.