A marriage is absolutely symbolizes a strong bond being formed between two people. On top of this it also marks the coming together of two families. To celebrate this, some people choose to incorporate special rituals into their wedding ceremony that represent the union. Here is a look at a few commonly used symbols of unity.
Perhaps the most widely used item is a unity candle, the lighting of which is use to signify the matrimonial bond. The bride and the groom will both usually light an individual candle of their own, then holding their heads in one of their hands, use them to simultaneously light a third. Often the mothers from each family will initiate the process by light the candles the bride and groom hold. Sometimes the candles are blown out, but more often than not they will remain lit for the ceremony in its entity.
Another option may be to use a unity cup. In this case, each family fills it own cup with something, usually red wine, and then the bride and the groom pour half from each cup into a third cup and then each proceed to drink from it. The half empty family cups stand for the uniqueness of each family while the full third cup signifies the maritime connection. Again the parents could be involved by filling the family cups to begin with.
A newer tradition is for the groom to deliver a rose to the bride who will bring a vase for it to the ceremony. When the two are combined together it serves as a representation of their unison in marriage.
While these symbols are not a requirement for weddings but they can serve to make your ceremony a more spiritual experience. They can also be an excellent way to involve your family. You might even want to make your own, by drawing from something personal to you such as culture or heritage.