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Wedding Ceremony Questions

If you are already in the throws of wedding planning, it probably does not surprise you that wedding ceremonies can have a lot of problems that you need to deal with. Fortunately, TheKnot.com has all of the wedding expertise to answer even your toughest wedding ceremony questions. We will fill you in on alternatives to unity candles, how to decorate for a church wedding, and whether or not you should get a gift for your ceremony officiant. We also have advice for child attendants, how a wedding recessional works, and the best way to plan a nondenominational wedding. We have answers to questions like, "How can we honor a deceased loved one at our wedding ceremony?" and "Who should walk me down the aisle?" Another popular wedding ceremony question we answer is, "How should an uneven wedding party walk down the aisle?" Plus, get tips on the receiving line, such as whether or not to include stepparents and whether or not a receiving line is really necessary. We will even let you know fun ways to include your pets in your wedding ceremony. Have a question you don't see answered? Submit it to Carley and you just might see the answer show up on our site!

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Wedding Ceremony: Alternatives to Unity Candles?

Q.

We are getting married outside. The wedding ceremony will take place in a natural breezeway. We would like to light a unity candle, but the wedding candles will not stay lit. Are there any alternative ways to incorporate this wedding tradition?

A.

The symbolism behind the unity candle is the uniting of two families through marriage; you light a single candle together from your separate family candles. But there are definitely other ways to represent the union that don't involve candles. You could use two bouquets of flowers -- roses would be appropriate -- that each of your mothers brings down the aisle and places in a separate vase. Then at the right time during the ceremony, each of you could pluck a single stem from your family's bouquet and place the two stems together in a smaller vase. Or use wine: Your parents each pour wine into a pretty cup, and you all take a sip; then bride and groom each pour some into another vessel and sip from that as a couple. The Apache have a similar unity custom that involves pouring colored sand into a bowl. Or you can invent your own tradition!

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