The unity candle is a traditional ceremony ritual that symbolizes the union between the bride and groom. It's a beautiful, poignant moment during the ceremony, but if candle lighting is a little too traditional for your nuptials, we've got five other creative twists on the tradition. Here are some alternative unity ceremony ideas you're sure to love.
Traditional Unity Candle (above): The candle-lighting ceremony usually involves the couple lighting one large candle from two smaller family candles lit by the mothers and represents the bringing together of two families.
Photo: [Kristi Pinkham](http://www.kristipinkham.com/)
Rope Tying: During this couple's unity ritual, they used rope to tie a fisherman's knot — a nautical knot that only gets tighter with pressure — to symbolize the strength of their union over time.
Photo: [Root Photography](http://rootweddings.com/)
Beer: Instead of a unity candle, this couple's ceremony included a beer opening. A waiter walked down the aisle with a tray of two beer bottles, two bottle openers, and one pint glass. The bride and groom opened their beer bottles and poured them both into one glass, then shared a "Cheers!"
Photo: [Sarah Lyn Photography](http://sarahlyn.com/)
Wine: Since they were marrying at a winery, this couple chose two different-yet-compatible wines and poured them into a carafe, creating a perfect blend.
Photo: [Ashley Rose Photography](http://www.ashleyroseblog.com/)
Tree Planting: A creative nature-inspired idea is to plant a tree together, adding soil (perhaps gathered from both of your hometowns) to a potted plant to symbolize your union.
Photo: [Grace Note Photography](www.gracenotephotography.com)
Painting: This artsy and creative couple had a unique ceremony where each person poured a different color of paint onto a single canvas, creating a modern-art representation of their marriage.