We have all heard or seen the candle lighting ceremony where the bride and groom light a Unity Candle from two individual candles representing their individual lives and families becoming one. The same goes for the Sand Ceremony. It is much the same concept where two different colors of sand are poured into a third ntainer symbolizing the same.
But are there other options?
Of course there are!
Hand Fasting - The bride and groom’s hands are joined together, usually holding hands so the wrists and pulses are touching, with a ribbon or symbolic material looped over the bride and groom’s wrists by the wedding officiant.
Marriages held in Great Britain and Ireland from the 12th century onward have been influenced by religious and traditional practices. These practices included hand-fasting. During hand-fasting the two getting married in turn would take the other by the right hand and declare aloud that they there and then accepted each other as man and wife. The words might vary but traditionally consisted of a simple formula such as “I (Name) take thee (Name) to my wedded husband/wife, till death us depart, and thereto I plight thee my troth”. (It is the root word of Bethrothed "Betrothed") Because of this, hand-fasting was also known in England as “troth-plight”. Gifts were often exchanged, especially rings: a gold coin broken in half between the couple was also common. Other tokens recorded include gloves, a crimson ribbon tied in a knot, and even a silver toothpick.
Hand-fasting might take place anywhere, indoors or out. It was frequently in the home of the bride, but according to records hand-fastings also took place in taverns, in an orchard and even on horseback. The presence of a credible witness or witnesses was common. Nowadays we practice this ritual as a novel way of blending the old ways with the new.
It is where we get the term "Tying the knot".
Wine Ceremony - This ceremony is represented by a different type of wine. (Usually a favorite of the Mothers of the bride and groom.) The wine from each represented side of the family is poured into individual glasses, and the couple pours it into the central glass during the ceremony. After a few words from the officiant the bride and groom take a sip from the newly formed drink symbolizing the mingling of the two families in much the way the sand ceremony does.
The Wine Box - Both the bride and groom privately write love letters to each other and seal them in an envelope. These letters are given to the Maid Of Honor and Best Man respectively. A bottle of wine (or favorite liquor such as whiskey, Scotch or the like which incidentally will keep better with age whereas wine can "Turn") is placed next to a Wine box This can be hand crafted or purchased at various stores or online. (Click here for an example) At a specific point in the ceremony the officiant will say some words explaining how it works and commemorating the ceremony. The Maid of Honor and Best Man will then hand the envelopes to the couple and the wine (Liquor) is placed by the couple into the box. If the couple ever has a big misunderstanding the box can be opened and the letter read to each other with a ceremonial drink to remind them of their love for each other. If there is no such misunderstand warranting the opening of the box, the couple then opens it and does the same thing on their 5th anniversary. After the letters are read and the drink consumed, new letters can be written (preferably the following day after the "effects" have worn off lol) and a new bottle placed into the box for their 10th anniversary and so on.
I am sure with a little research you can find many other ideas to make your wedding a little outside the box (pun intended)