In this variation on The Unity Candle
ceremony, the couple chooses a glass bowl
that they'd like to have in their home. Each
person involved, instead of lighting a candle,
pours colored marbles or colored glass rocks
into the glass bowl--each person has a
separate color. When everyone has poured
their colors in, including the bride & groom, I
reach in and swirl the layers of separate
colors into one big mosaic--a true blending of
lives into an ongoing, living piece of art.

One newly-combined family with five children
(plus parents, of course) chose bud vases
holding seven different colors of stones. At
the same moment, everyone poured his or her
vase of stones into a large Art Deco-style bowl
chosen by the parents. Each family member's
color joins everyone else's color, and yet
each keeps its individuality as well! I then
used my hand to mix all the colors together,
and to place a stick of curly bamboo (symbol
of joy and long life) into the rainbow of stones.
When the light hit the glass vase at this
outdoor ceremony, the effect was absolutely

This vase now has a permanent place in the
family's home, right in front of a window, so
that the colors can truly shine!
Unity Bowl Ceremony
Each parent, stepparent, godparent and so on is
given a bud vase filled with a different color of flat
the individuality of each family member.
The grandparents pour their separate colors into the
Unity Bowl as the foundation of the wedding of the
bride and groom. Each set of parents does the same.
After each set of grandparents, parents and so on
have added their marbles to the mix, I stir the colors
Siblings and other special friends may be invited to
participate, as well. Then the bride and groom add
their two colors, and I mix the Unity Bowl contents
again. I suggest the bride and groom have about
twice as many of their color than the other
participants.  If there are children, they add theirs
after the bride and groom, as we are honoring each
generation. Ultimately, the family members are
reminded that each of them, in their own way, has
colored the lives of the bride and groom.  Therefore,
each has developed specific tastes, goals, morals,
choices...and thus the bride knows she has found
her perfect groom, and the groom knows he has
found his perfect bride.

Finally, it is noted that, just as the mosaic has
continually changed, so is change the most
dependable constant in the couple’s married life.  
They are called on to embrace change, find what can
be learned from each change, and to put their own
hands in and stir up the design in the bowl with
every change they encounter.

Thus they get to keep a memento placed in their
Unity Bowl by all the family members and other loved
ones who were present at their wedding–an
emotional value that always grows with time–and also
a reminder that change is always beautiful, as long as
we keep the right perspective that we can always
learn from change.