Naming Ceremonies are a great way to show your acceptance and commitment to your adopted or step child to so that they feel officially part of the family. It’s a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bond you have with them and create the new family unit and celebrate that. It brings your family and friends together to share with you the start of this new and exciting journey. It gives you the chance to express hopes and wishes for their future whilst acknowledging their freedom to grow. Family and friends can also show their support by giving a special reading and make a celebration out of the exciting change in the dynamics of the your family unit.
There are some really fun ways you can get the child or children to join in so they feel fully involved in the bonding process and play their own role in a naming or unity ceremony.
Its meaning is simple and beautiful: two becoming one. The family members mix two different colours of sand into one container, thereby symbolising their lives and hearts entwined. Once combined, it would be extremely difficult to separate the sand out again, just as the family are so joined together. They are a favourite for children as they get to choose their own colour of sand and have a direct role in the ceremony.
Unity Candle Ceremony
The unity candle ceremony is one of the most well-known alternative unity ceremony and can be used for a union of two people or for a joining of two families, especially step families. Unity candles are where there are two candlestick shaped candles on either side of a larger candle, or a trio of candles with a larger central candle to light at the end of the ceremony.
Each partner / family member lights their single candle at the start of the ceremony, which stays burning throughout. At a later point the family members come forward and use their single candles to light the bigger middle one together. When two lights come together they burn stronger and brighter; this symbolises the strength that people can bring by coming together in a relationship.
Adult guiding hands would be needed if younger children are present, and maybe a blowy outdoor ceremony would not be the best for this type of ceremony.
Tree planting ceremony
Planting a tree is a beautiful idea as it can symbolise the growth of your relationship and is just a fitting to a wedding as it is to a naming or unity ceremony. Together you can see the tree grow just as your love and lives do together, and you must nurture it in order to keep it alive. So you gather two pots of dirt, possibly from a special, significant place, and plant a tree in the combined soil.
Water it together with two watering cans (again, perhaps with water from a meaningful place), or even one shared watering can. You might even want to include your guests or immediate family and friends—ask them to add their own scatters of soil or seeds. This is definitely one of the the most symbolic alternative ceremony ideas!
Painted Canvas Ceremony
One of the most artistic alternative unity ceremony ideas, you could create a piece of art that the family can treasure forever by painting on a piece of canvas (perhaps decorated with your names and the naming date?).
To make it even more special, you can carry through the symbolism of “two becoming one” by each using a different colour of paint that, when combined, make a new colour. For example, red and yellow to make orange. Or by adding the hand prints of the close family members on top of each other, or finger prints to create your own family tree with fingerprint leaves. By the end of the ceremony you’ll have a lovely keepsake that will look fantastic on your living room or bedroom wall.