Unity CandleThe Unity Candle has become a beloved part of the wedding ceremony. The couple each takes a flame and lights a single candle as a metaphor of their lives and loves combining into one. It’s a lovely gesture, but it’s also become one of those cliché tropes, like reading the “love” passage of Corinthians. Here are a few new twists on the old ceremony that get the same message across, but with a little more panache.

Lego Heart

What could be a better metaphor for building a life together–and what clearer an indication that you may grow old with your spouse, but you refuse to grow up–than building together with Lego? If you’re lucky enough to live near a Lego store, the build-a-brick section will enable you to pick out the right pieces to make a big red Lego heart for less than the cost of a candle. If you’re not near a Lego store, you can find plans for building an adorable heart right here, and you can get the pieces from the online shop Brick Link. Just make sure you have a long enough musical interlude for the time it’ll take for you and your spouse to put it together.

Sand Sculpture

This one couldn’t be simpler: all you need is a decorative bottle or vase and several different colors of sand. Take turns pouring colors to make a one-of-a-kind decoration that will be a lasting symbol of your love (at least until the next earthquake). Alternatively, you can use salt instead of sand, making a “salt egg” that you can keep in the kitchen and use to spice up your marriage (well, at least your meals).

Welding Ceremony

This one takes a bit of training and practice, but it definitely makes an impression. Your wedding will certainly stand out if you and your spouse take turns wielding an acetylene torch to weld together two pieces of metal into a unity sculpture, like this adventurous couple. Not only will it be entertaining for your guests, it’ll make a dynamite addition to your wedding album.

Unity Volcano

If you and your significant other are science teachers, chemists, or just enjoy making a mess while wearing formal clothes, you can’t go wrong with that old science fair standby, the volcano. Before the ceremony you can make the papier-mâché cone together. Then one of you adds baking soda, the other adds the vinegar, and you’ve got a lovely metaphor for the passion (and offbeat sensibilities) that brought you together.

Unity Tree

The unity tree incorporates another layer of symbolism while creating a lasting tribute to your love. Before the wedding, take a small sapling and put it in a pot. During the ceremony, the parents of the couple add a few shovelfuls of dirt to the pot to symbolize the nurturing and support they give to the couple. Then the couple takes turns adding water. After the ceremony, you can plant the tree and let your love grow!

Whether your love is a flame, a pile of Lego, or an erupting volcano, your unity ceremony can be as unique as you are. Let your shared interests as a couple guide you in selecting just the right way to symbolize the joining together of your lives as one.