There was wood glue at my wedding, and it didn’t just sit somewhere innocently on a shelf in the storage closet of our venue. Wood glue was part of the main event – placed right up at the front on the “altar” my husband made, ready for us to squeeze on to two chunks of wood smack dab in the middle of our ceremony. Oh, and there were wood clamps and a putty knife up there too :).
We had spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out little details for our ceremony that felt right. We wanted the actual “getting married” bit of our big day to feel 100% genuine and not like we were just filling in the blanks with our names + our wedding date in a script to be read off by some pastor we barely knew. We chose readings that meant a lot to us and worked with our officiant to find a balance between quirky + traditional.
One of the traditional parts of a wedding that we both dreaded was the unity ceremony. We had seen the standard lighting of candles, the pouring of colored sand, the tying of knots and other spins on this simple symbolic gesture. All of them felt weird and inauthentic to us. We’re both too practical to make something during one of the most important moments of our lives that doesn’t serve any function. Honestly, what do people do with those bottles of colored sand anyway?
I think we came up with a few ideas for our unity ceremony (one of which was to just not have one) before we finally fell on something that we both got really excited about…
We’d do a friggin’ glue up! All dressed in our wedding best we’d bust out some wood glue and take two pieces of wood and turn them into one and BOOM we’d make the base for a sign we could hang in our home for all of time :).
All of the symbolism and meaning and functionality we craved were rolled into one totally weird way of symbolizing the union we were forming. We both chose wood that was meaningful to us or that represented us in some way and we had a local metal artist cut and powder coat a piece of steel for us with our nickname “The CarlDedinsons” to attach to the finished piece.
We had our officiant explain what a “glue up” was and why it was so perfectly suited to symbolize marriage. We were taking two separate pieces of wood that had grown in different places under different circumstances with different qualities and combining them together to make one solid piece. The bond that joins the two individual pieces changes them forever in that the two boards can never be separated without taking pieces of the other wood with it – the connection is literally on a cellular level.
Even though it was unconventional and maybe slightly awkward (I’m pretty sure nobody really understood what we were doing up there at the altar) I am so glad that we followed our hearts and did something unique for our unity ceremony. Life is too short to blindly follow tradition and the risk of getting a little wood glue on my wedding dress was so worth it.