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The Ultimate Guide to Having a Tree Planting Ceremony

Are you a plant lover? Then you should do a tree planting ceremony for your unity! Even if you don't have a green thumb (much like me, I killed a cactus. How does that even happen?!) you can still partake in a tree planting ceremony, but you might choose to have a more durable and harder to kill plant since the whole point of a tree planting ceremony is that it symbolizes your love growing. How upsetting would that be if you killed the tree? Regardless, take a peek at this article which will tell you everything you need to know about including a tree planting unity in your ceremony!

I absolutely adore tree planting ceremonies! Not only are they cute, but the tree will develop roots as it grows and weathers the storms, just like your marriage will (and look at these adorable photos!).

What is a Tree Planting Ceremony?

A unity tree ceremony is when a couple plants a tree together during their wedding ceremony to symbolize

the joining of two individuals in marriage. After the wedding, the couple takes the tree back to their home and plants it, letting it flourish for years to come. You don't have to plant a tree though, some couples purchase a household plant and use that instead.

The symbolism behind a tree planting unity is truly beautiful, representing love setting it's roots in a couple while watching it grow and blossom over the many years to come, much like a tree.

What Does a Tree Symbolize in Marriage?

Trees symbolize strength, life, vitality, and roots.

When Does the Tree Planting Ceremony Take Place?

Although the tree planting ceremony can take place at any point throughout the ceremony, it is typically added in after you have recited your wedding vows. Your officiant will make an announcement explaining the tree planting ceremony and talk about why you chose this specific tree or plant, and then you and your partner will start gardening! (Don't worry, you won't get too dirty) After you're done planting and watering the tree, your officiant will go on to talk about how the tree symbolizes the growth of your love in the coming years. Just like your marriage, your tree will put down roots and continue to grow as its being nurtured, weathering any storms that may cross it's pass.

Set Up:

Its easier if you have the potted plant setup ahead of time so all you and your fiancé will need to do is add soil and water. You don’t want to spend 5 minutes up at the altar actually planting a tree, right?

With that being said, you'll need the following:

  • Table

  • 2 small jars for the dirt (dirt can be taken from wherever it is significant to you and your fiancé, or you can purchase at a garden center)

  • One potted plant that is special to the couple

  • A watering can filled with water

  • A separate pot (optional)

  • Two shovels to move the dirt (optional)


Although most tree planting ceremonies take place outside, you can do them inside as well. Just get a small plant like the one pictured above and you're good to go!

For the ceremony, the officiant will first talk about the significance of the tree. The couple then plants the tree, each one adding soil to the pot and watering it in turn. After that, the officiant will go on to explain how the tree symbolizes your marriage as it develops roots and continues to grow as it's nurtured, weathering any storms that may pass.

Different Ways to Perform the Ceremony

The best part of having a tree planting unity is the flexibility of it. Believe it or not, there are a few different ways you can preform the tree planting ceremony since there's no right or wrong way to do it. Here are a few examples:

  • You can choose from a tree or another kind of plant

  • You can plant a sapling inside a half full pot or directly into the ground

  • You could plant a pre-potted tree by adding your jars of soil on top and watering the plant

  • If it's a blending of families type of unity, you can go around in a circle and have each person add soil and water the tree

  • Or you can skip the planting all together and just water the tree with your partner

Types of Trees and Their Symbolism

Although you could just pick a random tree, it's fun to pick one with meaning. Maybe you had an apple tree in your front yard growing up and so you choose that, or perhaps your first kiss with your partner was under a maple tree, so you choose to use maple for your unity. Here are a few different types of trees and what they symbolize:

Apple Trees Represent Love, Fertility, Truth, and Beauty

Birch Trees Represent Adaptability, New Beginnings, and Regeneration

Elm Trees Represent Unity, New Perspective, and Freedom

Fig Trees Represent Stability, Faith, and Enlightenment

Maple Trees Represent Longevity, Protection, and Abundance

Oak Trees Represent Life, Health, and Family Unity

Pear Trees Represent Good Health, Longevity, and Abundance

Pomegranate Trees Represent Prosperity and Fertility

Willow Trees Represent Adaptability, Survival, and Renewal

What to Recite

When performing a tree planting ceremony, I often encourage the officiant to explain the meaning behind it all. This can be the inclusion of where the bride and groom got their dirt and the significance of it, for example: Did they each get dirt from their childhood homes, or the home they now share together, where they had their first date, etc. Your officiant can also talk about the meaning behind your tree/plant, such as why you chose it, and what it symbolizes. Then you can go on to talk about your love, and how it will grow over the years much like the tree before you.

Photo Credits:

1st Photo: Brooke & Tyler's Wedding, By Christina Joy

2nd-4th Photo: Kelsey & David's Wedding, By Bethany McNeil

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