When you live the life of junior parochial vicar on a parish staff, sometimes you wonder what you might do differently if you were in charge. Any new pastor brings changes, so what would change if it were me? What would be suppressed, and what restored? You can't help but think about it. But I'll tell you one thing that would be forbidden if I were pastor: the dreaded wedding or "unity" candle.
You're familiar with it: typically it's a set of three candles; two slighter ones flanking a large one. The idea is that, just as two people are united in marriage, so the flames from the smaller candles unite to ignite the large one. To be honest, it's actually a nice symbol, and if you can get the bride and groom to produce their actual baptismal candles to serve as the two smaller lights, even better.
But here's the problem: it's just one more example of how we focus on "nice" and accessible symbols instead of facing the subtle and transcendent mysteries that are before us in the liturgy.
I encourage couples to skip the "unity candle" that they might focus on the Word of God speaking to them, their sacramental consent to one another, and (in most cases) the sacrifice of the Eucharist offered for them during their first moments as newlyweds. Isn't that enough to do for one day, without adding in these bonus features?