The Sand Ceremony is a popular unity ritual for outdoor weddings, particularly at the beach, and for obvious reasons. Sand. Beach. You get it, right? The symbolism is the same as the Unity Candle and captures the idea that two individuals are coming together to form an inseparable partnership.
Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to see me say that this too is a ritual with plenty of customizable options.
Couples can include family representatives who present the bride and groom with their individual vases of sand and the officiant can broaden the meaning to include the joining of two families, not just two individuals. Children of blending families can be included to demonstrate that the marriage is the foundation of the family and the children will continue to be loved and nurtured within the new union.
Some couples opt to use two different colors of sand while others prefer to both use natural sand or a single color meaningful to them . The officiant can adapt the wording of the sand ceremony to best fit the particular circumstances, especially if the colors are not just reflective of the wedding theme, but are selected for symbolic reasons.
Sand ceremony kits are widely available on-line and in some craft stores in the wedding aisle and in some bridal salons. They are generally not terribly expensive. Making a sand ceremony kit as a do-it-yourself project is quite easy. Two smaller vases, one vase roughly double the volume, and craft sand. That's it! This can be done under $20.
I do recommend the vases/containers be well-balanced and a bit on the weighty side. I have seen light-weight glass vases go flying down the beach in windy conditions, and I do not mean gale force winds either.
I have had more than a few couples ask about music for the sand ceremony. Don't bother! Unless you choose a kit that includes a center vessel with a narrow opening (the shadow box frame for example), the ritual lasts perhaps a minute and a half. During that time, the officiant is explaining the symbolism and guiding the couple through the actions. Light instrumental background music might be fine, but a special song would not work well at all. If you have a piece of music important to you, I recommend finding other ways to incorporate it into your wedding ceremony.
Two Color Sand Ceremony (Couple Chose Colors for Symbolic Meanings)
(Names), you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings. Today this relationship is further symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. (Name) has chosen blue sand as the color is symbolic of harmony, trust, security, and loyalty. (Name) has chosen brown sand as the color is symbolic of stability, hearth and home, reliability, and comfort. These two vases of sand represent (Names), and all they were, all they are, and all they will ever be.
(Names), I invite you to now pour your two containers of sand into the third container, where they shall be joined together as one. As the sand is blends, it flows together in a lovely pattern allowing us to see the individual colors while appreciating the creation of something new and beautiful—just as you encourage and support one another’s individuality in the context of a strong union. Our hope for you today is that your lives together be longer than the time it would take to separate these individual grains of sand.
One Color Sand Ceremony (Couple Chose Sand from the Ceremony Site)
(Names), you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings. Today your relationship is further symbolized through the pouring of this sand. It represents the essence of who you are and the gifts you bring to this union. A
t this time I invite you to pour some sand from this beach into the center vessel. As your sands mix together they symbolize your bond of love and respect that can never be separated. May this sand from the very place you began your marriage always remind you of this moment and bring to mind the reasons you fell in love and why you chose to marry. Our prayer for you this day is that your lives together be longer than the time it would take to separate these individual grains of sand.