A type of unity ceremony, the wedding sand ceremony expresses the coming together of two people or two families into one new family. It is a very simple idea that can be incredibly powerful. Typically, each person has different colored sand and takes turns pouring it into one clear vessel, forming a layered effect. Sometimes just the couple participates, and sometimes the couple’s children and/or parents join in with their own colored sand, adding to the layers of colors, and expressing the harmony of the entire family.
The sand ceremony is based on the unity candle — a bride and groom together light a central candle from their own flames. Yet with a candle, the flame eventually will blow out. The advantage of the sand ceremony is that there is a lasting memento to display in your home. Sand is also a better choice for an outdoor wedding, since wind is less of a concern than it is with a candle.
How The Ceremony Is Done
- First, the officiant says a few words about the ceremony and its meaning. Then he or she hands each person a vase of colored sand.
- The first person (often the groom) starts by pouring his sand into the central vase.
- Next, the second person (often the bride) pours her sand into the central vase, forming a second layer.
- If there are other family members participating, they each pour their sand into the central vase. If it’s just the couple participating, they typically each add another layer to the vase.
- Sometimes everyone pours at the same time thus representing a united family. It is the preference of the bride and groom if this is done. Sometimes if it is an outdoor ceremony it is difficult if there are a lot of participants.
When Does a Sand Ceremony Take Place In the Ceremony?
The most popular time, however, is following the ring exchange and vows. This allows the sand ceremony to feel most like part of the ritual, once you have already been joined in marriage.
What You’ll Need for a Sand Ceremony
- A different color of sand for each person participating.
- A pouring tube or vase for each person, filled with their sand.
- An empty central clear vase or jar.
- A small table near the altar .
- Cotton balls and clear tape.
Special Touches for Wedding Sand Ceremonies
- If you’re having a religious ceremony, consider having the officiant start by pouring a white sand to represent God as the foundation for your lives and your relationship.
Talk to your wedding officiant about how you would like to have the ceremony done. Make sure that you have everything ready on your wedding day so the ceremony will go smoothly.
Note: Each special wedding has a fee of $100 for the Officiant’s costume and specific ceremony and is paid at the time of booking.