Sand Ceremony: What is the Unity Sand Ceremony?
Unity Sand Ceremony
Maui Wedding at the Makena Beach Resort, Photo by Tad Craig Photography
What is the sand ceremony? One of the hottest wedding trends is the sand ceremony (thanks to Trista and Ryan). Everyone seems to have a different take on the presentation of the sand ceremony. People have also mistaken the sand ceremony as a Hawaiian tradition (rather, it has Native American origins).
The sand ceremony is basically a nonreligious way to unify the couple instead of lighting a unity candle. The sand ceremony symbolizes the unity of the couple and/or the joining of their families. The couple provides two small vials of sand (some use colored sand) to represent each person’s separate lives. The groom and bride each take turns pouring his and her sand into the main jar (for same sex weddings it is groom and groom or bride and bride) to represent them becoming one. You can get creative with the colors of sand as well as the vials used to pour the sand. Some of our couples have used coconut shells to pour the sand into the jar or bottle, which is then used as a keepsake. We recommend sealing the top of the jar or bottle with wax. It can be symbolic to have your parents melt the wax on the top to seal the sand in the jar.
The timing of the ceremony varies, but most commonly occurs before or after the vow exchange.
There are some ways to vary the ceremony. For example, if you have children, you may want to include them in the ceremony, as well.
Remember to tell your wedding planner that you are doing the sand ceremony during your ceremony so the table can be set up for you. The wedding planner will also communicate this information to the officiant, photographer, and videographer. You will need to provide the materials necessary to have this as part of your ceremony.
“Love is the eternal force of life.
Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage.
But although you will be sharing one life, never forget you are two separate people.
Cherish and affirm your differences. Love each other.
Keep your commitment primary.
Together you will laugh and cry, be sick and well, be happy and angry, share and grow.
Grow sometimes together, sometimes separately.”
“To symbolize the importance of the individuals within the marriage and the joining of two lives into one entity, 3 colors of sand will now be layered into a base.”
(Trista is handed a clear jar of Pink Sand, Ryan is handed a clear jar of Blue Sand. The minister has one small clear jar filled with a Neutral color sand and a large empty jar)
The Minister speaks again:
“We begin with a layer of Neutral Sand which symbolizes that the marriage is grounded.”
(The Minister pours a little of the Neutral Sand into the large jar)
“Then we layer the individual colors. This symbolizes that the marriage is based on the strength of the individuals.”
(Ryan poured a little of the Blue Sand in first, followed by a little more of the Neutral Sand from the minister. Trista then added a little of the Pink Sand, followed by some additional Neutral Sand from the minister).
When Trista and Ryan were married, they used the following wording:
“And now we combine the colors, which symbolizes two lives joined as one together forever.”
(Ryan and Trista simultaneously pour their remaining sand into the large jar until their jars are empty. The minister caps off the sand with the last of the Neutral Sand. The minister then holds the large jar up as if presenting to the wedding audience and places the jar to the side)
We discovered this wording for the ceremony at http://www.vibride.com
_(bride)_____ and _(groom)_____, you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and the exchange of a kiss, and this covenant is a relationship pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage relationship. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand one, representing you, _(bride)__ and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, _(groom)_, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.
This wording was found at http://iwedyou.com/html/sand_ceremony.html
BRIDE and GROOM you have just sealed your bond by the giving and receiving of rings and this covenant is a marital pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage union. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, GROOM, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated, our prayer for you today is that your lives together would take longer than the time it would take to separate the individual grains of sand.
Here are some links of resources for the sand ceremony items:
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