Sand Ceremony Sets
What Is a Wedding Sand Ceremony?
A type of unity ceremony, the wedding sand ceremony expresses the coming together of two people or two families into one new family. 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.
It's based on the unity candle, where 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 a Wedding Sand Ceremony Works:
First, the officiant says a few words about the ceremony and its meaning. 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 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 getting married, they typically each add another layer to the vase.
To finish, everyone pours at the same time, forming a mix of colors at the top that represents the united family. Some people choose to have this last step be just the happy couple, while others include everyone. Keep in mind that it might be difficult to have six people pouring sand at the same time.
When Does a Sand Ceremony Take Place?
There are no strict rules - I've seen couples place it at many different points in their wedding ceremony order, and even as a separate ritual at the reception. However, typically it takes place immediately following the ring exchange and vows. That allows it to be a culmination of the ritual, once you have already been joined in marriage.
Use sand ceremony vows to make the ritual more meaningful.
If you're having a religious wedding, consider having the officiant start by pouring a white sand to represent God as the foundation for your lives, and your relationship.