A wedding sand ceremony or unity sand ceremony symbolizes the coming together of two people and their families.
It is a popular and meaningful ceremony for a wedding day symbolizing the joining of a couple and their children. The sand can be poured by just the couple, or their families too. If the couple has children, this is a great way to have them be a part of the wedding.
A sand ceremoney
A sand ceremony involves the couple pouring sand into a single vessel. Each person has an individual container of sand. Sometimes they are different colors but they don’t have to be. When the sand is poured together, it symbolizes the lifelong commitment they are entering.
The final vessel is a beautiful and meangingful keepsake to have.
The history of a sand ceremony
The history of a sand ceremony is still fairly new. It was first seen as an alternative to the unity candle ceremony used during a Catholic wedding ceremony. The candle ceremony involves two smaller candlers lighting one large candle. Traditionally, the smaller candles were lit by the mother of the couple, and the larger candle by the couple themselves, using the smaller candles. It represents the uniting of the two families.
Over time weddings weren’t always held indoors, and instead moved outside. This sometimes caused issues with the lighting of the candle, when the wind would blow them out. In the 1980s, sand ceremonies became an alternative. The sand substitute meant it was more appropriate outside and that people were able to have a memento to keep from their wedding day.
What sand to use
There are no rules or traditions on which sand to use.
Some couples choose to collect sand from beaches they have visited or lived near as children, while others use colored sand to match their wedding theme.
What vessel to use
In terms of the vessel the sand is poured in, some couples choose a family heirloom, but any clear glass vessel would work fine.
If you’re looking for something special you could choose –
Planning your wedding sand ceremony
If you have decided this is something you’d both like to do, be sure that you discuss this with your celebrant during your first meeting. As a sand ceremony occurs during the marriage ceremony itself, they will need to include it in the order of events and explain it to your guests.
The sand ceremony itself usually happens in this order:
- Celebrant introduces the ceremony and then gives the sand to the bride and groom
- The groom pours his sand first into the display vessel
- The bride follows and pours her sand in
- The couple pour their sand in together until finished
Wedding sand ceremony script
There is no official wording to say in a wedding ceremony script, but here are some examples of text to use.
The couple pouring only
“Before each of you is a container of sand. (Insert the name of one half of the couple), this sand represents you. All that you are and all that you will be. (Insert the name of the other) and this sand represents you, all that you are and all that you will be. Today, your sand is combined into a final vessel. Once poured, these grains of sand can no longer be separated again into their individual containers. Just as these grains can never be separated, so will your marriage be.
(Insert the name of one half of the couple), I’d like you to start. Begin by picking up your vessel. You’ll pour about a quarter of your sand. (Insert the name of the other), you’ll now pour a quarter of your sand. Continue taking turns until your individual container is empty. “
The family and couple pouring sand
For this example, the mother or father of the couple can also pour sand into the vessel, symbolizing that the marriage is grounded by each family.
“In front of you are four colors of sand, representing both (insert couple names) and their families. We will begin with a layer from each mother, symbolizing that this marriage is grounded by each family. The next layers are for the couple. These layers represent the foundation that marriage is based on as well as the strength of each individual.
For the final layer, combine the colors of the couple’s sand to symbolize the joining of their lives as one in marriage.
Sand ceremony script with a child
Before each of you is a container of sand. (Insert the name of one half of the couple), this sand represents you. All that you are and all that you will be. (Insert the name of the other) and this sand represents you, all that you are and all that you will be. There are also children who will share in this marriage; (Child) and (Child). Each child also has an individual container of sand.
Today, your sand is combined into a final vessel. Once poured, these grains of sand can no longer be separated again into their individual containers. Just as these grains can never be separated, so will your marriage and family be.
You will also need to organize –
- Who will be pouring the sand – is it just the couple or will their parents be involved too?
- Sand – where will you get your sand from? Are there any specific colours you want?
- Pouring containers – what will the two containers be that will hold the sand you will pour?
- Display vessel – what container will you display the sand in?
- Table – you will need a table or similar to hold the vessels before and during the sand ceremony
- Afterwards – who will be responsible for collecting the display vessel afterwards and keep it safe? Who will clean up the table and other things used during the ceremony?
Are you considering a sand ceremony? Let us know in the comments below!