Register or log in —

Newer blog post
more in Blog
Older blog post
Newer blog post by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
more by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions (oldest)
Older blog post by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions's Picture
Jessie Blum, New Jersey Vendor: Officiant Website: Eclectic Unions About Me: I began writing & officiating wedding ceremonies in 2008, and love every single moment of it. It all started when my best friend asked me to officiate her Jewish/Lutheran/Pagan (but completely non-religious!) wedding - since then, I've found a love and passion for creating original wedding ceremonies that truly reflect the couples being married. Wedding ceremonies should be all about the bride & groom's love, relationship, and commitment, and I do my best to make sure everything is just perfect! I live in Northern New Jersey with my fiance and our two kitties, and, when I'm not meeting with my awesome couples or writing wedding ceremonies, I love to knit, obsessively check my email, and plan my own wedding (Oct 2010!).
About Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions

I thought I would take a few posts to write about the various unity ceremonies that can be included in wedding ceremonies. There are not only so many wonderful rituals and traditions that you can include – but there are so many variations on each of them.

Let’s start with one of my favorites, the sand unity ceremony.

m203950

In this ceremony, the bride and groom pour sand into a central vessel, to represent the many aspects of their lives coming together, and their marriage and lives will be as hard to break apart as it would be to separate the many grains of sand.

How It Works

We have the props set up on a small table at the front, which is usually directly behind where I am standing during the ceremony. When it is time for the ceremony (usually at the end, just before the closing remarks and after the ring vows), the couple separates, each standing on one side of the table. Depending on the room, I either go to stand behind the table, or I’ll go stand in front, slightly off-center, near the groomsmen.

Usually, there are two vials of colored sand, with a central (empty) vessel. Sometimes, we will have a third color (if they’re incorporating kids in the ceremony, they’ll have their own color, or they can pour their parent’s color for step-families).

http://www.weddingbeepro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/279320102.jpg

If the couple wanted to include their family or parents, I invite them up to stand on each side. If we’re including kids, they’ll stand near their relevant color. I then introduce the ceremony, and explain the meaning and relevance of the sand.

Our couple stands before two vessels of colored sand. These represent their lives as separate individuals, and separate families. Each one holds its own unique beauty, strength, and character. They can stand on their own and be whole, without need of anything else. However, when these sands are blended together, they create an entirely new and extraordinarily more intricate entity. Each grain of sand brings to the mixture a lasting beauty that forever enriches the combination.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be a molding of two individual personalities, bonding together and forming one heart and one life.

At this point, I ask the parents/family members/kids to pour a single layer of their sand, to represent the base of support and love they have for the couple. They are then seated.

m20395001

Then the couple pours their layers, individually, to represent their prior lives and the retention of their own unique-ness as they are joined together in marriage.

And then, to symbolize their marriage, the couple pours the remaining sand together, mingling the two colors. If the couple has children or step-children they want to really incorporate into the ritual, they’ll often pour their sand at the same time as the couple as well, mingling all of their colors together.\

m20395002

If the wedding is on a beach, or there is some relevant sand the couple has provided, I’ll then “seal” the top by pouring a layer of this sand, and mentioning its meaning.

Here is a very poor diagram to give you an idea of the layers:

m20395003

I love this ritual because afterwards, you have a beautiful sand sculpture to keep! I did a wedding last summer that was smaller, and a year to the day they had a big vow renewal and poured new layers onto the sand – a beautiful way to symbolize their first year of marriage.

m20395004

Pouring the sand, the first year.

m20395005

Parents pouring the first layers of the sand, a year later.

Where do you get the sand?

There are tons of places to buy unity sand ceremony sets (you can get even get fancy and get them engraved!) online. They even match them to David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo colors, if you want to be super coordinated! I’ve also found beautiful sparkly colored sand at craft stores (check out the floral department, it’s often used for filler in vases for arrangements, or in the wedding section, or in the kid’s section [for play sand]), and even some bridal stores are beginning to carry it.

And make sure that you bring something to cover the vase up with, so it doesn’t get too jostled on the way home if you intend to keep it. You can pour a layer of melted wax (from a candle or just purchasing some wax and melting it) to really “seal” the top so it won’t get too mixed up.

Not Just for Sand!

And why not think outside the box even more? It doesn’t have to just be sand! My fiance and I were having trouble finding a ritual that really resonated with us, but knew we wanted to include something… lately, we’ve been throwing around the idea of doing a “sand” ceremony with salt and pepper! We’d get colored salt (probably grey or pink gourmet sea salt) and colored peppercorns (leaning towards green or pink), and do the typical sand ceremony actions, with a bit of a twist on the wording.

Are you planning on including a sand ceremony? Are there any other unity rituals you’d like to learn more about?

Tags: , |   Link for this post | Share this post:  Share this post on Facebook  Add to Kirtsy
Newer blog post
more in Blog
Older blog post
Newer blog post by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
more by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions (oldest)
Older blog post by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions

4 Responses to “Including Rituals in Your Ceremony: Sand Unity Ceremony”

1.
D.Marie
Member
D.Marie (message)  2,575 posts, Sugar bee

Ive only seen the sand ceremony on a few websites and Im glad to see it on WeddingBee! We are doing one and we will be including my fiance’s kids, they dont know yet but im excited about it! We’re planning on surprising them when it gets a little closer to the wedding. We want them to know that they will always be apart of our lives and they are an important part of the wedding and marriage. :) Thanks for sharing your ideas and pictures. Salt and Pepper sounds like a great alternative to sand. Good luck.

 
2.
Guest Icon
Guest
Kayelily

As a minister for 11 years, I have had many couples choose the sand ceremony. The original from the Bible I understand was done with salt but it has come to be broader and more varied and has no religious connotation. I had one couple to whom popcorn had special meaning use different colored popcorn kernels to represent themselves. Other couples have used the pretty colored glass floral pebbles or marbles. Some include shells in their sand or their sand comes from a beach where they met. In including their families, the parents bring sand from where the couple grew up and this is poured in first as the couples foundation and heritage. Often, when couples I have married have children, I do a baby blessing ceremony and we pour sand representing their baby into the container with their sand that they poured during their wedding ceremony. It is a great ritual that fits in any contest of wedding ceremony.

It is important that the central container have a big wide mouth for ease of pouring. Bottles and funnels are a challenge and are tedious with spilling of sand. There is one commercial sand pouring kit on the internet that is beautiful to look at but most difficult to use. It is a heart sapped container which you have your initials engraved on that sits in a little rack and the individual containers have wider mouths than the central container which is also small and will not hold the volume of the two containers. Better to find your sand ceremony containers in a thrift shop or housewares store. There are many containers that have handy lids that preserve your sand.

 
3.
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
Pro
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions (message)  360 posts, Helper bee

@Kayelily: I actually did a sand ceremony with that exact set yesterday! I found if you use only two of the vials it comes with (not the third), and fill the vials up to the top of the engraved initials with the sand, and practice pouring, it does work, and is quite pretty. They got a beautiful pattern from pouring at the same time with that set, when sometimes it gets a bit muddled at the top.

Thanks so much for the wonderful insight and ideas for the sand ceremony!

 
4.
Miss Poodle
Bee
Miss Poodle (message)  3,386 posts, Sugar bee

Thank you so much for this post! actually we want to have a sand ceremony too but we want to add a little twist too, so we can feel it’s more “us” :)

 

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newer blog post
more in Blog
Older blog post
Newer blog post by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
more by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions (oldest)
Older blog post by Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
Visit our sister sites eHarmony
Online Dating
eHarmony Advice
Dating Advice
Project Wedding
Wedding Songs
JustMommies
Pregnancy Calendar
Copyright 2004-2014, Weddingbeepro.com
 
Sponsors
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions
Jessie Blum @ Eclectic Unions Jessie Blum, New Jersey Vendor: Officiant Website: Eclectic Unions About Me: I began writing & officiating wedding ceremonies in 2008, and love every single moment of it. It all started when my best friend asked me to officiate her Jewish/Lutheran/Pagan (but completely non-religious!) wedding - since then, I've found a love and passion for creating original wedding ceremonies that truly reflect the couples being married. Wedding ceremonies should be all about the bride & groom's love, relationship, and commitment, and I do my best to make sure everything is just perfect! I live in Northern New Jersey with my fiance and our two kitties, and, when I'm not meeting with my awesome couples or writing wedding ceremonies, I love to knit, obsessively check my email, and plan my own wedding (Oct 2010!).
 
More
 
Sites We Love