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Unity Sand Ceremonies - How do they work?


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Unity sand ceremonies are a beautiful way to celebrate your union as a couple during your wedding ceremony.  Many modern couples are incorporating this rite into their ceremony.  Here are some ideas on how the unity sand ceremony works and how you can incorporate this into your wedding ceremony.

What is the Unity Sand Ceremony?

The Unity Sand Ceremony is a modern take on the traditional wedding unity ceremony.  Brides and grooms use the unity ceremony to symbolise their love and commitment to one another in marriage.  Usually, for the traditional unity ceremony there is a single candle (the unity candle) that both bride and groom light from a flame of their own taper candles. Parents or other members of the wedding party often join in the candle lighting ceremony using candles of their own, too.

The Unity Sand Ceremony takes this lovely wedding tradition a step further, .  In this ritual, the couple pours various colours of sand from separate containers into one special container, the unity vase, symbolising the joining of two lives as one family.  The brillant part of this ceremony is the couple gets to keep the vase filled with sand as a reminder of their wedding day, forever more in their home.

What do you need for the Unity Sand Ceremony?

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You only require a beautiful vase and unity sand in colours that represent you both perfectly to make the unity sand ceremony work for you.  Like any part of your wedding day, finding a vase and colours that represents your wedding theme and your individuality as a new family is really the hardest part!  Pink Frosting’s wedding shop offers three types of vases for your wedding sand ceremony representing both modern, romantic and traditional brides and grooms.  Each of these not only work beautifully on your wedding day, but also make a gorgeous ornament in your home. 

The Unity Sand Ceremony Itself

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To perform the unity sand ceremony, the easiest way is to follow these simple steps:

1) The Groom pours a portion of his sand into the central glass vase to create layer 1.

2) The Bride then pours a portion of her sand into the same central vase to create layer 2.

3) The Groom then adds another layer of his sand to create layer 3.

4) The Bride continues to add another layer of sand to complete layer 4.

5) To complete the Unity Sand Ceremony, the Groom and Bride seal their union by pouring the balance of their sand simultaneously into the central vase.

The vows for the ceremony vary and most couples prefer to write their own, but you may want to consider including words about the joining of your souls as one complete family in your vows.  Talk with your celebrant about how they like to incorporate this ceremony into your wedding day rituals.

Wedding Celebrant Lisa Foster, had many couples use the sand ceremony as part of their wedding day.  Here is her thoughts on how best to have a unity sand ceremony:

I have had several couples and families perform the sand ceremony during a wedding or a naming ceremony- they are especially drawn to the meaning behind it and welcome the chance to involve their children or families in the ceremony.

For marriages – the sand represents our word and once our word is given it cannot be taken back, such as the sand, once combined, cannot be seperated.

To involve families during a wedding ceremony, sand is poured by the bride and groom and by their parents to demonstrate the importance of family life and involve them in the ceremony.

Colours can be chosen based on personal preference, or to represent certain qualities

  • White: Purity, spiritual values, devotion
  • Yellow: Harmony, balance, friendship
  • Pink or Red: Love, passion, romance, happiness
  • Green: Health, luck, prosperity
  • Purple: Power, dignity, strength
  • Brown: Nurturing, home and hearth
  • Blue: Patience, tranquility, longevity
  • Silver: Creativity, talents, inspiration

for example – but several can be found on the internet or the library

For naming ceremonies, the sand can symbolise all members of the family and the unique qualities that each person brings to the family – and that even though combined – the individual colours are still visible emphasizing the individuals which, when together make up the family unit.

In one naming ceremony I’ve had one family use the sand ceremony to honour the child’s 4 godparents so that the child may always be reminded of their presence and support in their life.

Sand ceremonies are preferable to a candle lighting ceremony for showing unity in an outdoor wedding as the candle can not blow out – a simple paper funnel may be made to prevent sand blowing away whilst pouring.

The sand ceremony also is wonderful in a visual way both to keep at home and to add colour and variety to a ceremony – people can look at something different going on within the ceremony and it makes the ceremony a little more active.

Highly recommended!!

Thanks Lisa!  Please visit Lisa at her beautiful website or join her active community on Facebook.  And you can shop for Unity Sand Ceremony vases and sand at Pink Frosting’s wedding shop.



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