How to Perform a Sand Ceremony : Wedding Planning
How to Perform a Sand Ceremony
A sand ceremony is the perfect option for a couple that is looking for a non-denominational unity ceremony for their wedding. In a sand ceremony, you will pour 2 different colors of sand together, symbolizing the blending of the bride and groom’s lives. Find some sand and a few vases, write your vows, and you’ll be nearly ready to include a sand ceremony on your special day!
Gathering Your Materials
Select your keepsake vase or container.You can use virtually any container to house your sand, though glass vases are the most common. Some options include a heart-shaped vase, cylinder jar, corked bottle, or decanter. Base your decision off of you and your spouse’s tastes. Choose a stopper, like a cork or a lid, if you want to seal it.
- Consider a vase that is decorative and attractive, so you can show it off in your home after your wedding.
- Make sure your vase is transparent, so you can see the sand!
- A popular, but pricey, option is to purchase a custom-made, laser-etched photo frame. These photo frames are designed so that you can see an image once the sand is poured.
Choose your pouring vessel containers.Select 2, easy-to-pour containers, such as glass vase or corked bottle. Get creative with your containers! For example, if you are hosting your wedding on a beach, you can pour out of seashells.
- The look of your pouring vases doesn’t matter as much as your main vase, though you can reuse these glasses as flower vases or other decorations.
Pick sands in 2 different colors to represent the bride and groom.Go with neutral colors of sand, or match your sand to your wedding colors. You can buy your sand online or at craft stores, or get creative and use sand from different destinations!
- Gather sand from your favorite beach or memorable vacation, like the Caribbean or Florida. When traveling, scoop a bit of sand to save for your wedding.
- Choose 2 different sands to represent the bride and the groom. Perhaps the bride is from California, so she uses sand from San Diego. Maybe the groom is from South Carolina, so he uses sand from the Outer Banks.
Choose additional sand and vase for any children you want to include.If you would like to include children in your ceremony, select a different color of sand for each child, and pick out a container for their sand. This is a creative way to show the blending of the entire family, children included.
- For example, if including 3 children, provide 3 additional colors of sand and containers for them. Select red, orange, and yellow sand for the children, and use two neutral shades like a tan and a brown for the adults.
- If the children are young, consider using a plastic container rather than glass, to prevent any potential injuries.
Purchase a sand ceremony kit if you are planning on short notice.Many craft stores or online retailers have ready-made wedding sand ceremony kits. They often come with a larger, decorative vase and 2 other pouring vases. This is a good option for couples who are planning on short notice.
- While all kits will come with the vases, not all kits come with sand. Check the kit details before you purchase, and purchase your sand additionally if needed.
Write your vows for the ceremony.Write your vows yourself, or search online for inspiration. You can have a minister or a friend read them for you as they hold the ceremony, or you can read and hold the ceremony yourself. Your minister can help you with wording, if you need it.
Set up a table next to the altar to display your sand ceremony.Do this on the day of your wedding, before your guests arrive. Place your keepsake vase in the center of the table, and sit each pouring vase next to the central keepsake vase. Fill the pouring vases with your sand. You can also decorate your table with a tablecloth, flower petals, or candles.
- If you have additional vases for children, you can arrange the pouring vases in a semicircle behind or in front of the keepsake vase.
- Pour sand into your pouring glasses one at a time, and only fill these vases with 1 color of sand. Stop pouring when you are about .5 inches (1.3 cm) from the top.
Completing the Ceremony
Approach the table at the chosen time of your ceremony.The bride, groom, and any other participants should all gather around the table to initiate the ceremony. The bride should stand behind her pouring glass, and the groom should stand behind his.
- If you have a minister or friend reading the vows, they can stand in between the bride and the groom.
Welcome your guests to initiate the ceremony.Say a few words to introduce the ritual, and explain what the sand ceremony represents to you. Either the minister or the bride/groom can begin the ceremony.
- You can say something like, “Today, James and I are making a commitment of our eternal love. As we hold separate containers, they represent our lives at the moment: individual and unique.”
- You will say your vows as you pour the sand, though these vows are different from your wedding vows.
Pour a small amount of sand into your keepsake vase one at a time.Typically, the groom will start filling first and the bride will second, though there is no rule. Pour a small layer of sand to create your first layer, about .5–1 inch (1.3–2.5 cm) up the vase.
Alternate pouring layers of sand by taking turns.If the groom made the first layer, the bride should pour the second layer. Take turns back and forth, creating small layers of sand until you get to the top. The layers represent the blending of your lives and families.
- If you are including children in your ceremony, they can alternate layers with you. Have your child create the third layer, then another child create the fourth, and so on for all children included. Then, repeat the order to fill your vase.
Read your sand ceremony vows as you fill the vase with sand.Your minister can read your chosen vows, or you can recite your individual vows as you pour. During sand ceremonies, it is typical to read the vows as you fill the jar with layers of sand.
Fill the rest of the vase with any remaining sand.Leave about .5 inches (1.3 cm) from the top of the vase. You should have many layers of alternating colors of sand in an attractive, keepsake vase or container.
Sealing and Storing Your Sand
Cover your vase's opening with a cork or lid for an easy sealing method.Depending on your container, you can insert a cork or screw on a lid to cover the vase immediately after it is full.
Pour melted wax over the vase’s lid for a more attractive, secure close.Cover your jar after your ceremony with a temporary lid, such as plastic wrap or clear tape. When you get home, melt candle wax in the microwave, and carefully pour it over the opening of your vase.
- Let your wax dry thoroughly before you touch it (about 24 hours).
Display your keepsake vase on a shelf, display case, or table.You can display your vase anywhere in your home, but flat surfaces with a lot of visibility are recommended, so you are reminded of your wedding day. Put your vase next to other wedding pictures, or let it stand on its own as a statement piece.
Video: The Sand Pouring Unity Ceremony
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