You are unique. Why shouldn’t your wedding be?
Wedding sand ceremonies, also known as unity sand ceremonies, provide a unique element to your wedding that set you apart and create a lifelong keepsake to remember your special day.
If you’re thinking of giving a unity sand ceremony a go, we’ve written a complete guide that includes everything you need to know in order to plan it out perfectly.
What is a Wedding Sand Ceremony? Why Should You Choose One?
The sand ceremony is a beautiful spin on wedding unity ceremonies. Traditionally, wedding ceremonies involve the bride and groom lighting a third candle which signifies their union.
Unity sand ceremonies, on the other hand, require two different colored sand to be poured together into a third container. Just like the unity candle, the blending of the sand symbolizes the bride and groom becoming one.
There are many reasons why you should go for a wedding sand ceremony. Below I’ve chosen a few of my favorites.
Uniqueness: The unity sand is a unique twist on wedding unity ceremonies. It sets you apart from the rest of the couples who perform the same old unity candle and makes your wedding day a lot more memorable.
Lifelong Keepsake: The Wedding Sand Ceremony allows the newlyweds to bring home a token of their wedding day that simply isn’t possible with an extinguished candle flame.
No Fire: There are a lot of things that could possibly go wrong during your wedding day, like your veil catching up on fire. By forgoing the unity candle in favor of the unity sand, you’ll have one less risk to worry about.
Customizable: Unity Sand can be customized to match your overall wedding theme. From choosing your vases to picking your sand colors, there are countless ways to make the celebration entirely your own.
Different Timing: The unity sand ceremony is a little longer than a traditional unity candle. This gives you time to incorporate a moving song sung by a friend or relative into your sand ceremony. The different timing gives you the opportunity to put your fingerprint on the ceremony..
How Does a Wedding Sand Ceremony Fit into Your Wedding?
A wedding sand ceremony will flow much the same as your traditional unity candle ceremony. However, in the place of lighting the candles, you’ll insert the pouring of the unity sand. This process will be a few minutes longer than what you will get with a unity candle ceremony so it’s a great place to insert your perfect song.
To give you a better idea of how to fit a sand ceremony into your wedding, here’s a standard wedding outline.
- The Processional - the processional begins with the immediate family of the couple and the wedding entourage marching down the aisle and taking their respective places, and then ends with the bride making her entrance.
- Words of Welcome - the officiant says a few words to welcome the guests and to thank everyone who are there to witness the union.
- Opening Remarks - here, the officiant may provide a short retelling of the couple’s love story and offer some thoughts on marriage and what the celebration means.
- Vow and Ring Exchange - the bride and the groom exchange their promises of love and devotion while putting the ring on each other’s fingers. They may use their own written vows or opt for traditional phrasing.
- The Kiss - after the vows and the rings have been exchanged, the couple are officially married, and the groom can now kiss his bride.
- Unity Sand Ceremony - this is the most logical part to include a unity sand ceremony in a wedding. However, depending on your personal preference, the ceremony can be moved right before the vows.
- Closing Remarks - the officiant says a few more words to end the ceremony, or recites a prayer if this is a religious wedding.
- The Recessional - finally, the couple marches as husband and wife!
Unity Sand Ceremony Steps
Wherever you decide to include the unity sand ceremony into your wedding, here are the steps to execute it perfectly.
Step 1: The officiant begins by saying a few words about the sand ceremony and what it symbolizes. The pouring vases are usually already set up on a separate table and ready to begin pouring two different colors of sand into a central vase.
Step 2: The groom pours some of his sand into the empty vase to create a first layer.
Step 3: The bride does the same with her own sand, creating a second layer.
Step 4: The traditional unity sand ceremony will only be with the bride and groom continuing to add layers until the vase is full. However, there can be variations on the unity sand ceremony to make the celebration more meaningful.
For instance, couples can include children or parents by giving them each an individual container with a different colored sand. The family members then alternately pour their sand, creating several different layers.
For religious weddings, couples may also request for the officiant to pour white colored sand as the base, which symbolizes God being the foundation of their relationship.
Lastly, the bride and the groom may leave a small portion of sand in their own original containers, which signifies keeping their individualities despite being married.
Top Song Choices for Your Unity Sand Ceremony
Unlike a candle ceremony, which can leave you doing nothing while your favorite song is being played, the unity sand ceremony presents a wonderful opportunity to play your song or have someone in the family sing it for you. Depending on the number of people participating, you can play multiple songs to add more romance and meaning to your big day.
We know you have a lot on your plate already, so we’ve come up with a few suggestions to complete your unity sand playlist!
- Perfect – Ed Sheeran
- Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
- Die With You – Beyoncé
- You and I – Ingrid Michaelson
- Beautiful in White – Westlife
- A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
- Good Old Days – Macklemore Feat. Kesha
- On this Day – David Pomeranz
- Marry You – Bruno Mars
- Grow Old With You – Adam Sandler
What Do You Need for a Unity Sand Ceremony?
Usually each participant has their own sand color in the unity sand ceremony.
Sandsational Sparkle offers over 95+ different colors to help you find the colors to match your wedding. You can click here or the image below to search the colors more in-depth.
Pouring Tube. Each participating person should have a pouring tube or vase filled with their own sand color. To pour the sand easily, consider choosing a container with a narrow opening and pointed pour spout. Below is one example of a popular heart-shaped pouring vase.
Sand Ceremony Vase & Sand Ceremony Set: The final vase you choose becomes a statement piece for both your wedding and your future home. Be sure to pick the right sand ceremony set to match your personal taste both for the wedding and home decor.
Popular Vase Examples:
Heart-shaped unity sand vase
There are many ways to customize your unity sand ceremony and make it your own. One popular way is to use a colored sand shadow box or a unity sand frame similar to this one: unity sand frame.
Some people prefer to order the unity sand ceremony sets in one package. With all the things you have to worry about with your wedding why sweat the details? This also helps ensure that the tubes and the vase are perfectly matched, and will allow you to reduce the total cost of a sand ceremony set. I included some of my personal favorite sets in this next section.
Classic Sand Ceremony Sets
Classic unity sand sets typically include the traditional cylindrical pouring tubes and a larger central vase. Example Set: Brush of Love Sand Ceremony Set.
A less cylindrical option would be the teardrop vase set similar to the below design: Example: Together Forever Unity Sand Set.
Heart-shaped unity sand vases make for a gorgeous keepsake and have taken the stage as one of the most popular options chosen by brides today. A typical set usually includes one heart-shaped central vase, pouring tubes with heart-shaped openings, and a glass stopper to protect the sand after it’s been poured. You can find out next example of popular sand sets here: heart-shaped ceremony vase set.
Meanwhile, this set features an extra tube which is perfect if you have a child that you want to involve in the ceremony.
Shadow Boxes Sand Ceremony Sets
Shadow box sets offer a unique and customizable twist on unity sand vases that makes for a perfect centerpiece that you can treasure for years to come. Example: Clearly Love Shadow Box.
Unique Sand Ceremony Sets
Our unity sand hourglass set both provide a unique element to your unity sand ceremony that you won’t find very often.
What Do Different Wedding Sand Colors Mean?
If you feel overwhelmed, knowing the meaning behind these top-selling color combinations may help you narrow down your choices so we’ve included a number of common colors and what they mean below:
Gray, Ivory, and Pink. A neutral color, gray is a wonderful color to include to subdue other vibrant colors. Having a gray colored wedding sand represents maturity, security, and dependability.
Example: Dove Gray Wedding Sand
A softer white, ivory means old-world, soft-spoken, and elegant. It also adds a feeling of warmth, comfort, and calmness. Including ivory wedding sand in your combo shows that you are loyal, friendly, gentle, honest, and genuine.
Meanwhile, pink represents universal love. A combination of white and red, it symbolizes tenderness, caring, self-worth, and acceptance. To express your softer and gentler side, consider using this pink blush wedding sand.
Blue and Silver. The color of the sea and the sky, blue is the coolest of all colors. A lighter shade such as Malibu represents peace, tranquility, patience, and understanding, while a darker shade such as Marine signifies trust, loyalty, strength, commitment, and longevity.
Examples: Malibu Wedding Sand
Marine Wedding Sand
Meanwhile, silver speaks of restrained glamour, wealth, and elegance. Silver wedding sand is one of our bestsellers because it adds a touch of sophistication to any ceremony.
Gold and Wine. Closely associated with the sun, gold is the color of success and abundance. It also symbolizes good health and optimism. Its great meaning and visual appeal makes gold wedding sand one of our most popular colors.
Meanwhile, wine is a dark shade of red, which provokes feelings of joy, passion, desire, and love. It also symbolizes luck, so including wine wedding sand in the mix may attract more success and good fortune into your home.
Black and White. This is a classic! Nothing is as timeless as a black and white combo, which works especially well for a formal winter wedding. Black colored sand provokes sophistication, mystery, assertiveness, and confidence.
Meanwhile, white signifies kindness, purity, and innocence. Because it involves the presence of all colors, it also represents completion and wholeness. Including white wedding sand in your palette is also a great way to represent God being the center of your relationship.
Of course, you are free to experiment on your own color palette. If you’d like to order samples to check on your colors before finalizing your choice, you can order here.
We suggest buying 2 pounds of sand for each color you select so that you’ll have enough to test the combinations and bring to your wedding. Few things can be more frustrating than realizing you don’t have enough sand days before your actual ceremony!
Options for Wording in a Wedding Sand Ceremony
The wedding sand ceremony requires unique verbiage that an officiant may or may not be familiar with. To help explain what is happening and what it represents we included a few options below for you to consider.
Wording # 1
These containers of sand represent your separate lives, families, and everything that you were before you found each other. By blending this sand today, you recognize that your lives will be joined together from this day forward. Just like these grains of sand can never be separated, so shall your union be.
Wording # 2
As we all gather together to witness your love and union, you will blend these containers of sand as a symbol of your lifelong commitment to each other.
These individual containers of sand represent the separate lives that you had before this day, while the empty vessel symbolizes the new life that you’ll be creating as husband and wife. As you empty your individual containers into the vase, you are no longer separate individuals, but one. May you always respect, love, forgive, and treasure each other from this day forward. Just like these grains of sand, your lives will never be separate again.
You can find more ideas about sand ceremony wording in this article.
Variations on the Wedding Sand Ceremony
The beauty with a unity sand ceremony is that it leaves room for a lot of customization depending on your taste, personality, and religious beliefs. Here are just some ideas to truly make it yours.
- Blended Family Ceremony. A sand ceremony is a great way to involve your parents or children in your special day. In order to do a blended family ceremony, each person should have their own container with a different colored sand or you can have the bride’s family and the groom’s family each have a different color of sand. The participating members take turns pouring their own sand into the central vessel, which creates a layered effect. Another way to do this is to have each family member add their own sand color into your own container before you and your spouse add your sand into the central vessel. Feel free to get creative and experiment with ideas that match your style.
- Officiant participation. If you opt to have a religious wedding, the officiant can begin the ceremony by pouring white sand in the bottom of the central vase, which signifies God being the foundation of your married life.
- Leaving sand in the original container. This symbolizes that you and your spouse will keep your individuality despite being joined together.
By including a unity sand ceremony in your wedding, you and your spouse will always have a physical and lasting reminder of the day that you took your vows. I wish you the best of luck as you begin your journey together.