About the Wedding Sand Ceremony
What is a sand ceremony?
A sand ceremony is a modern way that couples can personalize their
wedding while giving a distinctive edge to their special day. During a wedding, the unity sand ceremony
usually takes place during the ceremony itself – wherever the ceremony occurs –
on the beach, in a field of sunflowers, in a church or in the backyard. The unity sand ceremony replaces a more
traditional candle lighting ceremony and takes away the concern of a breeze
blowing out the candle. A little
wind? No problem! The resulting keepsake vase filled with
alternating colors of sand, poured by the bride and groom, provide a visual
representation of two lives becoming one as the grains of sand could never be
separated from each other. The sand
ceremony set typically includes a clear glass center vase; two pouring vessels
and sand, often in colors matching the wedding colors or that have other
special significance. Although most
couples perform the sand ceremony during their actual ceremony, there is a
trend to do the sand ceremony at the reception.
This is especially popular with family sand ceremonies when children or
other family members are involved.
Today, brides are looking for unique ways to distinguish their wedding
ceremony and are finding the sand ceremony is both an elegant and inexpensive
In an age where couples are planning weddings that are unique to
their beliefs and lifestyle, the sand ceremony can be personalized many
different ways to fit the occasion. After
the Unity Sand Ceremony, the couple has a unique keepsake to remember their
What is the history of the sand
Although the unity candle ceremony had appeared before, it was
November 16, 1981, when Luke and Laura on the TV soap opera, General Hospital,
immortalized the lighting of the unity candle during their televised wedding
and captured the heart of the nation.
This process includes the bride and the groom holding a lit taper candle
and together lighting a single pillar candle signifying their togetherness.
Years later, contemporary lovers, Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter from
the TV show, The Bachelorette, exchanged wedding vows with a televised unity
sand ceremony moving the unity sand ceremony into the modern spotlight.
Today couples around the world are adding the sand ceremony to
their wedding day and love the resulting custom keepsake that can be displayed
in the newlywed’s home as a beautiful reminder of their wedding day.
Why is the sand ceremony at the
top of the wedding trend list?
A sand ceremony is a contemporary display of unity and combines
the best of the traditional and the modern. It’s a fresh idea! After the sand ceremony, the couple has a
unique keepsake to remember their wedding day.
Depending on the vase set selected, the completed sand ceremony can take
on a modern or more traditional decorator feel in the home. Not only is a sand ceremony an elegant
addition to a wedding, when compared to other wedding expenses, it’s very
reasonable. Including glassware
sand in the wedding colors, costs can start as low as $40. Of course, there are many options for personalization
on the center vase or the pouring vessels, which make a lasting statement.
How does a sand ceremony work?
In the unity sand ceremony, the bride and groom each choose a
color that signifies each other as individuals.
Often the colors selected will match the wedding colors, theme or have
some sort of special significance.
The bride and groom will alternately pour their colored sand into
a keepsake vase or vessel. This can
occur in conjunction to special
vows during the ceremony. Second
marriages can include existing children, which truly signifies the blending
together of families. In addition,
including parents in the ceremony is now coming back in vogue as a way to honor
Watch our video
to see a sand ceremony in action.
The sand ceremony usually starts with the groom pouring a portion
of his sand into the center vase to create the first layer. As well, some couples have incorporated their
officiate into the ceremony by having them pour the first layer of colored
sand, often white, to signify their beliefs.
Next, the bride will follow by pouring a portion of her sand into the
center vase to create the next layer.
The groom then adds another layer followed by the bride. It’s a good idea to discuss how many layers
will be added and will depend on the size of the central vase. As a finale, bride and grooms may decide to
seal their wedding by pouring their remaining sand together into the central
vase representing the couple truly becoming one.
There are variations to the sand ceremony. For blended families, children are often
included in the sand ceremony, each having their own sand color and taking
turns adding their sand to the central vase.
There are also vase
sets specific to multiple family members participating. The individual pouring vessels can be used as
vases for fresh or dried flowers and arranged around the central vase of sand
as a reminder of the special day your blended family became one.
What else can I do with colored
sand to enhance my wedding?
The colored sand that is used for the wedding sand ceremony can
also be used as a decorative accent on reception tables or on the buffet,
creating a unifying look. Resting
candles in matching sand as centerpieces on each reception table creates a
romantic glow and really pulls everything together. The wedding favors display can also nest on
colored sand. Fun! Anywhere you might use pebbles – flower
vases, centerpiece design, gift table or guestbook/frame signing station -
consider incorporating colored sand to match the wedding colors. The opportunities to decorate with colored
sand at the reception are endless!
What do I need for my own sand
One of the most important considerations for your sand ceremony is
the vase set as this is what will be displayed in your home for years to
come. Because there are so many options
for unity sand ceremony glassware, consider your own personal style when making
your selection. When choosing your
central vase, it’s recommended that it will hold at least two pounds of sand
for a layering effect. A large central
vase can make a stunning decorator piece and works very well when multiple
family members are participating. If you
do choose a larger central vase, it does not have to be filled all the way to
the top. Often, silk flowers or other
sentimental items can be rested on the top layer of sand as a personal
display. It’s important to have an idea
of how much sand will be needed for your central vase BEFORE your
ceremony! If the sand ceremony will
occur during a destination wedding and will need to travel back by plane or
car, consider selecting a central vase with a lid. To keep the sand design intact, bring along
cotton balls and tape. After the
ceremony, carefully insert a good amount of cotton balls between the top layer
and the lid. Make sure the cotton balls
are very snug. Tape the lid to the vase
and you are ready to go! Another option
for traveling is the new trend of the unity
sand ceremony frame. Whatever option
is chosen, couples can be assured that adding a wedding sand ceremony will make
their wedding day as unique as they are!