A lovely alternative to the Unity Candle Ceremony, especially if your wedding takes place on the beach, the Sand Ceremony also embraces the symbolism of “two shall become one.” As part of the exchanging of the vows, it’s a great way to break up readings and also leave with a keepsake of the big day.
What is a “Wedding Sand Ceremony”?
Before we dive into what you need and what type of readings, songs or vows coincide with a sand ceremony, let’s talk about what it is!
A Sand Ceremony vs. a Unity Candle Ceremony
Both of these ceremonies are symbolic of what marriage is; two people coming together as one. And just like the unity candle ceremony, where both the bride and the groom bring for forth fire and light a candle together, both partners will participate in a sand ceremony too.
Performed after the vows, couples may scoop a bit of sand near their feet and pour it into a lovely bottle of choice which then becomes a lifetime keepsake. Seashells can be used for pouring if you wish! Or you can have glass bottles filled with personalized colored sand representative of each individual.
A Brief History of the Wedding Sand Ceremony
There’s a bit of a debate when it comes to where the wedding Sand Ceremony originated. Some argue that it was in Hawaii others believe it may be rooted in Hebrew culture, specifcally the Salt Covenant which was once used to seal friendships and other agreements.
Two men would carry pouches filled with salt and at the binding of the commitment – whatever it may be – they’d blend salt into the ground together. The symbolic ritural has grown and transformed throuhgout the year, and now the inspiration is used throughout beautiful ceremonies everywhere.
How a Wedding Sand Ceremony Works
As mentioned before, it’s actually quite simple. Essentially, each partner will bring their own sand to the “table” and pour their respective vials or seashells full into the new piece. Sometimes, if you’re blending families, the children will also take part in the ceremony as well.
It’s a great idea if you choose to go with various color sands so all of the guests can attach visual memories to the symbol of the family’s blend.
What You Need for Your Wedding Sand Ceremony
Of course, you’ll have to prepare and buy a few extra things if you plan on adding a Sand Ceremony to your vow exchange. Allow us to help you not miss a beat – or grain of sand.
Various sands, glass vials or vases, and seashells too if you’d like, there isn’t an extra large checklist when it comes to shopping around for the right pieces.
Readings & Vows
There are several ways to incorporate the Sand Ceremony into your vows or readings. From taking a music break and having an instrumental song play as your pour the sand or having your minister bless the bottles before you pour, we’ve got a bit of inspiration for you.
The Apache Wedding Prayer is one of the more popular readings when it comes to sand ceremonies. And it’s one that the minister can bless the bottles beforehand as well as slipping a written version of the prayer (this can happen with any other reading you decide to use) into the bottle before the sand goes inside.
An Apache Prayer:
(Name) and (Name),
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
William Blake-inspired Prayer – words from Auguries of Innocence:
Bride) and (Groom) you lives are now joined in the most sacred and joyous of unions. We pray that your life be blessed. In the immortal words of the poet mystic William Blake, together may you…
See a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
Many couples like the idea of reciting vows to one another (and with the children) while pouring the sand. Here are a couple of samples of Sand Ceremony vows:
“(Bride) and (Groom), you have just committed yourselves to one another through sacred vows. Your lives are no longer two, but one. To symbolize this joining, we ask that you each pour some sand into this bottle. (Each scoops some sand from the beach and pours it into the bottle. )”
Officiant: (Name) and (Name) as you pour your sand into the one container, please repeat after me: “As these grains of sand merge together as one, I merge my life with yours. Please take my love throughout the sands of time. My heart is forever in your keeping.
Officiant: (Name) and (Name) as these grains of sand are joined together, so are your hearts, your bodies and your souls in marriage. Please repeat after me: (Here the nuptial pair may add whatever vows they wish….)
“My beloved (Name) as these grains of sand are joined together, so are our hearts, our bodies and our souls. I offer myself as your husband/wife forever.”
“(Children’s name/s) your mother (and/or father) and (name) love you very much, and want you to know that you are and will always be a very important part of their lives. Will you please pour some sand into this glass container along with your good wishes? That would mean so much to them.” (Parents then hug and kiss their children!)