When something becomes popular there are several ways to think about it. It’s popular because it’s a good idea, people like it, and it works. It’s popular so I don’t want to do it – it’s too much like what other people are doing and I want to be different.
Both of these points are valid, especially when thinking about the Sand Ceremony for your wedding ceremony.
I love the Sand Ceremony for many reasons and I believe there are ways to keep it fresh and personal. It makes an excellent unity ritual, especially outdoors where candles are not advisable. The blending of the sand is especially appropriate when there are children involved.
One of my brides wanted to have a sand ceremony but was concerned her sister had one in her ceremony a few years earlier. To make it work for her I informed the guests that it was becoming a family tradition. Then we put our own twist on it. We added family members who also poured sand before the couple poured theirs into the container.
If you’re wondering at this point, ‘what the heck is a sand ceremony, anyway?’ let me explain.
The ritual consists of pouring different colors of sand together into one glass container for all to see. It symbolizes the blending of each partners’ individuality to create something greater: their marriage. Variations include having mothers, parents, siblings or children also pour sand. You can use sand from a beach, which is where this unity ritual is said to have it’s beginning, or somewhere that is special to you.
There are many ways to think about the meaning. Sometimes I talk about how something as fine as sand can be used to create something strong, like cement, using that as an image. The idea that the grains of sand cannot be separated once they are poured together also serves as a great metaphor for marriage and family.
Additionally, the Sand Ceremony makes a great visual, is easy to understand, and gives you a keepsake from the ceremony. Couples often choose sand in the same colors they choose for their wedding décor or theme. And I must add that it is also quite fun!
The Sand Ceremony has universal appeal and connects with nature and many cultures. It might connect to your love of the beach, or even evoke the mandals of Tibet.
I look forward to continuing to have Sand Ceremonies in the weddings I perform, because it is just a terrific and understandable symbol that adds that ‘icing on the cake’ you may be looking for in your wedding ceremony.
Thank you David Coulter for the beautiful photograph