Unity Sand Ceremony: Your Ultimate Guide

Understand the essence and significance of the ceremony and what it entails

Reviewed by Ricardo Cruz, Certified Wedding Planner Ricardo Cruz Ricardo CruzCertified Wedding Planner facebook_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Shivani Chandel MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Madhumati Chowdhury MA (English Literature) Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years

Marriage is the coming together of two individuals to form a union of love, hopes, and dreams. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, it is one of the most auspicious occasions filled with joy and laughter. And to emphasize this holy union of the newlywed couple, a unity sand ceremony is celebrated at the wedding. So, today, to acquaint you with this ritual, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on it in this article. Now, without further ado, scroll down and feed your curiosity about this event. Come on!

What Is A Unity Sand Ceremony?

Image: Shutterstock

The unity and sand ceremony is a wedding tradition where the couple takes sand from their respective vessels and pours it into a unified one. This ritual has meaningful symbolism. It represents the coming together of two individuals in marriage and the beginning of a new family. And the central vessel where the couple pours sand from their individual vessels represents the marriage of the newlyweds’ dreams, aspirations, and hope. Known as an alternative to the unity candle ceremony, this tradition was known to have originated during the late 1980s as a variation of the candle ceremony. And the reason behind the requirement of this alternative was people’s gradual shift towards officiating weddings outdoors. Since the wind often blew out the candles, people replaced the candles with sand. Also, the best part of this practice was that the couple could have a new keepsake from their auspicious wedding. So, a total win-win there.

Image: Shutterstock

The best part about this ceremony is that it facilitates couple creativity. As the vase that contains the couple’s individual share of sand becomes a sweet keepsake after the wedding, they get a chance to pick beautiful ones. They can also personalize them and make them stand out in the crowd. What is more, the couple can also infuse their creativity while selecting the sand. They can coordinate the colors with the overall wedding venue decor or pick the colors that complement their attires. This ceremony is often performed at destination weddings, where the couple and the loved members gather as a part of the celebration. Oh, and they can even collect sands from places that hold significant meanings in their relationship too. For example, getting sand from the beach of the duo’s hometowns or from that exotic island you both first stumbled upon each other for the first time for good. Oh, this is, literally, so sweet.

No wonder the ceremony has gained immense popularity over time, and has become one of the most relevant moments in so many wedding ceremonies. It is super customizable, very much visually appealing, and the newlyweds can go home with an adorable souvenir once the wedding is officially over. They can look at it and grow old together while they spend their happily ever after. Wow!

What Do The Unity Sand Colors Mean?

Image: IStock

The couple pours colored sand into the vessel. They can choose the color of their choice. The color is the representation of their individuality and uniqueness, which will join together in holy matrimony. Usually, white is used to represent spiritual values and devotion, pink or red to mean love, romance, passion, and happiness, and green to hint at love, health, and prosperity. They can also pick yellow sand, which stands for balance, harmony, and friendship, or purple sand, which represents power, strength, and dignity. You can also find newlyweds going for brown colored sand, which symbolizes home, nurturing, and hearth; blue, which stands for tranquility, patience, and longevity; and silver which reflects talents, creativity, and inspiration.

During the vows, the couple can spell out the inherent meanings of the colors they choose for the ceremony. It is clearly up to them what color they want to choose from the different color varieties.

Suppose you have children and want to incorporate them into the ceremony. In that case, you could add more sand colors depending on the number of members in the family and have them pour the sand into the unity vase, symbolizing the blending of their lives and commitment to each other and the strength and love bond in the family. Plus, the result will be a complete work of art!

How To Perform A Unity Sand Ceremony

Image: Shutterstock

Firstly, three vessels (preferably glass) are required in this ceremony—one to hold the bride’s sand, one for the groom’s, and the third holding the sand from both the first two vessels after the couples pour theirs into it. The order of the ceremony is something like this:

  1. The officiant delivers a speech explaining the meaning of the ritual and how the couple relates to it.
  2. The officiant asks the couple to pour their sand into the central vessel.
  3. The officiant concludes the ceremony by saying some words about the inseparable bond of the two souls of the couple and how the blended sand in the central vessel serves as a memento and it symbolizes their holy union.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If the couple has children, they can also involve them and ask them to perform this ceremony.

Unity Sand Ceremony Vows

Officiant delivering speech at unity sand ceremony
Image: Shutterstock

The officiant announces the vows for the sand ceremony at the wedding. These vows can also reflect the couple’s individuality, beliefs, and circumstances. This allows you to add your own flavor to the event and enable your guests to get introduced to the meaning the vows hold for the duo. Having said that, it is good to have a unity sand wedding ceremony script for the vows beforehand that can be tweaked as per the couple’s choices. So, below we have provided some examples of the unity sand words that are said at the event for you to have that little gist. Read on to find out.

  • “Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the holy union of (the couple’s names). We shall now symbolize this union of the two individuals through the merging of these two colored grains of sand into one central vessel. The two colors chosen by our couple represent their own personalities and their uniqueness that have played a crucial role in molding them into the people they are today. As these colors mean something really significant to them, we shall have them into this vessel so that as time flies, the couple can be motivated by the colors they chose forever and ever.”
    As the couple pours the sand into the central vessel, the officiant resumes, “The colored sand now goes into the vessel, and as it begins to blend after this, we too should acknowledge the fact that the couple has brought themself together in this holy matrimony and we shall always appreciate their union and individuality. Let us all wish that the couple thrives in life together and becomes happily inseparable, just like these little grains of their sand are now. May the couple complement and reflect each other and find solace in each other.”
  • “Today, as (the couple’s names) seal their relationship by exchanging rings, we are here to witness the blend of their individualities through this auspicious sand ceremony. The sand that they carry in their respective containers symbolizes their individuality which will now join together the moment we blend them into this one central container. And as the grains of sand join together after the pouring of the unity sand, we shall consider it as the holy union of the couple.”
    The couple pours their sand into one vessel, leaving a bit in their individual vessels, andthe officiant continues, “The colored sand has been poured into one now, reflecting onthe coming together of two different hearts. As these grains of sand are blended forever, so is the union of the couple. The sand shall never be separated, and we wish that the couple too remains in this wedding happily ever after.” This ceremony strengthens their promise to stay committed to the marriage for the rest of their lives. The bit of sand that remains in their own vessels symbolized their individuality. This means, although they have been made one by marriage, they will always remain individuals and will complement each others’ uniqueness and personalities.”

A blogger shared her experience of doing a unity sand ceremony instead of a unity candle ceremony in her wedding. She wrote, “I’d finally found a solution for my candle sponsors, now my sand sponsors’ roles. We can pour them into the unity vase after the exchanging rings and coins, just like we would light the unity candle with the candles that were lit in the beginning of the ceremony (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
It is best if the couple talks to their officiant about when the ceremony will happen and what words will be spoken. This will help the officiant combine their story with the words they prepare.

And with this, my friends, we wrap this ultimate guide on the sand ceremony. Ain’t this a lovely ritual that holds beautiful meanings? Simple and sweet, this ceremony symbolizes the joining together of two souls so amazingly. If you are about to get married soon or are planning a wedding for someone you know, you can also opt for a personalized unity sand ceremony. You can go for a unity sand script of your choice, as mentioned earlier, and you can have a unity hourglass sand ceremony, a unity heart of glass sand ceremony, and more. And, oh, you get tons of different unity vases for wedding sand ceremonies too. So, the options are many. So feel free to express yourselves the best way you can on your D-day. But make sure to be super, super happy. You and your partner have decided to step into a new journey together. You gotta be free of worries and any negative thoughts. It’s a new start, so let it always begin on a positive and happy note.

Infographic: All You Need To Know About Unity Sand Colors

The Unity sand ceremony is a beautiful ritual that celebrates the blending of a couple’s lives. It symbolizes their unity and the merging of their lives and starts off with the couple picking different colors of sand. Check out the infographic below to learn what each color symbolizes and how the ceremony is performed.

all you need to know about unity sand colors (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a unity sand ceremony religious?

Although the unity sand ceremony has origins in Catholic ceremonies, presently it is not regarded as a religious ceremony. Couples of all religions can follow this tradition.

What do you do with the vessel full of sand after the ceremony?

It can be displayed in a special place in your home. The sand can also be poured into glass vessels and be a part of the home decor.

Where should we get the sand for the unity sand ceremony?

You can get sand for the unity sand ceremony from any craft store or the beach.

Key Takeaways

  • Unity sand ceremonies are not religious. They represent a meaningful, spiritual bonding between the two partners.
  • Unity sand ceremony represents the joining together of the individuality and uniqueness of the two individuals in holy matrimony.
  • Vases used for the ceremony can become a keepsake after the wedding.
  • Colored sand is used in the ceremony. Usually white stands for spiritual values and devotion, and pink and red represent love, romance, passion, and happiness.
  • Sand ceremonies are a popular alternative to traditional wedding ceremonies

Click on this video to learn how to create a beautiful sand ceremony for your wedding. See how to combine two colors of sand to symbolize your union.

Personal Experience: Source

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