Wedding Sand Ceremony

The wedding sand ceremony is a beautiful spin on the unity candle and salt covenant rituals.

The origins of the wedding sand ceremony are unclear. Some believe it was started either by Hawaiians or Native Americans and that it symbolised the inseparable nature of marriage.

Some say it is representative of the old Hebrew tradition, the Salt Covenant that was used to seal friendships, agreements, and contracts and was a seal of truce and peace.

In the Jewish culture, salt was used and was a symbolic bond between husband and wife. It was also used to celebrate an adoption into the family.

The wedding sand ceremony is also an alternative ritual to the unity candle ceremony and started around the late 1980s. As weddings were starting to move outdoors the wedding sand ceremony was created. This was largely due to the unity candle ceremony not working in an outside location as the wind would continually put out the candle flame.

No matter where you feel the wedding sand ceremony originated in each the ritual sympolised the coming together of two people. They also all symbolised that once mixed, the sand or salt could not be separated, making the transaction final and everlasting.

the everlasting ritual
Wedding Sand Ceremony
Who can participate in the wedding sand ceremony?

You can include anyone in your wedding sand ceremony and each person’s sand will have a different meaning.

* Of course, you the couple will be included. Your sands will represent the essence of all you are and the gifts you bring to the marriage as well as being the foundation of your family. After all the sands have been added the couple will top these sands with some more of thier sand to mark their intention to seal the family created in an environment of unconditional love.

* Children have become a big part of sand ceremonies. Couples may be blending a family of children, one of the newlyweds may have children or the couple may want to welcome a child into the family unit. Each child’s sand will represent them as unique and beloved children

* Parents and or Grandparents represent their support and the continued love they have for the family being created.

* Special family members and friends will also represent the support and unconditional love they have for your family.

What items do you need for a wedding sand ceremony?

So you are planning on adding a wedding sand ritual to your ceremony. It’s really simple to create, and you only need a few key things.

 

1) Different coloured sand for each person who will be involved. The colours you allocate to each person can be chosen in several different ways. You may like to use the person’s favourate colour, you may want to select a colour with specific meaning or you may want to match your wedding colours.

The amount of sand you will need all depends on the size of the vessel you will be using.

 

2) One container for each person to pour thier sands into the main vessel. This can be anything, they just should be clear so that the coloured sands can be seen.

You could use mason jars, glass cylinders, glass jars, glass bottles, or what I suggest to my couples champagne or stemless wine glasses. These are both great because after you have used them in your ceremony they are easily reused in your home.

 

3) A clear sand ceremony vessel for all the coloured sand to go into. As this will be a keepsake for your home and a reminder of your wedding day, you should select something you want to display in your home. The size should be large enough to hold the sand from all the poring containers and leave a small empty space at the opening.

There are so many different containers to select from I would make Google your best friend to help find these options.

You can get different shaped containers designed specifically for wedding sand ceremonies or you could use a large mason jar or vase. The container doesn’t need to be sealed but this is a good option to keep the dust-out. If you do select a container without a lid you could always seal it after your wedding with wax or cork cut to size.

You could also use an hourglass making it a slightly different take on the wedding sand ceremony. When using an hourglass the ritual is just the same however after the wedding instead of it just being a beautiful piece to look at it can evolve over the years. On each anniversary of your choosing, you can together turn the hourglass combining the sands even more. The idea is that when you put each colour of sand in the glass they’re inseparable but not entwined. As time continues the colours become so entwined they are impossible to part.

 

4) Last, of all, you will need something to put all your sand ceremony items on, preferably not your signing table as you want to protect your documents from getting damaged.

How does a wedding sand ceremony work?

In a sand ceremony, each person has a clear container filled with coloured sand. They then pour their sand into the central vessel at the allocated time.

The different colours of sand then create a layered effect, representing the unity and individuality of everyone who participated. 

Wedding sand ceremony script ideas.

Option 1

(Name and Name) today you are promising your love to one another, but you are also pledging your love to (Children’s Names) as well, committing to them that you will create a family together. 

(Name and Name)’s individual containers of sand represent the essence of all they are and the gifts they bring to this union. I invite them to now pour some of their sands into the hourglass, showing that their marriage is the foundation of this family. Their sands mix together and symbolise their bond of love and respect that can never be separated. 

(Name and Name) before your family and friends, you wish to acknowledge the significant role that (Children’s Names) play in this marriage celebrated today and to give your promise to each of them of your continued love, support, and commitment.

(Children’s Names) will now add their sands representing each of them as unique and beloved children. Each swirling colour is to be a reminder that we are all different people and it is our different personalities that add the beautiful colour of the tapestry created of this family. 

(Name and Name) will now pour the remainder of their sands over the sands of (Children’s Names)’s to mark their intention to seal this family created today in an environment of unconditional love. 

By combining all your sand together, your lives join together as one family symbolising the uniting of the children and the (bride(s), groom(s), newlyweds) into one. 

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage and your family be. 

Option 2

(Name and Name)’s mothers containers of sand represent their support and the continued love they have for this family. I now ask (Parents Names) to pour their sands into the vase. As their sands blend they are symbolising the beginning of this new union formed today through marriage. 

(Name and Name)’s individual containers of sand represent the essence of all they are and the gifts they bring to this union. I invite them to now pour some of their sands into the vase, showing that their marriage is the foundation of this family. Their sands mix together and symbolise their bond of love and respect that can never be separated.

(Name and Name) today you are promising your love to one another, but you are also pledging your love to your children as well. Before your family and friends, you wish to acknowledge the significant role that your children play in this marriage celebrated today.

(Children’s Name) will now add their sands representing each of them as unique and beloved children. Each swirling colour is to be a reminder that we are all different people and it is our different personalities that add the beautiful colour of the tapestry created of this family.

(Name and Name), will now pour the remainder of their sands over the sands of their children to mark their intention to seal this family created today in an environment of unconditional love.

May this family remain, not dependent upon one another, but interdependent and as colourful as the sands that fill this vessel.  

By combining your sand together, your lives join together as one family symbolising the connection with parents, uniting of the children and the (bride(s), groom(s), newlyweds), into one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage and your family be.

The wedding sand ceremony is a great ritual for a number of reasons. It symbolically joins the lives of each person involved into one family connecting parents, the children, and the newlyweds. Just as the grains of sand can never be separated so will the couple’s marriage and family be.

 Your wedding sand ceremony is also a beautiful keepsake you have created that can be displayed in a special location in your home.

Interested in looking at other wedding ceremony rituals, check out my wedding rituals blog.

AboutTanya McDonald
It goes without saying that being a marriage celebrant is an honour and a privilege. I have loved weddings and what they represent for as long as I can remember. Since becoming a celebrant I am able to fulfill my passion and at the same time treasure each opportunity I have to work with couples to help them bring their dreams and ideas into life through their ceremonies. I have been a fully authorised marriage celebrant since 2014 and I have helped couples enjoy thier journey to the altar since then. If you need a celebrant, I would love to discuss your ceremony with you.