What is the Unity Sand Ceremony?

Shadow Box Unity Sand Kit

The popularity of the Unity Sand Ceremony is exploding as couples discover an almost endless array of sand design palettes, vase sets, and other ways to make the unity sand ceremony as unique as the couple. The evolution of science and technology almost eliminated these types of ceremonies, but then a resurgence of previously outdated traditions took place as people seek to revive and reinvent old mores in brand new ways.

Performed only occasionally until recently, the symbolism and permanence of this ceremony had for years given way to a candle ceremony, a powerful ritual with an important flaw: it leaves no permanent memento or reminder of the union. The sand ceremony, however, involves filling beautiful vessels with coloured sands and combining them into one during the service, creating something tangible that will stay with you throughout your marriage.

Besides the traditional exchange of marriage vows, the Unity Sand Ceremony and the additional vows that accompany it are often the most important and meaningful part of a wedding event. But many couples spend so much time dealing with other aspects of their wedding preparations that they forget to focus on creating a powerful unity ceremony. Then they lose the opportunity to make for a memorable and lasting representation of their love for themselves. Please don’t let that happen to you.

While the unity candle ceremony has been a popular choice in recent years, the ancient Unity Sand Ceremony gained new attention in 2003 when Trista and Ryan of the TV series The Bachelorette incorporated it into their multimillion-dollar wedding celebration. Televised to the nation and around the world, the event drew new attention to this powerful and lasting ritual. Thousands of couples were inspired by this beautiful ceremony, and interest in this way of demonstrating the joining of two people and their families is still high today.

Could a Unity Sand Ceremony be the right ritual to represent your union with your spouse?

A Lasting Memento In Vivid Colour

When you choose a candle ceremony – a time-tested rite that many of your friends have probably used in their weddings – your special moment is gone in the blink of an eye. In this type of unity ceremony, a single unity candle is lit by the bride and groom from their individual candles. In many cases, parents, children and other members of the wedding party join the ceremony using candles of their own too. But once the lighting is over, it’s over.

While a candle ceremony leaves a powerful memory, it leaves no lasting keepsake. The Unity Sand Ceremony captures what could otherwise be a fleeting memory in a beautiful sand sculpture that will last a lifetime. The ceremony itself also takes a few moments longer than candle ceremony – perhaps two or three minutes or more – allowing the event more time to sink in for you and more time to become a lasting memory for your guests.

Both ceremonies adequately capture the importance and emotion involved in the joining of two lives, but the Unity Sand Ceremony makes a strong impression and leaves a lasting tribute.

Here’s how this timeless ritual works: The bride and groom each choose a colour of unity sand in advance, then at the appropriate moment, they each pour a portion of their sand into a special vase. Children and others can be included in the ceremony, each having their own coloured sand as part of the permanent reminder of the event.

Unity Sand is available in a 21 colours, so you can choose complementary or contrasting colours – bright, bold shades, cool pastels or anything that fits your personality. Unity Vases are available in styles designed with your sensibilities in mind. A complete line of Unity Sand Ceremony products is available to help you make the experience uniquely your own. Which products fit your taste? Take time to make the right decisions because your sand ceremony memento can be displayed privately or for all to see for years to come as an ever-present reminder and touchstone of truth. More than just a piece of beautiful art that represents a moment, this reminder will last forever.

Origin And Meaning of the Unity Sand Ceremony

The flowing sands and blending colours of the Unity Sand Ceremony symbolize the bringing together of two lives into one. The two separate sands symbolize everything that the bride and groom have been in the past combining into a bright future – one that can include parents, children and close friends too. Once the two or more sand colours are poured into the unity vase, they can never be put back into their separate vases. They are forever entwined and interconnected just as the lives of you and your spouse are joined.

Some couples prefer to leave a small amount of sand in their individual sand vases to show that even though they now function as one, they remain individuals. That’s up to you. Find out how the unity sand ceremony works, then decide for yourself how you want to incorporate it into your ceremony.

While the Unity Sand Ceremony may seem like a new fad, it’s far from a passing trend. Our current Wedding Sand Ceremony is believed to have its origins in Native American culture, either with Hawaii’s indigenous people or Native Americans from the mainland.

Traditionally, Native American groups dyed sand with various natural elements. Ochre, for example, made yellow sand, gypsum made blue and other organic materials made a rainbow of other colours. This coloured sand was used to create sand paintings that were part of a highly spiritual ceremony intended for healing.

Hawaiians claim the Unity Sand Ceremony as their own way of adding celebratory joy during wedding ceremonies. Brides and grooms of the islands have always enjoyed the unreserved beauty of nature that is bestowed on the shores of Hawaii – shores covered in sand.

As a Hawaiian wedding couple stood barefoot beside the timeless ocean, waves splashed against the velvety beach, reminding them of the presence of their creator. It’s only natural that the sand of the beach would become part of the ceremony. It’s said that couples knelt and scooped up grains of sand to represent the sacred moment. Releasing some to blow back with the wind, they poured some sand into a container to keep, forever reminding them of the vows spoken under the Hawaiian sun. Doesn’t it sound magical?

The Unity Sand Ceremony, you see, is an ancient and beautiful tradition that combines elements of nature’s glory with a holy moment. Couples through the centuries have understandably wanted a moment like that for themselves, and over time, the sand ceremony has expanded in meaning. Couples now incorporate the sacred colours that Native Americans used for healing into an artistic masterpiece that preserves a permanent reminder of their love. Why not personalize this act of devotion for your own wedding?

Making This Ancient Ritual Your Own

The beauty of the Unity Sand Ceremony lies in its simplicity. All you really need are coloured sand and some vases. But making the ritual as beautiful and meaningful as possible requires some careful consideration. Would the Shadow Unity Sand Ceremony Vase Set, for example, be the best choice for you? Or would you and your family prefer the Te Amo Unity Sand Ceremony Vase Set? And which sand colours are best?

If your goal is to achieve beautiful photos of your wedding and a memento you’ll enjoy displaying for decades to come, you’ll want to pay close attention to the colour palette of your sands. Using too many bright colours can disrupt harmony and appear jarring. Shades used in abundance may simply blend together, leaving you with photos that don’t show any differentiation between the layers of sand.

Remember also that the final layer involves mixing your sand together with that of your new spouse. That’s why using black sand may not be a good idea for either the bride or groom since it makes unappealing flecks in this final layer.

You must consider everything when choosing just the right colour combinations for your personality and your aesthetic concerns. Even the design of your home comes into play. Will you be decorating in marine colours or with a green outdoorsy theme? And are your sand colour combinations classic enough that they will appear timeless in years to come rather than dated?

You may want to choose sand colours that represent your core values. When colours have deep meaning to you, aesthetic concerns may seem less important. While matching your sand colours to your wedding colour scheme is one way to go, why not build your Unity Sand Ceremony on colours that represent strongly-held beliefs?

If yours is a blended family that includes children, take special care to help the children choose meaningful and complementary colours. While adding some playfulness to the ritual’s colours may be appropriate, disrupting the harmony of your two primary colour choices can be viewed as a mistake.

Getting Everything Just Right

A final consideration is your Unity Sand Ceremony vows. Different from the marriage vows themselves, these additional vows that you say while pouring the sand are among the most important and powerful words you’ll ever say to your spouse. The perfect vows are essential to your perfect Unity Sand Ceremony.

When you choose the right vows, the right sand colors and the right vases, you’re sure to have a special day that’s even more meaningful than you ever thought possible. Imagine joining your life with the life of your special someone in such a remarkably meaningful way. And consider how much meaning incorporating the Unity Sand Ceremony into your wedding adds to the event for your children, if you have them. When either the bride or groom have children, the marriage is even more than just the union of two people. It’s the creation of a new family, and everyone deserves to have special role in the rituals of the day.

When you stand before the most important people in your life and mix your sands together in the vase you’ve chosen, you’re creating something entirely new – a new entity in the universe that never existed before.

You’re also becoming part of a long line of other couples – TV stars, island inhabitants, indigenous Americans and regular couples just like you – who have added meaning to the ceremony of their wedding day and created a lasting memento of the occasion.

Joining with your spouse and recognizing the contributions of others to your successful life is a magnificent event that you’ll be proud to be reminded of every day for the rest of your life. That’s only possible, however, when you add a Unity Sand Ceremony to your wedding day.