The unity candle ceremony has been a part of many weddings for years and years. It involves the bride and groom using individual candles to light a unity candle as an expression of the couple's shared commitment to uniting their lives. The unity sand ceremony is the descendant of this traditional ceremony but instead of using a unity candle as the symbol of unification, flowing sand becomes the unifying symbol. The receptacle used to capture the flowing sand then becomes a cherished keepsake and reminder of the couple's commitment.
Since a beach setting provides the perfect backdrop for the sand ceremony, it's hard to imagine a beach wedding that doesn't include it. A beach setting, however, isn't required; more and more couples are opting to include the unity sand ceremony as part of traditional church wedding ceremonies. That being said, if you're planning a beach wedding and wish to incorporate a unity ceremony, a sand ceremony is your best bet. Can you imagine trying to keep unity candles lit amid ocean breezes?
The unity sand ceremony is generally performed immediately after the traditional wedding vows are exchanged so it is not a replacement for traditional vows. It's still important, however, to check with your place of worship to ensure that the sand ceremony can be incorporated into your ceremony.
The origins of the unity sand ceremony are questionable. Some have credited Native Americans for this lovely expression of commitment while others claim it has Hawaiian origins. Maybe it's because sand ceremony vows often have elements of Native American or Hawaiian influence. Likely because of Hawaii's connection to the sand ceremony and its breathtakingly beautiful vistas, Hawaiian beaches are popular venues for weddings including the sand ceremony.
Whatever the origins, the popularity of the unity sand ceremony skyrocketed after it was performed during the 2004 wedding of The Bachelorette star Trista Rhen and Ryan Sutter. Over 25 million TV viewers witnessed the performance of the ceremony and since then, interest in the sand ceremony has grown beyond measure.
Like its predecessor, the unity candle ceremony, the unity sand ceremony serves to represent the blending of the individuals' lives into one. The blending of the sand inside the unity vase is the visual representation of coming together as one. Some couples choose to leave a bit of sand in their individual pouring vases to affirm that although they are becoming one as a couple, they are still individuals with independent thoughts.
If family members and children will participate in the sand ceremony, the pouring of each individual's sand affirms that each is committed to functioning as one family unit. For blended families, the sand ceremony provides an ideal opportunity for all members to feel they're an important part of the proceedings and the newly-formed family. Children especially love the interactive nature of the ceremony.
The "ingredients" of the unity sand ceremony represent the blending of two into one and together form what will become a lasting keepsake and reminder of your commitment to one another. These ingredients are the unity vase set and the unity sand. The unity vase set that you select should complement your overall wedding theme. Also, keep in mind that you'll want a vase set that you'll love for a long time because it will become a keepsake of your heartfelt ceremony and wedding day. If there will be multiple participants in your unity sand ceremony, you'll want a different sand color for each person.
You will also need a small table to place the unity vase set on. Generally after a couple has exchanged their traditional vows, they will move over to this table and perform the unity sand ceremony, exchanging sand ceremony vows while pouring sand from their individual pouring vases into the central vase.
is symbolic of your shared
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joining of your lives. More
of participants, the sand
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