Traditional Ritual of Unity

A traditional ritual of unity is the Candle Lighting Ceremony used in many weddings. The lighting of two candles represents the individual light of each person. The couple lights one large pillar with their individual candles to represent their coming together in one light. However, when a ceremony is held outdoors, wind can be unpredictable. Candles can be easily blown out.

No Lights Out

A Unity Sand Ceremony can take place regardless of the wind or weather. Because Sand is such a flexible medium a couple isn’t faced with the question, “Does this mean the light in our marriage will go out?”

So the Sand Ceremony is a very cool contemporary ritual that offers the same type of symbolism as the Candle Lighting Ceremony, but without the “risk” of lights out.

Ritual of Unity

The Sand Ceremony begins with the bride and groom pouring a smaller vial of sand together into the central vessel. The bride/partner1 is represented by one color, the groom/partner2. If a couple has two favorite beaches, often the sand is different color. Anyone can distinguish which sand reps whom by mixing a bit of colored sand in with the examples from each beach.

When the sand is poured together, it’s a ritual of unity. The mingling of the sands is represented by two individuals bringing together their past, their hopes and dreams, and all the influences that have brought them to their wedding day. The Ceremony’s script also includes joining together the influences of their separate family and friends. The many individual grains of sand combined is a meaningful representation of both individuals’ life coming together as one because of the bride and groom’s marriage.

There are many places in your ceremony that the Unity Sand Ceremony fits well, although I usually use it after the couple shares their vows.

From our Unity Sand Ceremony text~

“Your marriage not only joins you together as a couple, it also joins your two families together in very unique and special relationships. In this bond, each of you may share many experiences as if you were one person. You will share celebrations and times of loss and grief. While you will share life’s unfoldment together, you never loose your own identity. The miracle of love is that it allows us to overcome any sense of isolation. Yet love continues to permit you your individuality.northern michigan wedding officiants

“The two colors of sand symbolize your separate lives and your separate families that you bring here today. As you merge your sand into the one you indicate your desire for your lives, and the lives of your families and friends to be joined as one. I ask that you each take your sand and then pour it into the large single container.

[Sand is poured]

“We know that it is the wish of each of us here, that you will continuously blend your families with love, sharing and happiness, so that there will always be light and joy, peace and harmony in all of your hearts and in all of your homes.

Check out Rev Crystal’s blog on the Sand Ceremony.


A nice touch is to use sand for your wedding ceremony from your favorite beaches, such as Sleeping Bear Dunes Shoreline, any Traverse City beach, Old Mission Peninsula, Lake Michigan, Crystal, Glen or Long Lakes, Higgins or Houghton, Lake Superior, etc.

There are many sources for Sand Ceremony kits on the internet. Also try Michaels.