I have conducted several Sand Ceremonies since becoming a Celebrant and have found them a lovely symbolic act to include in a wedding ceremony, particularly where there are children involved. So when it came to planning my own wedding ceremony my partner and I were considering ways to involve our four children. As we had a large range in ages we decided that a sand ceremony would work well, and would leave us with something nice to keep afterward to remember the moment by. So I thought I’d share some of the preparation involved in preparing for the ritual.
The Sand – when it came to buying sand I had looked at the many online options. There are an array of ebay and etsy stores that sell packets of sand. However, as we had a rainbow theme, we had specific colours in mind, and liked the idea of involving the children in the creation of the sand. We purchased a bag of white play sand (available from hardware stores) and a packet of chunky chalk. To make the sand flow nicely we dried it out in the oven on baking trays and divided it into six containers. We then grated the chalk into the sand using a fine grater and then mixed it well – the more chalk you grate into the sand, the more intense the colour!
The Jars – There are some really nice sand ceremony kits you can buy online with pouring jars and a central jar. Some of them even come with engraving or individual lettering on the jars. A quick web search will bring up some great options. However you can also go hunting for jars in craft and homewares stores. I came across these lovely pouring jars in Spotlight which were perfect for our ceremony. I usually recommend the centre jar is one that comes with a lid or cork, however I chose one with a wide top (because I liked the jar and don’t follow my own advice) and it had the benefit of being easy to pour into. I will then seal it so we can keep it on display at home.
The Ceremony – the sand jars were arranged on a table to the side of the ceremony. At the right moment the children were called up to the front and we all gathered around the table. As there were six of us, we poured the sand two at a time into the central jar creating a beautiful jar or blended rainbow sand, just like our beautiful rainbow family. It was a simple, but effective way of representing the unity that our wedding was creating. The children loved being a part of it, and so many people commented on what a special moment it was to witness.
A Sand Unity Ceremony is a simple way of creating a symbolic act within your wedding ceremony. There are many other ways of involving children, or in creating something a little different for your ceremony to suit your personalities and situation. You can read a few of these ideas on my Wedding Ceremony Rituals page. Or talk to me about how we can add a little bit of creativity to your ceremony.
Special thanks to Rev Elenie Poulos for guiding us through the ceremony so graciously.