I officiate Sand Wedding Ceremonies
In California Sand Wedding Ceremonies, with its origins likely from Hawaii, is a popular and wonderful alternative to the Unity Candle Ceremony, especially if your wedding is to take place on a beach.
The Sand Ceremony is performed after the vows. Similar to the Unity Candle Ceremony, or the Wine Ceremony where a white wine and a red wine a poured into a third glass creating a “pink” wine, the symbolism is similar in that the two shall become one. Couples may scoop a bit of sand near their feet and pour it into a a lovely pre-selected glass bottle or vase of choice which then becomes a lifetime keepsake.
Seashells can be used for pouring if you wish. However, you may find using your hands much more fun!
Your children may also participate by pouring some sand into the container as well. There have been ceremonies where family and guests will pour a bit of sand in various colors into in a large glass container symbolizing the support of family and friends as well as their continued participation in the couple’s lives. The result is often a work of art that is destined for the coffee table! If this is of interest to you, there are many sand ceremony kits available. Some come with colored sands. Here are some you can choose from at Amazon.
Readings for Sand Ceremonies
There are many variations of this tradition. Some couples, after they had scooped up sand from the beach and poured it into a bottle, might request that I read an Apache Wedding Prayer. I will recite the blessing and then place it into the bottle. They then cork the bottle and throw it out into the ocean with everyone cheering in the background. That indicates the end of the sand ceremony.
Here is an Apache Prayer for a final blessing:
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
I will then slip the written Apache Blessing into the bottle, they cork it and throw it into the ocean.
Sand Ceremony Vows
Personally, I think it a bit “clunky” for the couples saying vows as they pour the sand. I prefer them holding each other’s hands and looking into each other’s eyes. Nonetheless, many couples will like the idea of reciting vows to one another (and with the children) while pouring the sand. If that is you, here are some sample sand ceremony vows:
“(Bride) and (Groom), you have just committed yourselves to one another through sacred vows. Your lives are no longer two, but one. To symbolize this joining, we ask that you each pour some sand into this bottle. (Each scoops some sand from the beach and pours it into the bottle. )”
Officiant (Andrea): (Name) and (Name) as you pour your sand into the one container, please repeat after me: “As these grains of sand merge together as one, I merge my life with yours. Please take my love throughout the sands of time. My heart is forever in your keeping.”
Officiant (Andrea): (Name) and (Name) as these grains of sand are joined together, so are your hearts, your bodies and your souls in marriage. Please repeat after me: (Here the nuptial pair may add whatever vows they wish….)
“My beloved (Name) as these grains of sand are joined together, so are our hearts, our bodies and our souls. I offer myself as your husband/wife forever.”
For children: “(Children’s name/s) your mother (and/or father) and (name) love you very much, and want you to know that you are and will always be a very important part of their lives. Will you please pour some sand into this glass container along with your good wishes? That would mean so much to them.” (Parents then hug and kiss their children!)