How to Plan a Wedding Sand Ceremony

Jars of sand for a sand ceremony next to a bouquet.

There are many beautiful and unique ways to celebrate your matrimony, and planning a special sand ceremony is one of them. A sand ceremony is a ritual performed during the wedding service that uses sand to represent the union of the bride and groom. The tradition entails the couple pouring sand from separate containers into a unified one, which symbolizes two people coming together in marriage. It’s a lovely aspect of your big day—and no, you don’t have to be married on a beach to perform it! The sand ceremony emerged as an alternative to the unity candle ceremony, which is a popular tradition in the Catholic faith that involves the couple lighting two candles individually before lighting a central candle together. While some couples find sand from a beach they might be married upon, others might gather sand from a beach that holds special meaning for them, although it doesn’t have to be. (You can buy sand online if you want!) If a sand ceremony feels right for you, here are some tips on how to plan the perfect one.

Who Can Perform a Sand Ceremony?

Anyone can! Because it’s non-religious you can do it either on your own as part of your ceremony or you might ask your officiant to include it and and tie the ritual in with what they have planned for you.

What You Need

Luckily, all the items you need for a sand ceremony are accessible and inexpensive. You’ll need:

  • A table situated where you will perform the ceremony
  • Two different colored sands, one for each person
  • Two small vessels (glass jars) for the bride and groom, containing their respective sands
  • A large glass jar or container for the sand to join together

How it Works

A bride and groom performing a sand ceremony.

The basis of the sand ceremony is that the couple takes turns pouring their sand into the empty bigger jar to combine grains that cannot be separated. A poem or a meaningful passage is then shared afterwards.

When to Perform It

You can do the sand ceremony whenever you want on your big day, but since it symbolizes the couple joining together as one, it’s usually done before the exchange of vows (or as part of it) and after the ring exchange. However, you could choose to do it any time—whatever works for the flow of the ceremony!

How to Make it Special

A bride and groom performing a sand ceremony.

While it’s a timeless ritual, there are ways you can personalize the sand ceremony. Some couples choose to perform it themselves, including taking turns reading what the ceremony means to them. You might choose to have your officiant read some chosen words about your unity. If you have a blended family, you might also ask your children to be a part of the ritual. Choosing the different colored sand, as well as the location from which it comes, could also be unique to your relationship. Of course, the jars can also be a personal touch.

What to Do with the Sand Afterward

The best part about a sand ceremony is that it becomes a keepsake for your home together. Lighting a union candle is wonderful, but there’s something special about displaying the sand in your home as an endearing memento of your wedding and union for years afterward.

A sand ceremony is a poignant and powerful symbol of union that goes beyond a beach wedding trope. A special sand ceremony is a beautiful ritual that stands for an everlasting union, and is a keepsake that both you and your spouse can cherish forever.

Find Amazing Vendors