Sand Blending Ceremonies: A Great Alternative to the Unity Candle on a Breezy Beach

Hey there! When I got married in Vieques more than three years ago, nobody had ever heard of doing a sand blending ceremony. I read it about it in some random bridal magazine and tore out the article, and then did some digging online to find the only three or four web sites that had anything about it.

Last week I was sending a bride information about sand blending ceremonies and I did another search. I couldn’t believe it. I got 555,000 results for it. And the first 20 or so were for companies hocking a kit to make “sand blending unity kits!” I about died laughing. What a racket! Apparently it’s the hottest new trend. Who’d have thought I’d be so far ahead of the curve?

For those of you asking what the heck a sand blending ceremony is, here’s a quick primer: A sand blending ceremony is a nice way to get the sentiment of the unity candle when a candle is impractical or you don’t have parents available from both sides to light it. In my case, my mother in law refused to fly to our wedding, and my divorced parents couldn’t stand each other.

In the sand blending ceremony, the bride and groom (or bride and bride, or groom and groom) each have a cruet of colored sand and each color is supposed to represent different traits of the person who holds it. The ceremony officiant reads a little blessing and you both pour your sand in to a common dish, merging yourselves. It’s also fun to add some sand from the beach where you’re getting married. Get the cruets with corks (I got mine online at Container Store). Pour the sand into them in layers and it will stick to the sides. After the ceremony is over, pour the mixed sand back into the cruet that has the most defined lines of colored sand still stuck inside it. Fill it to the top so it won’t move and cork it. Take it home and put it on your dresser as a wonderful souvenir from your wedding. I’m looking at mine right now and it’s beautiful.

Do not spend the money on a sand blending kit unless you really don’t have time to make a quick trip to your local craft store. You can research the ceremony colors online and then buy the sand for a few dollars in a multi-pack at Michael’s or AC Moore. Some people like to pour the sand into a heart-shaped bottle. Cute but messy as hell. Much better to use a pretty bowl and much prettier afterward if you put it back in one of the bottles you poured from. Some “experts” just talk about the bride and groom having different colors of sand; some have different representations for each color. It can be fun to put the color definitions in your ceremony program.

This is a neat way to have a “unity” event in your ceremony without having to deal with the bugaboos surrounding divorced or deceased parents. And while it isn’t a “religious” ceremony, it’s certainly spiritual.

Happy Wedding Planning!

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