What is a Sand Ceremony?

Did you ever visit the Isle of Wight as a kid? if so, you probably came home with an ornament for your mum, filled with the beautiful coloured sand, A sand ceremony, as part of a wedding blessing, also leaves you with a unique creation to keep. You will pour sand into a vase as a symbol of your union. A Sand Ceremony is a type of unity ceremony, and is growing in popularity.

When did sand ceremonies originate?

During the 1980s it was popular to light candles during the wedding ceremony, to signify unity. However, you were not left with a lasting keepsake. Additionally, many couples found that the candles blew out during the ceremony and had to constantly be re-lit. Not exactly the symbol of unity and longevity we were hoping for!

What does a Sand Ceremony involve?

As with most unity ceremonies, you don’t have to follow a set of rules when you plan your Sand Ceremony. You will need some containers for the sand that you can each pour from. And of course, sand. Ideally you will choose a different coulour of sand each and as they mix a pattern will form.

One of the great things about the sand pouring, is that if you are bringing kids to the marriage, they can also pour. The number of vases or containers will therefore depend on how many of you are to be involved.

You can choose what you say during the pouring

The Celebrant taking your ceremony will usually help you write something special to say during the pouring. One thing that works very well, is to take this opportunity to say your vows. You take it in turns, saying a vow and pouring some sand into a larger vase, or vessel.

After the ceremony, the sand can be sealed and you have a beautiful memory preserved from your day. The significance of the unity, the new family and everything you each bring to that, is visually represented in a permanent way.

Finding your vases and sand

It can be fun to find the sand and containers you want. As it has become more popular, there are several gorgeous options on the market. Here are just a few of my favorites to get you started:

This unity set on Etsy that caught me eye

This heart-shaped set from Wedding Star is so stylish

I love this idea, using a frame with a message on it, also on Etsy

If you’d like to talk about including a sand ceremony in your wedding celebrations, I’d love to talk. Why not book a zoom coffee and chat with me (it’s free of charge) and we can talk about your ideas.

From my heart to yours


If you’re interested in finding out about the career of an Independent Celebrant, take a look at the Celebrant Coaching and Training Academy. All our courses are created to help you become an exceptional Celebrant. Wedding and Vow Renewal Courses and Life Celebration Training.

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