Unity Candles are excellent indoors symbols for demonstrating the union you vow your marriage to be, but their symbolism has a downside, too. Candles burn out, blow out and do not depict a lasting effect. They are ceremonial (in the present) only. After the ceremony, all that remains is the candelabra or candle sticks. A second popular symbol that shows the unity of a marriage is pouring Unity Sand.
Unity Sand works well outdoors, on the beach or anywhere. You are left with a vessel of your choice, usually a vase. Some couples buy and engrave special wedding vessels for this ceremony, but anything will do, from Aunt Bessie’s antique crystal vase to Mason jars with flip-lock tops. The vessel you chose can make your guests marvel and add fun to your ceremony. Let the tone of your relationship determine what type vessel will contain your uniquely poured Unity Sand. Make sure that the officiant writes the ceremony to reflect your feelings and attitudes, because the personal aspect of Unity Sand can be as important, although in tone less serious, than your vows.
The bride and groom each gleefully pour their individually colored sand into the larger vessel, as they create their piece of “art.” Choose your individual colors well. One groom who was passionate about his college football team delighted at pouring his team’s color into the vase while the bride poured her alma mater’s colors. I pointed out this “rivalry” and finally commented, “Look how well blue and orange are suited to each other, in a bowl (game) and in their marriage.” It was written just that way in the printed copy of the ceremony that we give to each couple.
The end result of Unity Sand shows a unique pattern of two colored sands co-mingling. This one vessel becomes a constant reminder that bride and groom each dedicate themselves to the union and unity in their marriage, and acknowledges that each acts as an individual in their harmony as one. Common goals unite. Different goals untie.
The only two complaints I have ever heard about Unity Sand is that Unity Candles and Unity Sand are trite and commonplace in weddings and that sand is no foundation upon which to build a marriage. All true for couples who feel this way, and not at all true for couples who want to symbolize their bond with Unity Sand. Both views are correct.
Next, we will explain other symbolic ceremonies you can use to symbolize the unity you wish to hold to in your marriage, and non-traditional alternatives that may suit you better. After all, it’s
Your day, your way!