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Blending of the Sands Ceremony
Symbolizing the Family Joining

Larry James
Wedding Chronicle "Blending of the Sands Ceremony" by Larry James was featured in the May/June 2007 issue of The Wedding Chronicle.

Larry James was a contributing author to The Wedding Chronicle. Watch for a new article in each issue.

Congratulations to Larry James!

Larry James has been selected as the "Best Officiant" in the Greater Phoenix area by The Wedding Chronicle's 2007 Readers' Poll!
Read more!

The "Blending of the Sands" ceremony can be a beautiful and meaningful alternative to the " Unity Candle" ceremony (often done with children each holding a candle).

The "Blending of the Sands" concept was originally created by Geneene L. Thornton in 1993 and was used primarily for beach weddings in the San Diego area. The problem with the Unity Candle, especially on the beach, is the least puff of wind and the candles usually blow out.

Blending of the Sands Like a Unity candle, the symbolism is the same. The pouring of several different colored sands together is used to symbolize the joining of the wife and husband on their wedding day. This ceremony is usually added toward the end of the wedding ceremony.

This ceremony requires a small vial or vase, one for the wife and husband to pour the sand into and two vials for them to pour the colored sand from. Containers with small openings make the pouring of the sand easier.

Each of the vials of colored sand symbolizes the separate lives of the wife and husband. Following the ceremony, the empty vials or vases can be used later to display fresh flowers. You can put your vase containing your combined sand on display as a constant reminder of your special ceremony!

I have adapted the Sand ceremony for "encore wedding ceremonies" (second & third marriages) for couples choosing to include children from previous marriages in their wedding ceremony. I call it a "Blending of the Family Ceremony with Sand." It can also be used as a brief stand-alone ceremony to blend the family or as a Godparents Celebration Ceremony with Sand.

Some couples pour the sand from several seashells, an excellent choice for a Rocky Point beach wedding. If your ceremony is being performed on a beach, have the Minister or Officiant scoop up a little sand from the beach with a seashell and pour it into the small bottle to symbolize the building of the foundation of the relationship and to give you a memento directly from the beach where your ceremony words were spoken. The Blending of the Sands

Use several different colored sands, one color for each member of the family. Let each child choose their own color. Colored sand from a hobby store like Michael's is perfect. Small glass bottles or vials are usually found there as well.

A nice touch is to pour the colored sand into a small "heart-shaped" bottle. Later, you can melt some wax to seal it to hold the sand in place, and then seal it with a cork or lid. Have your names and the ceremony date etched in the glass or on a metal strip to attach on the bottle prior to the ceremony.

After the minister reads the words, the wife, husband and children pour their containers of sand into the "heart-shaped" container - taking turns to give the colors a layered and artistic look. The combined sand makes a colorful keepsake for the family and a constant reminder of their promises at the ceremony.

The last words of the ceremony usually say, "Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage and your family be, blended together."

For examples of words you can use in the "Blending of the Sands" ceremony, click here!

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