Why have a Wedding Sand Ceremony?
1. It is an unexpectedly lovely moment for your guests to witness – remember, they will most likely be expecting just the usual vows, ring exchange and a kiss
2. It is a visual symbolisation of the bride and groom joining together in marriage
3. If other family members are involved, it is a beautiful representation of two families coming together
4. The sand-filled vase becomes a beautiful and meaningful keepsake
5. It makes the ceremony unique for the couple, instead of using only the standard ceremony options
Planning your Sand Ceremony
The first thing you have to do is check with the official or religious person who will preside over your ceremony whether they will allow it. Many register offices have this information available on their website, but you should always check for any requirements they may have, or time restrictions, or where your sand ceremony will fit in the order of the day. This will have some influence on what you do and say.
Now comes the fun part – shopping for your sand ceremony accessories, that is the sand, the vases – and whether you would like them personalised with a monogram, names and/or your wedding date. There are lots of different colours of sand available, so you can match the sand to your wedding theme, or to your home décor (the vase will likely be on proud display in your home after the wedding) or simply use colours that you love or ones that are meaningful to you both. You can also personalise the vases with your engraved initials, or names, or the wedding date should you wish.
Next – decide how you want your sand ceremony to happen (keeping in mind any guidelines you may have been given by the official). Do you want only you and the groom to participate, or do you want to involve more family members to symbolise the joining of two families? Do you want it to be silent, or with a musical background, or do you want some special words to be said? Who will say them – you and the groom, or a specially chosen person?
Finally, when you have decided on the above, agree with the official on when your sand ceremony will take place in the proceedings, how he/she will introduce it and check that the wording you have chosen is appropriate (for example, a registry ceremony cannot have any religious references).
Your Wedding Sand Ceremony
The sand ceremony is led entirely by you, therefore there is a lot of flexibility on what you can do.
A typical sand ceremony set includes three or four vases.
In a 3 vase set, there are two colours of sand (one for the bride, one for the groom) poured into the main vase. In a four-vase set, there are three colours – one for the bride, one for the groom, and a third colour in an additional vase to represent their union.
For couples who wish to include other family members, for example their children, there are smaller vase sets to use for extra colours.
You may also have a shadow box, which can be personalised with a wedding photo, a copy of your vows, or anything else you find meaningful.
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