Hawaii wedding officiant : What is the Unity Sand Ceremony

Unity ceremonies have been a special part of wedding vows since time immemorial. Couples from cultures around the world have used the unity ceremony as a powerful way to symbolize their love and commitment to one another in marriage. But, until recently it’s always been the Unity Candle Ceremony that has received the majority of the spotlight. That all changed, however, when Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter – of the highly-acclaimed “The Bachelorette” TV series – decided to incorporate the Unity Sand Ceremony into their amazing multimillion dollar wedding celebration.

Their nationally-televised wedding allowed couples all across the country to see just how beautiful and meaningful the sand ceremony was and inspired countless newlyweds to understand the importance of featuring it prominently in their vows.

Taking a Cue from Candlelight

The Unity Candle Ceremony has long been a tradition seen in marriages of all types, elaborate and simple. Typically, in this version of the unity ceremony, there is a single candle (the unity candle) that both bride and groom light from a flame of their own single candles. Parents or other members of the wedding party often join in the candle lighting ceremony using candles of their own, too.

The shortcoming of the unity candle is that it leaves no permanent memento or reminder of the union. Once the candle has been blown out, the significance of the ceremony is left only as a fleeting memory.

This is where the Unity Sand Ceremony has so much more to offer.

The Unity Sand Ceremony, a celebration that is usually two to three minutes in length, is a meaningful symbolic joining of two lives. In this timeless ritual of marriage, the couple ceremoniously pours various colors of unity sand from separate containers into one special container, the unity vase, symbolizing their coming together as one. It provides a way for couples during their wedding ceremony to brilliantly show the joining of the flow of their two lives into a single stream with their individually colored sands joining as one in the Unity Vase. Plus, because it can be displayed privately or for all to see for years to come, the symbol of the couple’s love is always present, always a reminder, and always a touchstone of truth. As such, the Unity Sand Ceremony and the unity vase can be treasured forever.

The Meaning of the Wedding Sand Ceremony

The flowing sand and blending of the colors in the Sand Ceremony symbolize the bringing together of two lives into one. The two sands symbolize everything that the bride and groom have been or will become in the future. The blending of the wedding sand represents the union not only of them but their friends and families as well. The separate sands once poured into the unity vase can never be put back into their separate vases. They are forever entwined just as the lives and loves of the bride and groom.

Some couples prefer to leave a small amount of sand in their respective container to show that even though they now function as one, they remain individuals. Find out how the unity sand ceremony works.

The History of the Unity Sand Ceremony and You

While the Sand Ceremony has become a popular part of the wedding ceremony, it is far from a passing trend. Our current day Sand Ceremony is thought to have its origins in Native American culture, either with Hawaiian ancestry or indigenous groups from the mainland. Traditionally, Native American groups dyed sand with various natural elements. Ochre made yellow-colored sand, gypsum made blue, various flower pollens and powdered roots and bark produced other colors. This colored sand was used to create designs that were part of a highly spiritual ceremony intended for healing. Hawaiians claim the Sand Ceremony as their own bit of history, and add to it a celebratory joy during wedding ceremonies. Brides and grooms have always enjoyed the unreserved beauty of nature that is bestowed on the shores of Hawaii. For years, couples have soaked in Hawaii’s natural outdoor splendor and incorporated it into the wedding ceremony.

Some of the most spectacular oceanfront scenes belong to Hawaii. From the beaches of Kauai, Oahu, Maui, or the main island of Hawaii, this Pacific state offers over 100 scenic beaches from which to choose. And each beach is covered with – that’s right – sand.

As the wedding couple stood, often barefoot, beside the timeless ocean, waves splashing against the velvety beach, they were reminded of the presence of their creator. It is said that couples would kneel, and scoop up grains of sand to represent the sacred moment. Releasing some to blow back with the wind, they poured their sand into a container to keep, forever reminding them of the vows spoken that day under the Hawaiian sun. The Sand Ceremony combines elements of nature’s glory with a holy moment.  Couples want the moment when they say: “I give my love to you, you give your love to me;” or in Hawaiian: “Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No,” to be memorable and endearing.

Over time, this tradition has taken on a life of its own. Couples now incorporate colors, like the sacred colors the Native Americans use for healing, and preserve an artistic masterpiece that can be displayed as a forever reminder of their love. Regardless of whether the tradition comes from the dreamy islands of the Pacific or the rich soils of North America, the reality is still the same: The Unity Sand Ceremony is mystical and romantic as well as timeless and essential.

The Essential Ingredients to Make Yours Truly One-of-a-Kind

The beauty of the ceremony is its simplicity. For example, for your Unity Sand Ceremony to be a success, you need only need two ingredients: a Unity Sand Ceremony Vase Set and Unity Sand for each of the participants. You’ll want to make sure you find a Unity Sand Ceremony vase that expresses not only the beauty of your union, but also your individuality as a new family. Fortunately, you’ll find that many of the vases that we have available not only make for a beautiful wedding ornament or decoration, but they’re also a lovely keepsake you’ll treasure throughout all your years together.