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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.
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.
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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