My younger brother got married earlier this year and had a beautiful sunset ceremony on the beach. My favorite element was the use of sand — in the sand ceremony. Although not brand new tradition, I had never seen it before.
Like a unity candle, the symbolism is to unite the couple as one. Candles are great, but not in a windy beach setting. It’s a simple ceremony — the bride and groom each has a separate bottle filed with sand. An empty glass container sits between them. At the same time, they each take his/her bottle of sand and begin pouring the sand together — uniting as one.
What I like about the sand ceremony is that, unlike using candles, the sand stays intertwined forever. There is literally nothing you can ever do to separate his sand from her sand. All of the grains are forever mixed.
This got me thinking. Why not use it for families? Parents get one bottle of sand, each child gets one bottle and together you each pour them into one glass container. Another option would be for each family member to leave a little bit of sand in his/her bottle to represent individualism, while still showing unity as a family with the mixed sand.
The new family bottle can then be showcased in a proud spot within the home, or shared in individual containers for each family member to keep in a special place of his/her own. When the kids leave the house, they can take their bottle of family sand to remind them that their family will always be with them, no matter where they are. I think this would work especially well with adopted children and step families too. Or with teenagers who may need to be reminded the importance a family plays in ones life.
It’s great symbolism for all families — although separate grains of sand, we unite as one and stay forever connected.