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Posts tagged ‘Sand Blending Alternative’

Custom Sand Blending Ritual Ideas

Have you seen the unadorned and not terribly relevant Sand Blending Ritual happen one too many times during weddings? This is something I hear from couples often. It’s no wonder, because it is a fairly simple ritual to put into a ceremony. Plus, there are countless spiffy sand blending kits out there for sale!

Despite any sand blending ennui I hear, options for truly customizing the ritual and creating an experience suited to who you are as a couple do exist. A wedding I just led in May lends a good example of this. The Bride and Groom enjoy being outdoors, including two activities in particular: hiking and beaching. They also LOVE and appreciate their families big time. These values all surfaced repeatedly throughout both of their responses to my Sweetgrass Ceremonies Couple Reflections.

So what did we co-create for a Unity Ritual?

You guessed it! A custom sand blending to reflect their love of meaningful outdoor places in their love story and appreciation for family.

Here is what it looked like before the ceremony:

Leah and Robert's Sand Blending Ingredients

Leah and Robert’s Sand Blending Ingredients


All six symbolic sands in a beautiful pattern.

All six symbolic sands in a beautiful pattern.

And so how, are you wondering, did we come up with this fun version of the ritual?

Here is a ceremony excerpt to explain what you see:

“You’ve chosen to blend sand because of how it represents the entwining of your families and your souls. As you pour each grain of sand into this shadow box, you symbolize how your lives become transformed today: forever combined.

Additionally, because your families are very close to your hearts, your parents will pour sand as well. The display they create illustrates how together, your families will create new patterns of family life in the days and years ahead. Lori and Greg, Donna and Bob, would you please come forward?

 First you will pour your sands as parents, the people who have set the foundation for Robert and Leah’s lives and what they know to be valuable in their own relationship. Lori and Greg, the sand you will pour comes from your home in Flagstaff. Donna and Bob, your sand comes from your home in Fontana, California. Go ahead and begin pouring now . . .

 {Music begins by Harpist: “One Hand, One Heart” by Bernstein and parents pour their sands. . .} 

Wonderful! And now our couple of honor each has sand from places dear to them: Mt. Lemmon where the first hiked and fell in love, as well as Hawaii, where they went on their first vacation together. They have green and purple sand mixed in there, too, for keeping it all lively and colorful like the wedding colors! Go ahead and begin pouring now . . .

 (Couple pours sands. . .)

 What a beautiful work of art you’ve created together! Thanks parents, you may take your seats again. Robert and Leah, keep this blending of sands in your home and enjoy it as a reminder of experiencing this ritual with your parents, plus the new and exciting patterns of living you have ahead of you!”

Do you have examples or stories of how you have customized this kind of ritual to suit your interests and values? If so, please share. I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure others would enjoy finding creative ideas.

A Spicy Unity Ritual Alternative

Do you want to include a unity ritual in your wedding, yet feel like you’ve seen sand blending or candle lighting happen enough already? Universally and personally, an active ritual to symbolize your union adds depth and interest to the ceremony. (And sometimes, blending sand or lighting candles does fit well.)

Here is a fun alternative to consider: Blending Spices. For this wedding I led between Katherine and Matt, who share a passion for cooking together, we called it their ‘Spice of Life Ritual’. They also share a faith in God, so we incorporated symbolism from the Bible, based on their beliefs. This is an excerpt from the ceremony we co-created:

A Custom Spice Blending Ritual for Matt & Katherine

Making a commitment to each other through marriage means you combine your gifts and together, you make a greater difference in the world than you would as individuals. Just as spices complete a recipe, you complete each other. You have chosen a few spices to layer in this glass vessel one at a time, signifying your own personalities and talents. In this way, you symbolically combine who you are forever.

Just as the spices become intermingled and will never be the same again, so do your lives as you join in marriage. You will begin and end by pouring in salt, for it is pure and essential. Go ahead and pour the first layer of salt . . . (Couple pours first layer of salt together . . .)

This salt symbolizes love – God’s love for you – and your love for each other. This love will be the foundation upon which you build your life together. In the Bible, covenants of salt were made to insure lasting and permanent pacts, as salt symbolized the eternal nature of the covenant. Your marriage is such a covenant, perpetual and everlasting.

As you pour the following spices, which you will layer between the salt, I will name each and its symbolism:

(Couple begins to pour one spice at a time . . . )

As they held a single glass to pour the spices in one at a time, I read the symbolic meaning of each spice or herb, as follows:

Sage ~ for wisdom and long life;

Rosemary ~ freshly collected from your yard, to symbolize remembrance, love and fidelity;

Paprika ~ for passion;

Poppy seeds ~ for prosperity;

Lavender ~ for calm in the face of difficulties and seeing the opportunities in life;

Thyme  ~ for courage and strength.

Now finish with pouring the final layer of salt. What a beautiful work of art you have created! Please keep this in your home as a remind of this special day. Let these spices symbolize the blessings of your joining and how you have combined the essences of who you are, forever.”

During their ceremony and in the preparation for it, this Bride and Groom had a super fun time participating in this spicy unity ritual together. The Groom collected the rosemary himself, from their yard. The Bride and I shopped together for the bulk herbs/spices and had so much fun! The Bride and her now Mother-in-law shopped for the glass vessels. While I set up the ritual prior to the ceremony, the guitarist even enjoyed smelling the lavender. I carried the finished product over to the reception (displayed next to the sign-in book created by Sarah Neyhart) so guests could enjoy the  couple’s creation up-close. All in all, we immensely enjoyed co-creating this custom ritual!

Inside the Chapel at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa ~ ritual table front & center.

A peek of the TGR Chapel from the outside ~ so beautiful!

This wedding occurred at the lush and inviting Tubac Golf Resort and Spa in Tubac, Arizona. Everyone enjoyed the setting on a monsoon afternoon in June. Other vendors (with whom I love to work!) included:

Colleen LaFleur of La Fleur Plantscapes

Sarah Neyhart Photography

Mark Wilsey on Guitar from Reno del Mar