Our Sand Ceremony & How We Included All Of Our Guests

Glass jars filled with sand from Cabo

Our wedding guests pouring sand prior to the sand ceremony

Sand Ceremony

Ryan pouring during the sand ceremony

Wedding reception
As we wrote our vows and coordinated our ceremony with the reverend that married us we decided it would be fun to include a sand ceremony. A sand ceremony is a type of unity ceremony that symbolizes the unity of two families into one. The bride and groom each pour a different colored sand into one container to show two different colors blending into one. You can also include family members in this ceremony. Each person included pours different colored sand into the container. As the sand is poured vows for the sand ceremony are read. This quickly became a way in which we could include Ryan in our ceremony. As we planned it further we figured out a way to include every single guest in the ceremony.

During a sand ceremony the sand is usually poured into a vase but, we had to travel home with this meaningful wedding momento so I decided to get creative and we used a shadow box instead. I had to create something that wouldn't break during our trip home but also something that would look nice as a decoration in our home. As the backdrop inside the frame I used a picture we took on the beach during our engagement weekend getaway. I painted the shadow box white and glued a large wooden "A" (the initial of our last name) to the front of the shadow box. My husband cut out a piece of wood that covered the top of the frame and then made a slit across the top where we could fit a funnel in to pour the sand thru. Our shadow box was simple but definitely did the job. You can personalize your container with your wedding colors, initials and so on.

The day we arrived in Cabo we filled the mini glass jars (pictured above) with sand from the beach at the resort. The jars were labeled with custom labels that read "Chris and Melissa's Wedding" and the date of our wedding. As guests arrived to our wedding they were handed these glass jars so they could each pour sand into the shadow box. Next to the box was a sign that explained the sand ceremony to them. We asked that they pour their sand first to symbolize a foundation for our marriage. It was a small token of our appreciation for joining us on our destination wedding trip but it meant a lot to us.

During our sand ceremony we poured the sand as we read additional vows each promising to do everything to keep our family together. We then surprised Ryan with vows especially for him as he got to pour sand into the shadow box. We also gave him a tiny wedding band that would remind him of our family whenever he wore it. He did not take that ring off for the rest of the trip. It was the cutest thing and really made him feel like he was a part of the wedding ceremony.

At our wedding reception we had a table for the sand ceremony items. Guests could continue to pour sand into the shadow box if they had missed their chance to do so before the ceremony. We also had enough mini jars filled with sand that guests could take home with them as a wedding/trip favor.

A sand ceremony is perfect for any outdoor wedding it does not necessarily have to be a destination wedding. I've linked some of the items that I used below. Happy wedding planning!

Shadow Box - Michael's
Mini Glass Jars - Amazon
Colored Sand - Sandsational Sparkle
Wooden Letter - Michael's

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