NonReligious WeddingsNonReligious Weddings

Beach Sand Ceremony...

(Bride & Groom each hold a small vial of beach sand...)

(Bride's Name) and (Groom's Name), even though you come to this ceremony as unique individuals, today you blend yourselves in spirit and personality to bond and strengthen the future that you will build together.

It is to symbolize this blending that you now take these containers of beach sand to mingle them together -- as though pouring your separate selves inseparably into each other and becoming one.

(Bride and Groom slowly pour their sand together into a larger keepsake container.)

As you now pour your sand together, your lives also are this vividly joined as one. And just as each grain of this sand maintains its own space, never losing itself and yet ever losing itself amid the goodness of the whole sand -- so will your marriage and your family be.

Some notes on Sand Ceremonies...

My tastes in sand ceremony containers might not be as elegant, endearing or memorable as your own, so I leave those for my couples to provide for themselves. You'll need three pieces: one sand source container for each of you and a keepsake receptacle to pour your sand into. If the receptacle has a lid/cap or closure seal for the top, all the better, as you'll want to have this container as a memento of your wedding. I have seen many different variations, from precious and simple to intricately or cleverly creative. Some are engraved with the couple's names and the wedding date or other personalizations. Just choose something that lets your style and personalities as a couple come through. 
A few words about the sand itself. Most importantly, it needs to be DRY in order to pour well. Having someone just scoop it up from the beach and into your pouring containers right before your ceremony could leave you with clumpy sand that won't cascade gracefully into your receiving container -- or it could clog up entirely, especially if the pouring containers have spouts or necks that are slender or restrictive. Even though beach sand looks dry and powdery, it can hold lots of moisture, especially during the warmer months when relative humidity at the beaches can hover constantly in the 80%+ range.
A little preparation will help your sand pour smooth and pretty. Collect it, then spread it out thinly between some paper towels and put it in a microwave oven for 20-30 seconds at a time until any dampness steams out and is absorbed into the towels. Then while still in a low-humidity environment, like an air conditioned kitchen, pour your sand into sealable sandwich bags, pressing out all the air before you zip the seal snug. After putting it in your pouring containers during setup at your beach wedding site, a small plug or cork in the tops should keep humidity out and ensure smooth pouring for your ceremony. And you'll want to rehearse the pouring together so you are comfortable it will go well.
I have seen couples use different colored sand that picks up the color theme of their wedding -- or more symbolically, maybe just the personal favorite colors of each. I've also seen "geographic" sand ceremonies, with the sand brought in from wherever the bride and groom grew up in different parts of the country or of the world. This is noted in the wording of the ceremony. It could be east coast sand from South Carolina meets west coast sand from California -- or maybe even desert sand from Arizona or New Mexico. I think the most dramatic geographic sand ceremony I have seen was black beach sand from a volcanic Caribbean island and sugar-bright sand from a beach in Northwest Florida.


Standard Ceremony
Handfasting Ceremony
Beach Sand Ceremony
Unity Candle Ceremony
Sunrise Beach Ceremony
Vow Renewal Ceremony
Rose Ceremony
Rose Gift to Mothers
Wine Ceremony
Wine Ceremony w/Parents
Parents' Blessing
"These Hands" Blessing
Beach Wedding Blessing
Apache Wedding Blessing
Cherokee Wedding Blessing
"Love Chapter" Blessing
Some Sample Vows
Vows Including Children
Vows for Mid-Life Couples
Vows for Senior Couples
Favorite Readings


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Certified Humanist Officiant, H.S., American Humanist Association