The sand ceremony can be a meaningful alternative to the Unity Candle ceremony especially outside when weather and wind can affect the flame. It is symbolic of the blending of your lives and future through the blending of grains of sand.
Filled with symbolism three vases are placed on a table where the ceremony is held. One for each of you filled with your favorite color of sand, representing your separate and individual lives up to the day you are married. A third larger container, usually in the shape a heart, for you and your beloved to pour the sand into. This is representative of the moments of your lives as they blend throughout the years.
The first step is for the groom to pour a bit of his sand into the vase representing the strength, courage and foundation of the family, then the bride does so to represent the life bringer, the healer and nurturer. As you pour the sand the minister explains the ceremony. Then you jointly pour the remainder of your sand into the vase to blend your past, present and future together.
You may wish to leave a small amount of sand in each vial to symbolize that although you are now joined as one, you are still free to express your own individuality.