January 12, 2010

Going Against the Grain (literally!): DIY Sand Ceremony

I am so excited to share another one of my wedding DIY projects now that we have received our professional wedding photos!

I had always liked the idea of incoporating a unity ceremony into the religious service, and had often seen this done with the lighting of unity candles. Since we were getting married on the coast of Cape Cod, and the beach has always been special to me, my fiance and I decided that we preferred to do a unity sand ceremony instead.

Being the researcher that I am, I instantly began scouring the Internet for where I could purchase the nicest sand ceremony set for the lowest price. However, I was quickly dismayed, and rather taken aback, by the ridiculous prices for these sets. "Are you freaking kidding me?? $65 for a couple of vases? Sand NOT included?" I said to myself.

I decided that there was no reason that I could not make a sand ceremony set myself, for a fraction of the cost. So when my then-fiance and I were on Cape Cod in October doing some last minute wedding plannning, we stopped at Michael's to see what we could find. We were pleased to discover the small heart jars pictured below to hold the sand, and bought 6 of them (2 for my sand, 2 for his sand, and 2 for my dad's sand, who was also our officiant), for only $0.99 a piece!

Next, we needed a large vase or jar into which we would pour our creation. Since I knew we would want to take it on the plane back to Chicago, we decided to purchase an apothecary jar with a lid so our sand wouldn't spill. I also like apothecary jars because they are pretty and have a vintage vibe, which was also one of our wedding themes. We found one that fit the bill for less than $10.

We then purchased some white and dark blue sand (our wedding colors) at Michael's for only a few dollars a pound. Since we still needed sand for my father, we thought we'd go to the beach and collect some local sand for free, which would incorporate a more sentimental touch as well!

Here is the final product:

Photograph by Seth Kammueller

And here it is after the unity sand ceremony:

Photograph by Seth Kammueller

Overall, we were very pleased with how our DIY project turned out, and many of our guests commented on how unique and special the unity ceremony was. My father also gave a nice speech before we poured the unity sand to explain the symbolic meaning behind it, and our pianist played "Claire de Lune" by Debussy to add to the ambiance of the moment.


  1. Gorgeous!! You did a wonderful job :)

  2. I love the idea and can’t wait to see the photos! I think it turned out amazingly!

  3. excellent job! it looks great. can't wait to see the other photos :)

  4. Beautiful! We want to use a unity candle, but what about the wind? This would be a great alternative!

  5. Thanks ladies :) And yes, @PartyPlannerGal, this is a great alternative for outdoor weddings!


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