Dear Engaged couples-
Today I want to write about sand, since it seems that mixing sand has become an overnight sensation in wedding services. Speculation has it that Tristan and Ryan popularized this tradition when they married last year on the popular television show, the Bachelorette.
The bride and groom mix colored sand in a glass container after the exchange of vows. It’s a visual image of the union that has just taken place. It’s the blending of two hearts and minds—two lives lived in concert, where once there were two people, now there is one couple—that sort of thing. The sand tradition beats the unity candle, especially for outdoor weddings, since candles can’t be trusted to stay lit. Also, after the wedding service ends, and the unity candle’s flame is snuffed out, there’s really nothing left to remember the service by—except molten wax and a charred wick. Not so, with sand. The couple can take home and place their sand filled vase on their living room mantle or on the bedroom dresser as a decorative reminder of their special day.
|Colored sand from Hobby Lobby|
In a subsequent blog, I will talk about the wording I would suggest using for this part of the service, but today I want to cover logistics. Colored sand isn’t always cheap—it CAN be, but it depends on where you get it. This week I called around to stores in the Charlottesville area. The Walmart on Route 29 doesn’t have any in stock at the moment, although I did find it listed on-line. I couldn’t find a price associated with the product, however. Michael’s (on Barracks Road) sells colored sand for $7.00 a bag, which seems rather steep to me, since you’ll need at least one other color. Hobby Lobby, a chain with stores in Glen Allen, Virginia (1280 W. Broad Street—phone: 804-364-2190) and Chesterfield, Virginia (Hacock Village Street—phone: 804-639-4080) sells small jars of the stuff at $2.49. That seems far more reasonable to this price-sensitive gal.
|Sand from Oriental Trading|
If you would rather do your shopping on-line, Oriental Trading has a good deal. You can buy eight jars of sand for $21.00! However, remember you will be paying for shipping and handling.
For the crafty couple with some time to spare, it might make sense to make your own colored sand--even better if the sand you use comes from a beach you two visited, and of which you have many fond memories. You remember that tempera paint that came in plastic containers that your preschool or kindergarten teacher mixed with water? You stood at an easel and you dipped your supersize paint brush into that tempura paint? You can use tempera paint with regular beach sand. Use just a small amount of the stuff, dry. Sprinkle it into the sand and then mix the sand and dry tempura together.
Or, my preferred method: put beach sand in a bowl or jar, add enough water to cover, and then add food coloring and stir. After you have achieved the right color intensity, pour out the excess water, and let the sand dry on a towel. Voila—colored sand.
|Colored sand dryng on towel|
Bottom line, don’t draw a line in the sand and assume that it’s a unity candle or nothing where your wedding is concerned. Don’t bury your head in the sand either, assuming that this up-and-coming tradition is nothing but a fad, here today and gone tomorrow. Only the sands of time will tell. Happy planning! The Wedding