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Category: Helpful Hints

Unity Sand | Words of Wedding-Day Wisdom!

Unity sand is a ceremonial wedding ordinance symbolizing unity. It typically begins with three glass containers: one larger empty container, and two smaller ones; each of the smaller ones holds a different color of sand (representing the bride and groom as individuals). The pouring of sand from two single containers into the larger one represents the bride and groom each emptying themselves of their “single” lives and intermingling their lives together in a way that cannot be taken apart or reversed (think of divorce like trying to separate two colors of sand, grain by grain back into two separate containers). The larger container, once full of the two colors of sand, represents the couple as a married unit- each individual is still unique, but each part of something bigger than themselves. Some couples incorporate a third color, either at the bottom of the large container to represent God as the foundation of their marriage, or along with the two other colors to represent God’s presence in their marriage.

Although this ordinance is beautiful and symbolic, there are occasions when, like at OUR OWN wedding, a snafu or 2 occur during the sand ceremony that kind of dampen its meaning. Here are a few tips to ensure that your sand is poured without any glitches, that the meaning behind the ordinance is left intact, and that you’ll have a beautiful unity piece to adorn your mantel for years to come:

Think for the Future! If you and your spouse are going to have this unity sand displayed in your home for forever, keep that in mind when picking out your unity glassware, as well as the colors of your sand! If your wedding colors are bright or trendy, consider buying sand in more muted tones of those same hues. Your taste in color-schemes and decor will change over and over again throughout the years as you grow older together, and you’re going to want this unity sand to compliment your home-decor for a very long time! Also, select glassware in a classic, timeless style that comes with a lid that you can glue/seal on! Some friends of ours accidentally spilled their unity while moving into their new home just days after returning from their honeymoon! Even though no one would’ve been the wiser if they probably had just found a similar container and re-poured the same color of sand, it was still a bummer for them that they would never have the “original” thing from their wedding ceremony to display on their mantel.

Take the Extra Measure! Before the wedding day, measure out how much of each color of sand you will need to fill your unity glass AND also leave both single glasses empty! At our wedding, the person who filled our individual glasses with sand filled Melissa’s glass too full. Once our unity glass was full, I had poured out all of my sand but Melissa still had plenty of sand left in her glass. It wasn’t really a big deal- our guests giggled watching us try to figure out how to squeeze as much sand as possible into the unity glass. We do joke now though that “Melissa’s not completely married, because she left some of her sand in her ‘singleness’ jar.” Haha! Still, it’s something we would change if we could go back.

Practice Makes Perfect! Melissa and I got extra supplies and practiced pouring our sand before the wedding day. A stroke of genius on my part ; ) Seriously! We knew that we had to, because our different colors of sand had different consistencies; Melissa’s was purple craft sand from Hobby Lobby, and my sand was taken from the beach in Charleston where I first told her I love her. We’re so glad we practiced, because each of our sands poured very differently. Melissa’s sand poured more smoothly filled up the glass quicker, while I had to consistently and steadily shake my glass to get the sand to keep pouring out. Once we got a rhythm down, we figured out how to make a pattern that looked best. I mean, if the thing is going to sit on your mantel for the entirety of your marriage, you may as well make it pretty to look at.

-Let Us See! During your wedding, when your minister introduces your sand ceremony and you move to your sand table (usually placed near the altar), make sure you each stand at an angle where you’re not blocking the pouring of the sand. Lots of couples stand directly in front of the table as they pour, impairing the audience’s view. Each of you can stand on opposite sides of the table, or both of you could walk around and stand behind the table, facing the audience. That way, your guests can see the whole ordinance, and your photographers can have a straight shot at some photos of the sand-pouring!

Ben & Ashley- above, August 6, 2011- had REALLY cute and unique jars for their unity sand!

Put Your Top Man On It! If you do not have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, you should definitely assign a responsible person  in your family or wedding party to measure out your sand, make sure the glassware is arranged the way you want it at at the altar, and to make sure the unity sand is sealed and stored somewhere safe once the ceremony is over. We’ve seen couples whose sand and glassware were still sitting off to the side of the ceremony space AS the minister began introducing the sand ceremony! We’ve also heard of unity sand getting left in the church where the ceremony took place, and by the time anyone realized it had been left, the church was locked, someone from the church had put the sand in storage or thrown it away etc… So make sure you’ve assigned someone to take care of all of these things for you!

The Cordial Churchman (Part IV) Featured Vendor | Steven & Callie

Our final post from our feature photo-shoot with The Cordial Churchman custom hand-made bow-ties features the famous Steven and Callie Powell : ) I think out of all the weddings we’ve ever done, Steven and Callie’s gets the most positive, even admiring feedback from new clients. They had a very earthy, organic, vintage wedding on a farm. Callie’s flowy J. Crew dress had no train and a lot of beautiful texture, while Steven and his groomsmen wore dockers, dress-shirts and suspenders. Their whole look was very unconventional and off-beat, but entirely “them.” They had a 2 1/2-month engagement, and could’ve easily gone with a rental company for the men’s wedding attire out of ease, but they decided that it was important that the clothing reflect their very unique personal styles. All of Steven’s groomsmen actually wore The Cordial Churchman’s bow-ties for the wedding, which is how we initially stumbled upon Ellie and her line of bow-ties in the first place.

As I was looking for models to pose for this shoot, I had this “Steven and Callie” look in my head for the last part of the shoot. I wanted Ellie to have a couple similar to them to style with her ties to show how well her product goes with this earthy, vintage look. I truly couldn’t find anyone with a style even remotely similar style, and I realized, “I’m just gonna have to bring Steven and Callie back!” I know all of you followers of our blog are dying to see them on here again, dressed back up in all of their whimsical wedding glory ; )

If you want your groom to wear color, but still want to accent with pops of color in the accessories, gray is an excellent shade for men to wear. It’s different than the traditional white, but is still neutral enough to give an objective backdrop to the colors of your flowers etc…

Daisies are a very common flower. They’re not very popular for formal church weddings, as they don’t give off a very “formal” look or vibe. But for a more casual outdoor wedding, daisies can be appropriate. IF you’re incorporating daisies, go for a twist- select a darker shade, or a colorful hue in which they grow naturally to keep things different, but still down-to-earth.

Boutineers do not have to be floral! We experimented here with curly twigs and wheat. It gives the look of a traditional boutineer, but is a little more masculine.

Wear a colorful bow-tie and let your florist design your bouquets around the shades in the fabric!

A HUGE thank-you to Serendipity Weddings & Events for designing our floral-arrangements for us!

The Cordial Churchman (Part III) Featured Vendor | Kyle & Whitney

When choosing wedding attire for the groom and groomsmen, where’s the first place people usually tell you to go? Or maybe you assume you’re supposed to go there? The answer we get most often is “Men’s Warehouse” or places similar to it. Why? It’s easy for you. You as the engaged couple pick out exactly what you want all the men in your wedding party to wear: their suits/tuxes are all the same color, their jackets have the same amount of buttons, the color of their vests will be guaranteed to match the color of your bridesmaids’ dresses if you ordered the bridesmaids’ dresses from the rental-place’s partner store… And it’s convenient: they have stores everywhere for the men in your party to pick up their wedding-wear wherever you want them to. BUT! At what cost does this ease and convenience come? Who cares if all your groomsmen have the same number of buttons on your jacket? Put a little more research and legwork into finding pieces for you guys to wear that will make a statement!

Lats week we featured Ellie Stager and The Cordial Churchman custom hand-made bow-ties. Today we’re featuring Part 3 of 4 of our shoot we did for The Cordial Churchman where we focused on showcasing color. Forget the notion of black suit/white tie if you’re going for a vibrant, funky or rich overtone for your wedding. Put some color on the men in your wedding! Mix and match textures and patterns! Get creative : ) You won’t regret it!

Thank you Kyle and Whitney, for modeling for us for this part of the shoot. Even though you’re not married to each other, your whole look just flowed so well!

Pair up different patterns with your coordinating colors!

Put your man in some COLOR, for crying out loud : ) And not just a vest or boutineer!

Have fun with texture and prints!

Don’t be afraid to pair colors that are unexpected together! Who know purple, navy and orange looked so swanky?

A HUGE thank-you to Serendipity Weddings & Events for designing the floral arrangements for us!