There’s no longer a single dominant family form in the United States. The shape of the family is evolving, and many couples contemplating marriage today must consider their children from previous relationships as they plan their new lives together. A Unity Sand Ceremony for blended families can be an excellent way to make sure everyone is included.

In 1960, 73 percent of American children were living with their married parents, and the parents were each in their first and probably only marriage, according to statistics compiled by the Pew Research Council. By 1980, 61 percent of children were living in this sort of situation. Today, just 46 percent of children – less than half – live in what some call a “traditional” family situation.

There’s no reason to apply judgment or criticism to these numbers, however. They simply state today’s reality. And they provide a kind of comfort and camaraderie for families like yours. You’re not alone as you blend two families together.

Create a blended memento that’s unique as your new family

If you’re a bride or groom about to become part of a blended family, you’re in for an adventure. Not only are you marrying the man or woman of your dreams, you’re also gaining sons and or daughters in the process. As a result, you’ll want to recognize and honor your blended family in a special way – and a sand ceremony can do just that. Click here for a quick overview of how the unity sand ceremony works.

The most intriguing aspect of a sand ceremony is that it enables you to provide your family and those who attended your wedding a visual representation of how your blended family is coming together. As one color of sand flows into another, so the love flows through your blended family.

The Sand Ceremony Vase Set that you use for this representation can become a treasured heirloom in your home and a keepsake that will be passed down through the generations.

Something traditional, yet very new

The Unity Sand Ceremony combines the best of old and new into a modern symbol of joining. While the ceremony itself may date back thousands of years, it’s only recently become popular in today’s United States. Although unity candle ceremonies have become common in a number of churches, the idea of a Unity Sand Ceremony remains fresh. It’s something your guests may have never seen before.

If you want to combine the old with the new in your wedding, the Unity Sand Ceremony may be just the ritual you’re looking for. Based on traditional from mainland Native Americans and native Hawaiians, there’s no more powerful symbol of unity that incorporates every member of the family.

In Hawaii, inhabitants have long included sand in their wedding ceremonies. In many cases, the bride and groom stand barefoot on a sandy beach. As the waves whip, the couples scoop up sand to symbolize their union. On the mainland of the United States, Native Americans used ochre, gypsum and other natural materials to dye sand, then they create sand paintings for healing and other purposes.

What you need to make your sand ceremony special

Obviously, the most important elements for the Sand Ceremony are the Unity Sand Ceremony Vase Set along with Unity Sand in your chosen colors.

Your vase set is a symbol of your lifelong union – a family heirloom-in-the-making that you’ll treasure for years to come. The more appropriate the vase set, the better the message that you send to the members of your blended family and those who see this memento in the future.

You and your family may choose a heart-shaped vase set to symbolize your love in the most traditional and beautiful manner possible. Instead, you may want vases with a modern sense of movement to commemorate your modern family. Or you may select a vase set that’s a simple as a minimalist drinking glass to fit into your simple, minimalist home. In the same way, you can choose unity sand colors that are bright and vibrant or reserved and understated, depending on your family.

Celebrate your unique family style

After all, every family is different. You need a keepsake that fits the unique personality of everyone in it. If you believe your spouse-to-be and children are up to the task, involve them in every aspect of planning your sand ceremony.

Just remember that since the sand ceremony is the second most important part of the ceremony after the wedding vows, a sense of harmony in sand color choices is essential. The colors must go together to form a pleasing palette, and your leadership may be necessary to make sure that happens.

When everyone is on board from the beginning with how the sand ceremony will be done, you’re much more likely to have a beautiful and meaningful ceremony that enhances your marriage event.

Vows to give your ceremony a personal touch

Another important aspect of your Unity Sand Ceremony is the vows you’ll make – not just as a couple, but as a family. That’s why my book “Sand, Sound & Soul” is so important. With 27 themed sand ceremony wording choices that you can use or build upon, the book is crucial to a successful sand ceremony with real beauty and meaning.

You see, your officiant can often be a great help planning your wedding vows, but sand ceremony vows are something special and unique – something with which your officiant may not be familiar.

From my book, you can select a set of vows that perfectly matches your family’s attitude and situation. If you prefer and have the ability, you can use the vows in the book as a foundation upon which to build a unique set of vows just for your family.

Just as you shouldn’t overlook the importance of choosing the right sand ceremony set and sand colors, it’s important to choose or write vows that have meaning for you. They will also help those gathered for your ceremony understand the purpose of the vases and sand – and what they symbolize for your blended family.

Your unity ceremony can be as unique as your family. Through the ceremony, you’ll recognize the importance of each individual while also celebrating the family you’ve become. That’s why the Unity Sand Ceremony can be an important bonding experience for each member of the family.

A 21st century way to celebrate

Without a doubt, the Unity Sand Ceremony is a 21st century way to celebrate your union. It combines the fun of our time with the tradition of times past. Children especially love the uniqueness of the Unity Sand Ceremony. It takes a favorite childhood activity – playing in the sand – and creates something beautiful, special, and memorable.

The Unity Sand Ceremony shows from the beginning of your relationship the commitment of you, your spouse and your children to inclusiveness. It helps ensure that the children are actively involved in your wedding and shows that they are vitally important, integral parts of your newly formed family. There may be no better way to demonstrate visually the deep love and deep care that exists for every member of the family.

It’s just sand and some vases, but it’s also so much more. When you pay careful attention to every detail, your blended family can become closer in an instance as you pour your lives together and seal your commitment to each other.