Marriage is the coming together of two individuals who have decided to spend their lives together and a personalised ceremony seeks to emphasise the importance and symbolism of that decision.
The sand ceremony involves both bride and groom having a small bottle of coloured sand. Together they pour their individual bottles into a beautiful heart shaped glass; the grains of sand mingling together to create a new whole. The heart glass is then sealed with wax and can be passed around the guests to embrace the new entity. Although the sand can be poured away, the two colours can never be separated again.
The unity candle serves the same purpose, in that the two smaller candles represent the bride and groom before their marriage. They use those to light the central ‘unity’ candle to symbolise their ‘new’ family and to demonstrate their love and commitment to one another.
The unity candles remain lit for the rest of the ceremony.