They planned a small intimate wedding with family and friends (a group of 13) at the recently opened Chapel Hill Bed and Breakfast--a lovely site with a huge lily pond more the size of a lake in front! They were late arriving for the wedding which gave me a chance to take up Oscar Moncade, the owner, on his offer of a grand tour of the house which has wonderful guest rooms with large whirlpool baths and all the amenities. Thank you, Oscar! You can see photos on their website including the "lily lake." The wedding ceremony was held in the rear of the house on a huge covered pavilion with lots of ceiling fans to keep the cool breezes blowing.
When everyone arrived, including the chairs, we settled down for Matthew and Valerie's unique and meaningful ceremony. Valerie was wearing a lovely dress of Oriental style in blue and aqua and Matthew's white suit with aqua vest and tie coordinated perfectly and with the maid of honor's dress and the best man's tie. Without knowing what their colors would be, somehow I chose to wear coordinating colors too. We started with Valerie's parents escorting her in and saying some wonderful words in response to my question: "Who blesses and supports Valerie as she comes to join in marriage with Matthew?" Then they were seated and we began with a welcome to all and a big tribute to their parents which led into the sand pouring ceremony. Matthew and Valerie included their parents in the ceremony in which their parents poured their sand into the central container first symbolizing the heritage and history of their individual lives and relationships. Then the couple poured in their layer of sand representing their union with each other as well as with their families. Following the sand ceremony we had a handfasting ceremony in which their their hands were bound with a cord representing their love. They then joined their right hands together to form the symbol of infinity "blessing their marriage in the eternal ebb and flow of the universe." So fitting for this magical day with the figure 8, also the symbol of infinity. With their hands bound and crossed, they spoke their vows to each other then symbolically replaced the cord with their rings. The pronouncement followed with the kiss and presentation of the newlywed couple to their guests. See what I mean by a not so simple basic ceremony!
Jason, brother of the groom and best man, and Alison, sister of the bride and maid of honor, then signed the marriage license and the picture taking began! Matthew and Valerie, you made sure your individuality and your love for each other was a part of this wonderful occasion. Many blessings to you both!