Unity Plant Ceremony

Unity Plant Ceremony

unity plant ceremony

Yesterday I performed a really neat ceremony for a couple. It is the Unity Plant Ceremony. This would be a great alternative to the Unity Candle Ceremony particularly if your ceremony is being held out of doors. Candles blow out. And like the sand ceremony, you have a physical token that represents your union through the years. What makes it even more special is that your token is alive!

Sample Unity Plant Ceremony

The Bride and Groom and their families are now going to participate in the Unity Plant Ceremony.  The ceremony symbolizes the roots of their relationship and the continued growth of their love.

Long before ______ and _______had the pleasure of knowing each other, their families provided them with a foundation of love and support which has made them into the people we see before us today.  To honor their families, _____ and __________ will each start by adding dirt from their parent’s home.  Just as their families have been the foundation of who they have become, this dirt will be the foundation of their new family.

(Add Dirt)

The love of their families has allowed ______ and _______to grow into the wonderful and unique people they are.  This plant is a symbol of their new life, and how they will grow for years to come.  _____ and _____ let your relationship and your love for each other be like this plant.  Let it grow tall and strong.  Let it endure the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed.  Remember to nourish each other with words of encouragement, trust, and love.  With constant nourishment this tree, and your marriage, will grow deeper, stronger, and more resilient with each passing year.

Importance of a Wedding Day of Coordinator

wedding planner

For a small intimate wedding or elopement you really don’t need a wedding planner or coordinator. But…once you start planning on a wedding procession, having a photographer, a DJ, catering, flowers, etc. you absolutely have to have a wedding planner or day of coordinator.

The Wedding Planner

From wikipedia, “a wedding planner is a professional who assists with the design, planning and management of a client’s wedding. Weddings are significant events in people’s lives and as such, couples are often willing to spend considerable amount of money to ensure that their weddings are well-organized. Wedding planners are often used by couples who work long hours and have little spare time available for sourcing and managing wedding venues and wedding suppliers.”

For a very large wedding with a big budget a wedding planner is almost a necessity. They can help with budgeting, hiring the necessary vendors, planning the procession, and ensuring that the 1,000 little details of a big wedding all come together.

The Wedding Coordinator

The Day of Coordinator is just that. You provide them a list of all your vendors and details about how you want your wedding day and ceremony to progress. Many venues provide a day of coordinator as part of their services, either included in the facility fee or as an add on.  Many day of coordinators will attend the rehearsal if you have one, particularly if you are having the rehearsal at the same venue as the wedding. Keep in mind that the coordinator is only going to be as good as the information and resources you provide him or her. You (if you planned your own wedding) are responsible for organizing and paying the vendors, that they arrive on time, and that their performance is as promised. The day of coordinator only coordinates.

Why You Need at least a Day of Coordinator

You really need at least a Day of Coordinator. Not someone that is in the wedding procession, not the photographer, and not the caterer. You need a person to act as a buffer for you, to make sure that everyone is arriving on time and that they know what is expected. Someone who can herd the wedding procession into order, make sure the flowers are arranged properly, the candles are lit, the flower girl has petals, the runner is laid down, the officiant is there and is prepared, etc, etc. You as the bride cannot do this. You are going to be too busy getting ready for your wedding; the dress, hair, makeup, etc. Your stress level as a Bride is already going to be high. Don’t become a bridezilla and ruin your special day.

Wedding Day Essential Photo Shot List

wedding couple

Your wedding day is a special day! You should make sure to get as many photos as possible to remember it by. A great way to insure you get those special photographs is to hire a professional photographer to take them for you. But whether you hire a photographer, or have a family member or guest take your photographs, you need a plan! You need a wedding day essential photo shot list. So many essential photos can get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of a wedding day. Here is a list of the most essential wedding photos you need to take if you can. Remember, this is the bare essentials.

Wedding Day Essential Photo Shot List
Pre-Wedding Ceremony
  • Bride with individual Bridesmaids
  • Bride with all Bridesmaids
  • Bride alone, close-up, waist up, 3/4, full length front and back
  • Groom with individual Groomsmen
  • Groom with all Groomsmen
  • Groom alone, close-up, waist up, ¾,full length front and back
  • Guestbook attendants
  • Program attendants
  • Groomsmen with minister in minutes before
  • Grandparents seated
  • Parent Seated
  • Grooms party enters
  • Bridal party down the aisle
  • Flower girls and ring bearers
  • Bride down the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction to bride (this has become a HUGE ordeal in the past years)
  • Standard Ceremony items: readings, prayers, unity candle/sand, rings, vows
  • Pronouncement of Marriage
  • Recessional
Family Portraits
  • bride and groom with bride’s parents
  • bride and groom with bride’s parents and siblings, in-laws, grandparents
  • bride and groom with both families
  • bride and groom with both sets of parents
  • bride and groom with groom’s parents bride and groom with groom’s parents and siblings, in-laws, grandparents

20+ creative shots of the couple in a variety of poses, smiling, kissing, in action, sexy poses, making sure to get a variety of styles, locations and crops, full length, scenic, close up, 3/4 etc.


Your Wedding and the Coronavirus

7 Steps to Protect Your Wedding from the COVID-19 Virus

coronavirus and your wedding

A hot topic in the news today is the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In regards to your wedding ceremony, yes, you should be concerned. That doesn’t mean you should cancel your wedding, only that you should take adequate precautions against infection How to go about that? Eric Hunt a wedding officiant in Myrtle Beach, SC has a great post on his blog about this very subject.

“The Coronavirus (COVID-19), has certainly caused a lot of disruption all over the world in recent weeks and for couples whose wedding day is near it can definitely add a new level to pre-wedding stress. While we should all be taking precautions and use good ole’ common sense (WASH YOUR HANDS) when it comes to these types of threats, the Coronavirus does not have to be the end to your perfect wedding day. Below, I have compiled a few thoughts and ideas as this virus relates to the wedding day. ”

Eric follows up with 7 steps you can take to protect you and your guests from contracting COVID-19. You should definitely check out the complete article.

Read and enjoy. You can read his post here.

Wedding Unity Candle Ceremony

The Unity Candle

unity candle ceremony bride and groom

One question I often get asked by people planning their marriage ceremony, is how can they “make their wedding ceremony special”?

One way to do that is by having a unity candle ceremony as part of your wedding. The unity candle ceremony is a very simple way to reinforce the meanings of your vows. It can also be  away to involve your family members, by having a different family member each light their own small candle and contribute to the group lighting of the larger unity candle. I have seen where its just the groom and bride light the candle, the mothers of the groom and bride light the unity candle, or the parents of the bride and groom light the candle.

If there are children from a previous marriage in by either of both of the bride and groom, then having the children join with the bride and groom in the lighting of the candle is a great way to enhance family unity and show everyone’s love.

unity candle ceremony family

The only drawback to the unity candle ceremony is that it can be difficult to perform in an out of doors setting. Often the wind does not cooperate and the candles get blown out.

Here is a sample Unity Candle Ceremony. If it is a secular wedding then the religious references can be removed.

Unity Candle Ceremony

Now we shall celebrate this union as it is symbolized through the lighting of the unity candle.

______and ________ please light the two taper candles. These candles represent your individual spirits, your individual connections with God, all that you are and, all that you have been, and all that you will become. ​

The center candle represents your relationship. It is the symbol of your marriage, the symbol of the joining of 2 spirits, 2 lives, 2 souls. Now you will take the tapers and light the center candle. As you do so, keep in mind the pledge you made to each other today. It is the pledge of the truth and purity of your every breath. The constant friendship of your hearts. The passion and fire of your spirits and the deepest love your souls have to give. It is the pledge of all that is within you. The only true pledge that one heart can offer to another.

You are now as husband/wife/spouse and husband/wife/spouse offering yourselves, and all that has come to pass unto each other, towards the creation of your future, and to all that is yet to come. The candle of your marriage shall burn brightly, but the 2 tapers of yourselves are not diminished. You do not disappear in marriage. You remain you. But in joining, both lights are brighter, each supports the other and miracles can happen. True Love shines brightly and today is but a beautiful beginning of the miracles to come.

Wedding Unity Sand Ceremony

Unity Sand Ceremony

Traditionally, weddings in the past have been a pretty standardized affair. Because of movies and television most people could summarize the ceremony from memory. In recent times however, weddings have become more personalized, with couples adding or subtracting components to the ceremony to suit their personal preferences.

unity sand ceremony
Photo courtesy of Eileen Rivaud

One example of a modern wedding innovation is the Unity Sand Ceremony. Like the unity candle which many people are familiar with, the sand ceremony ads a personal, non-traditional touch to a wedding ceremony. It is a symbolic, poignant moment during the ceremony where a couple visually demonstrate their joining as a couple.

The sand ceremony has quickly gained in popularity for several good reasons. It’s rather simple. It is visually appealing. And it is an easily modified ritual that contributes a bit of worldliness and also leaves the newlyweds with a meaningful souvenir of their big day.

One big added benefit is that, unlike the unity candle, this wedding ceremony isn’t complicated by a light breeze. I can’t tell you how many times I have had unity candles blown out by the wind during outside wedding ceremonies. Unity sand ceremonies can be used outdoors with no problem at all.

Following below is one example of a sand ceremony.

Example Sand Ceremony

GROOM and BRIDE you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and this is a pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives.

Today, this relationship is also symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, GROOM and One Representing you BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated, our prayer for you today is that your lives together would be blended like the seven seas and may your love swirl around each other like the changing tides.

Things You Should Know

Things to Know About Getting Married in SC

Getting married in South Carolina is very easy. No witnesses or blood tests are required. All you need is a marriage license and someone to perform (officiate) the ceremony. You obtain the license at the local clerk of courts office (or probate office) by visiting in person (both parties), paying the fee, and showing your identification.  See this page for further information on where to get your wedding licenses, fees, etc.