Reader Question: My husband and I have decided to renew our wedding vows. We will be celebrating our 8 year anniversary. We want to renew our vows on the beach. I am trying to find unique things that we can incorporate into the ceremony.
I like the sand ceremony idea. Also we are going to throw a lei into the ocean in memory of my sisterinlaw who just passed away. Can you give me any other unique ideas of things we can do? We also have a blended family – 4 children ages 20 – 2 who we want to have a special part in this also.
I can see this is a bittersweet time in your lives. You’ve chosen a wonderful way to honor the family and your marriage.
The unity candle ceremony is nice and, if you purchase the encore family candle set, you can include the children in this ceremony. Perhaps, depending on their ages, the children can each write something about his parents and read it aloud as part of the ceremony. That would be another beautiful way to honor the family. Have a safe trip!
Rebecca Black, Etiquette Consultant, Etiquette Now
Great idea. And, please be sure that this ceremony does not resemble a wedding. Since it isn’t one, you can include almost any element (non-wedding) you wish.
Reverend Susanna: Joining Hands and Hearts: Interfaith, Intercultural Wedding Celebrations : A Practical Guide for Couples
I love the idea of throwing the lei into the ocean in memory of your sister-in-law. Feel free to add a few personal words about her—even if it is only to say that she is sorely missed and will remain forever in the hearts of those who love her. Love is immortal. Your entire blended family may participate in the sand ceremony if you wish. You may give your children each a single flower with an attached personal note at the beginning of the ceremony. In those notes tell them how you feel about them. It will mean a lot. You can let your vows and blessings reflect your blended family in some aspects. Do take a look at the rose ceremony on this site as well—it is lovely—and fully explained and scripted.
Choose music which pierces your heart. It will set the mood you desire! All you need is a portable C.D. player or a single instrumentalist or vocalist or trio. Your guests can blow good wish bubbles at the end of your ceremony in lieu of rice. In one wedding I performed on a beach, each guest was given biodegradable paper with an ecologically friendly pencil along with an orchid. Everyone wrote their good wishes for the couple, they then pinched the stems of the flowers into the small papers, went into the ocean up to their ankles and threw them into the sea. What is wonderful about having an wedding by the beach: It can be more informal and fun.
One more idea: Before every ceremony I conduct by the ocean, I ask everyone to face the ocean and take in its magnificence. I ask them to drink in its beauty, power and peace—to become one with it. Then I turn around and warmly welcome everyone and begin the ceremony.