They knew right from the start! That’s exactly what Marley and Chad told me. They knew from the very beginning that ‘This Was It’. I love hearing stories like that. We all have a romantic side to us that wants to believe in that magical destiny that draws us to our soulmate.

So, of course, Marley and Chad decided to have a destination wedding on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was a very warm summer afternoon when I arrived in Duck to meet up with them and their families. Chad was so cool about wanting to make everything just right and special for Marley. After some last minute details, we all made our way down to the beach, got in place, and there on the dune appeared Marley with her bouquet in one hand and her father in the other. She’s just a natural beauty and the whole beach stopped what they were doing to watch her make her way down to where Chad and I were standing with their kids.

The ceremony was going really well with a good mix of honor and laughter. One of the elements of the ceremony was the following note they wrote:

“Our relationship has been unconventional from the start. We both had kids already and our dates included the three of them. But something just felt right. From Day 1 we started making plans to be a family together. We truly have become a family. I love how safe and taken care of he makes me feel everyday. We both had some pretty rough roads until we met each other and just vowed to always laugh and love no matter what. We will continue to do that as husband and wife!”

They shared their vows, exchanged some beautiful rings, and then enjoyed the Sand Ceremony along with their children. It’s one of the most meaningful ways to include kids in a wedding ceremony, and what a wonderful keepsake from the big day.

Well, here’s where we get to the part of this story that caused me to want to blog it. No one knew! Not one person! I pronounced them “Husband and Wife” and then they kissed like I have seen so many times. As they are kissing, I’m getting ready to make the transition to the Presentation, and just as I am…wait….what….are you kidding!!! As soon as they kissed, they stared at each other for a split second and then bolted for the ocean; and I mean BOLTED!

We were all in awe as Marley and Chad took the plunge, literally, into the Atlantic ocean. Needless to say there was no recessional in the ceremony that day. Everyone was laughing and snapping pics with their cell phones. I just remember being stunned, thinking, “They really did it!” Everyone has their own style, but my hat is off to Marley and Chad. They will forever laugh and smile when they think about The Plunge they took on their wedding day. Amazing!!!

Photo Credits to Artz Photography

Last week I performed a wedding up in the 4×4 area north of Corolla. The only road up there is the sand on the beach! It’s very beautiful and famous for the horses that roam free up there on the beach. The wedding was about to start and a Sheriff rolls up just behind the ceremony arch, calling me over to find out how long the ceremony will be. I told him about 20 minutes and he was ok with that, concerned about the upcoming tide. I walked back to my spot next to the groom under the arch who immediately said loud enough for everyone to hear, “Are they going to arrest me?”

The wedding went great with a lot of laughter, smiles, and happy tears. It was almost over with just one more element to do; The Sand Ceremony. The Bride and Groom took sand from the beach where they stood, and poured that sand representing their individual lives into the main glass vessel they had brought. All those grains of sand mixed and became one. They literally become inseparable once poured, just like the couple who had just moments before vowed everything to each other. So that’s exactly what happened with this bride and groom, and then it got even better from there. They had all five of their children come up, and one at a time, each poured colored sand into the main vessel. The first one poured blue. The next one poured orange. The next one poured green, and so forth. After they had all poured, it was very beautiful, and made an amazing pattern.

I held it up for all to see, eloquently going on and on about what an impressive keepsake it was and how it would have a special place in their home and help them tell the story about their amazing wedding day on the beach. As I’m finishing the statement about how gorgeous it was …. the vessel broke into a hundred pieces.

Oh no!

The colored sand was now painting the beach floor where I stood. If there had been a crab hole big enough, I think I would have crawled in it. I hadn’t done anything wrong, but it was still in my hands when it exploded. Dumbfounded, I looked up at the bride and groom with big puppy dog eyes that were screaming “I’m so sorry!” The very awkward moment was saved when the gracious groom turned to the photographer and said “Did you get a picture of it before?” Everyone laughed and we finished strong with them kissing and a nice hug-fest at the back of the aisle. Come to find out, the weight of all that sand was too much for the vessel that was made from very thin glass. In well over a thousand times performing the sand ceremony, I’ve never seen anything like that happen before. The newlyweds were very
kind about the whole thing, but I still felt like a dog.

To all the future couples out there that will be planning to have the sand ceremony element as part of your wedding, here’s the moral of the story: “Choose a strong vessel that will out-live your wedding day.

That was one for the books.

Sand Happens.