I'd like to share a story today of an event that occurred at one of my weddings several years ago. The ceremony and reception were held in the backyard of the groom's parents' home which was situated on the banks of a tranquil lake. They had placed an arch in front of a small alcove for the vow site.
There was a small stone wall that lined the property at the edge of the lake. Along the wall we placed over 25 glass bubble bowls with floating candles. These were to be lit upon nightfall to add sparkle onto the water.
I had learned through our consultations that the groom's father had passed away about a year prior to the ceremony. The bride and groom had asked if there was some way we could light a 'memorial' candle and have it float out on the lake to honor his memory. I devised the idea of wrapping a styrofoam wreath with satin ribbon and then placing a short pillar candle inside a large glass bubble bowl. The wreath would provide support and allow the bowl to float on the water. The groom then figured out how to rig a pulley across the alcove so that the wreath could be attached and moved into position in the middle of the alcove.
The bride and groom performed this sacred memorial after their vows and before the reception. All the guests were witness to the placing of the lighted candle out on the water.
Now, as the evening wore on a storm started to blow in. It was very windy and we tried in vain to keep the candles lit that lined the stone wall. It was quite a challenge. We had also planned a festive way to end the reception by floating hundreds of tiny glass bubble bowls with tea lights out onto the lake. These were small enough that the wind didn't affect the tea lights and it was a beautiful sight to see as they all drifted off into the darkness.
The next afternoon, a beautifully sunny day, I had to return to the house to pick up some things. The backyard was covered in debris from all the wind and the fairly heavy rain that had fallen after midnight.
The groom's mother looked exhausted but happy. She led me down to the lake and the alcove. Perfectly situated in the middle of the alcove was the wreath, the glass bubble bowl and a pillar candle with its flame still burning bright...