Gift of the Sea


In speaking with couples about their wedding planning, I often remind them that small decorative and ceremony details offer a real opportunity to subtly—but powerfully—personalize the event.  While some brides and grooms seem to embrace the perspective that spending a lot of money on every component of the occasion is the surest way to “produce” a wedding all their own, I actually think it is in the very small choices can come together to make a ceremony truly outstanding.  The creativity is generated not through selecting costly alternatives, but grows out of a mindful perspective in planning the wedding and a capacity to “think outside the box.”  I was reminded of the gifts of careful planning at a wedding a few days ago.

Sandra and George are a beautiful couple, one reflecting the adage that love is better the second time around.  It was clear from our first meeting that Sandra was not only super-organized, but she is a skilled decorator, too.  The two shared many happy memories on the beach in their native New Jersey, as well as destinations they’d visited during their courtship.  So it was natural that they situated the wedding and reception at a beach venue in Long Branch, New Jersey.  Le Club is literally on the beach, and the sunset ceremony was on their roof terrace.  Sandra had fashioned a festive environment with hurricane lamps and tapestry throws where guests were seated for the ceremony.  While she made lovely choices with all of the wedding “accessories” (flowers, the runner and such), one detail jumped out because of its beautiful, sentimental nature.  She included a handful of seashells that she and George had collected in her bridal bouquet.  The shells were positioned on a bed of white flowers so as to add just a touch of color and texture—perhaps not even noticeable to some.  The florist did a terrific job designing a sophisticated bouquet for an elegant bride.  I found it such a touching reminder of their romance, that I was prompted to add a short reading, to the script, from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea.

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach — waiting for a gift from the sea