Bright Path Ceremonies

Set Sail Wedding Ceremony

Published 06/01/2016


Wedding date: May 24, 2016

Venue: Adirondack II, Newport, RI

Photographer: Robinson Wedding Photography

Sailing on the Adirondack II, out of the Newport Harbor, was magnificent, but having the opportunity to perform a wedding ceremony on this Schooner, was an extra special opportunity. It was my first Set Sail Ceremony and the couple I married, couldn't have been nicer. It was the perfect backdrop since sailing has always been part of the brides and grooms life. The schooner is traditional in its appearance but modern in its design and construction. It represents antiquity meeting up with a modern day story.

They intentionally chose the Adrondack II for several reasons. The history of this schooner has all the elements of a turn of the century pilot schooner and would have looked right at home in the Narragansett Bay 100 years ago. Built for speed, pilot schooners were the coastal guide and rescue boats in the bygone era of sail. The primary purpose of the pilot schooner was to deliver a pilot (a seaman with knowledge of local waterways) to the incoming ships to guide them into safe port. This history is reflective of the job the brides' grandfather pursued in Germany.

As a writer and ceremony designer, I always look for metaphor that would relate to each couples theme. Of course there is so much to work with this theme. The ocean is this couples natural habitat where they feel most connected and at peace. Like water, as in life, and in love, it is ever changing, always inventing and re-inventing itself. Over the years their relationship has ebbed and flowed like the tide. Can you see where I'm going with this?

After spending time getting to know this couple, it was evident that they wanted a ceremony that was rich and full of ritual and included their families. They had only invited their immediate family, so I was able to include most of their guests so it was inclusive with everyone present. I suggested to honor their parents, and add readings that represented both heritages. 

Since part of their courtship was long distance, they wrote letters to each other. To continue this gesture, my suggestion was for them to do a love letter box Unity Ritual. They each wrote love letters to each other, sealed in individual envelopes and they did not read what the other had written. They created their own "love" time capsule. They sealed the box with a fisherman's knot, which is one of the simplest to tie, it is also one of the sturdiest. Every anniversary they will open the box, read the love letters and then add a new letter and reseal the box. 

It was the perfect touch to this theme. The ceremony was filled with their personality and it was a moment in time they will always remember.