Post # 1
We are doing a unity ceremony using shells from each guest. At the begining of the wedding ceremony they will be given a shell prior to seating and then asked (by the officiant during the ceremony) to say a prayer or wish on the shell. This is where I am running into trouble….I want to use baskets to collect the shells during the ceremony (like you would a collection basket in church-passing from one person to the next) and then put all of these together for my fiance (he pours shells from his guests/family, and I from mine) into a large jar. Problem is, my aunt who is helping coordinate and her husband who is officiating, think this will take too long (to collect them all) and want each guest to say a prayer and then hold on to the shell all through the ceremony, walk with it to the cocktail hour and place it in a jar designated at the cocktail hour!
What do you all think? Do you think it will take too long to collect them all and do it during the ceremony. We are only going to have about 150 people.
Post # 3
If you ceremony will be over 30 minutes long, you might be able to do it. But most people will not be handing the basket around fast.
They are there to watch you get married. If they need to pay attention to where the basket is, they will not be happy. That is why I tell couples to only have up to 30 people “bless” the rings. It takes too long to pass them around if the witness are not paying attention to the rings or basket in this case.
You could just have the first few rows of close family have shells and collect them in the basket. Then it would take a much smaller amount of time.
Although I think you Aunt and Uncle’s idea is worth thinking about.
Post # 4
Keeping it to cocktail hour is worth considering. As a guest, I would not mind it, but would be confused. I would think, “Hey, I still have this shell, oh no, was I supposed to do something with it? Did I miss something? Is this a favor, do I keep it? Am I supposed to pray for them everytime I look at it?” etc etc. (But then, I’m not that bright). So, I would suggest if you do this, can you maybe print a note about it in your programs, that there will be a place to collect them at the reception?
As for collecting sooner, I wouldn’t pass around baskets like a collection plate, agree with PP that it is distracting and also time consuming. But maybe you could place baskets at the end of every row of pews/chairs, for people to drop in on their way out?
Or if you are doing bubbles/birdseed or something, have the guests trade — drop shells in one basket, pull bubbles from the other?
Or if you are doing a receiving line, place a jar or basket at your feet or on a nearby table, clearly labeled for your shells to be left at? Drop shell, shake hands?