Singer Jim Verraros, who finished ninth on the maiden season of American Idol, had what’s called a “unity sand ceremony” Sunday with his partner, entrepreneur Bill Brennan, at the Oak Brook Hills Resort in suburban Chicago.
"Every little choice reflected who we are; it was the most beautiful day," Verraros told People. "Since this is a gay wedding, we wanted both traditional touches as well as original ones."
Original touches at the classy shindig included a unity sand ceremony, in which Brennan, Verraros and their families dumped glasses of colored sand into a vase, and decorations reflecting a classic Hollywood theme. Table centerpieces, more than 5-feet high, were composed of roses, amaranthus, white orchids, willow branches and hanging crystals.
The Unity Sand ceremony has been around for hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years. During it, a couple ceremoniously pours various colors of sand from separate containers, such as seashells, into one special container, the unity vase, symbolizing their coming together as one.
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"I wanted to meet someone with substance and he changed my life," Verraros, a 26-year-old Illinois native, said of Brennan, who he met via MySpace. "He's an incredible person."