American Idol's Jim Verraros Enters Gay Union With Partner

Sep. 8 2009, Updated 11:05 a.m. ET

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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."

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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.

"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."

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