New Tradition: Light Up the Night

Chinese lanterns released by the newlyweds and guests light up the sky.

Jessie Eller-Isaacs and Andy Furgeson created their own starry sky the night of their June 25, 2011, wedding at Cedar Ridge Retreat Center in Vernonia. After karaoke tributes rang their last chord, the wedding party and guests headed outside to light Chinese lanterns. Given to the couple by friends, the paper balloons float into the sky when a flame is lit and have symbolized hope and good wishes in Chinese festivals for centuries. “It was a moment full of magic as our friends and family gathered around us in the glow, holding these heaven-bound balloons,” Jessie remembers. After holding a glowing lantern in their hands, the newlyweds let go and watched it fly away, while Jessie laid a kiss on Andy’s forehead. “We felt the love of our community,” she says, “and as the lanterns began to ascend, we felt peace.”

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