The wedding was this past weekend, and was a great success! I'll have a video, a summary and maybe some more pictures up soon, but wanted to get this out there.
I setup bright and early in the morning, getting everything installed and ready before returning later in the day better dressed. The minister gave a great lead up to the ceremony, explaining that this unity candle was a bit different, reflecting the background of the bride and groom. The guests were mostly unaware of what exactly the unity candle was. Actually, let me just quote D:
"To symbolize the joining of families and communities, we use the metaphor of a unity candle. Lit together, it joins two flames into one, representing lives and passions joined into one. Of course, given our bride, and our groom, our candle is a little more elaborate than some, and holds some special significance. It is represented by this box, which you probably can't see from where you are, but it has two key holes, one on each side. The key is somewhere in this room... no.(laughter) The keys represent the complex array of life experiences, of personality, of desires, and strengths, Maggie and Scott each of you bring to this relationship. Once the keys are in place, the bride and groom will, together, press the button at the center of the box, right on top. A symbol of their joint and unified purpose in their coming lives."
The bride worked at it, and eventually managed to find the key in her dress to much chuckle from the guests. The groom simply pulled the other out of his pocket, to even more laughs. Listening to the recording is great, because from the guests you could hear quite a few shocked reactions the moment it went off, followed by an energetic round of applause, while in the video you can see the couple grinning overjoyed, chuckling to themselves :)
Sorry it isn't a great picture, it is a screen capture from a video which wasn't the best. I'm collecting another video or two, and will see what I can put up. The photographer knew all about this, so should have some good pictures as well. I'll share some of those as well if I'm able. Actually, funny thing about that. This was kept mostly a secret from the guests, though obviously I've been putting up logs here for some time under the assumption that no one was likely to come across this. Apparently when the couple had emailed the photographer that they were going to have a "unity fireball" along with a description, she was doing her own prep research and stumbled across this log. Sure enough, "unity candle fireball" in google points right here ;)
Overall, the bride and groom were overjoyed at how it all worked out, and the lasting memories they, as well as their family and friends will have.
Special thanks to M&S for asking me to do this for them, to A, K and J for helping create and decorate the decorative shell, to A for hand painting the box, A and J for code reviews, to D who helped bury wires, helped with multiple setups and tear downs, and was my safety backup in case of my illness, as well as to S who helped me take everything down after the ceremony.(formal wear is not so conducive to this sort of work)
To answer a question that was frequently asked, yes, the bride and groom did actually fire the candle flame. I stood in the wings with the controller to unlock and configure the system, as well as to hold down the positive manual enable button as long as the area was safe to launch, but the couple pressing the button actually did fire it.