San Francisco Chronicle, January 2010 by Judith Iam
The heart of your wedding is the ceremony. The ends and the means are Love: Keeping your love, relationship and the ceremony central to the wedding day will naturally keep you - and by extension, everyone - in your hearts and radiating love rather than stress. And how you do anything is how you do everything.
Weddings are about the extraordinarily intimate and profound moment of seeing and hearing the bride and groom speak vows of love to each other and the declaration of marriage, sealed with a kiss.
Whether your wedding is large or small, indoors or out, spiritual or secular, the one element it is sure to have is the ceremony. Dresses, decorations, drinks, flowers, food, D.J., etc. are aspects of the celebration surrounding that glorious peak moment. Having found each other, and having a relationship which is deep enough to compel you to consecrate it with a wedding, is the essence of what's happening. So don't sweat the small stuff, and don't stress about anything, no matter what.
Wedding is Old English for vowing, pledging - two people promising to share their love and lives, always. This deepest commitment that can be made to another person transforms your Love Story into your Marriage... and is someaningful and touching that tears of joy often flow freely.
What is a ceremony? Words and gestures that correlate with inner realities, perhaps accompanied by symbolic acts like lighting candles, exchanging flowers, blending sand.The legally binding part of the ceremony -and foundational to your union - are your vows or solemn promises. You may write (or find) vows that are the same for both of you, or different, and may stand alone or be accompaied by the traditional vow. Exchanging vows and rings are inherently deep ceremonial acts. The tone and content of the ceremony verbiage can range from secular humanist to an interfaith weaving of two or more paths to spiritual rather than religious. Authentic representation of the couples' beliefs is essential here, and throughout the ceremony. Everyone present at the wedding ceremony is a participant, contributing energetically, verbally (and perhaps in other ways) to the collective energy. Becoming aware that families and friends are now joined together through the union of the bride and groom, creates a closer party of old and new kinfolk.
There really isn't any other couple exactly like you - telling your Love Story creates the most personal part of the ceremony as it shares the intimate basis for your marriage: Who you each are. Where, when, how you met and how your relationship developed. What you love about each other, why you want to marry and what you plan to create together. Telling this story from both of your viewpoints may surprise you each with insights into your partner, while revealing your love even more fully fills everyone's hearts with even more love.
Couples today have often shared considerable time and life experience, and sometimes have children, individually and together. It is powerful to have the ceremony acknowledge your lives together and ceremonially include the children, even if briefly - like holding hands to be blessed as a family at the end of the cermony. You can be as creative as you like, without any formal strictures. Especially working with the guidance of an inspired and experienced officiant, who sees and hears you both, your ceremony will be the heart of a truly beautiful and meaningful wedding.
Bringing more consciousness to your relationship and wedding - of the two "I's" becoming a "we", the connection with the assembled guests and the world we live in – is a great start for your love to grow ever more fully expressed throughout your marrriage.
On your wedding day - and always - may you fulfill your greatest hearts’ desires!
In planning the ceremony, family and friends are encouraged to participate by offering a reading, song, blessing or other inspirations. And everyone can join me in the joyous pronouncement of marriage: "We, the family and friends of ____&____ , do hereby declare them husband and wife!"
Pastoral Counseling available, by phone and in person.
Suggested reading: Joining Hands and Hearts: Interfaith, Intercultural Wedding Celebrations; The Conscious Bride: Women Unveil Their True Feelings About Getting Hitched; Weddings from the Heart - all available at independent bookstores, on Amazon, etc.
I'd be delighted to cocreate and perform your custom wedding ceremony. Call for a complimentary meeting (phone and/or in person) and ceremony ideas.