It was a joy and a privilege to officiate at the marriage of Angela & Halliday last Sunday. A neighbor of theirs opened their hearts and their home and turned their backyard into a very beautiful event space!
This wedding was so much fun to create and officiate...between Angela and her 3 girls, and Halliday and his 2 boys, all within 7 years in age, it was nearly a Brady Bunch situation! At first, we were uncertain to the degree to which the kids would like to be involved: would they stand or sit? Would they read, would they receive gifts? Would they want to dress up? We allowed for any eventuality as we moved forward.
I offered the happy couple numerous samples regarding vows, including parent to children vows, children to parent vows, and children to children vows. I offered without expectation...but when the final draft was approved by Angela & Halliday, we had 3 sets of vows!
First, we spoke briefly about the fact that although the couple was marrying, there were a number of additional relationships that were set up by this marriage. Angela & Halliday each addressed each others' children, vowing to be there and to care for them, respecting their relationships with their own parents while recognizing their special role in their lives. Next, the children addressed each other, and vowed to have the best relationships they could with each other, now that their family included all of them together. Finally, the couple made their own vows to each other. Their wedding rings were offered to them by the boys-in handmade wooden boxes that they created for the occasion!
By the end of the ceremony, both the wedding party and their community fully recognized understood the new relationships being created. Including the children in this way reinforced their confidence and sense of solidarity within this union. The entire family can look back on this day and know without a doubt that each of them was recognized and valued for who they were, before their beloved community. What a blessing!
Each ceremony I create makes me more grateful for the opportunity to be a Celebrant. The couples and families I work with are thoughtful and generous...they teach me as much or more than I do them. I am continually humbled and amazed by this work.
Happy summer, friends.