When two who Love gaze intimately into each other's eyes and utter "I do." What is this experience we call a marriage or wedding ceremony?
Having created personal wedding ceremonies and officiated for over 1000 couples in these 30 plus years, I was asked this question by a bridesmaid sitting next to me at a rehearsal dinner. She also asked me what was my favorite part of the wedding ceremony. I stopped inside and stayed for some moments in wonder. I had many times contemplated the first question, yet had never even thought about the second question.
I was moved to address the second question first...my favorite part of the wedding ceremony. What came through was the great honor and privilege of seeing, this great intimacy, joy, childlike spirit, vulnerability, that exists in these moments between two human beings. They are palatable, precious moments to witness.
There is a sentiment in my offered ceremony choices, " Love is All there Is, Love is All there ever has Been, and Love is All there ever will Be! May this Love always Be the foundation of your individual life and of your marriage." Definitely something to catch and continue catching through this wonderful human experience we call marriage. In my observation and contemplation, the wedding ceremony is setting the matrix or vision of this recognition, that with great care and attention will eventually become a realization. A walking together through all things, as the respect, caring and sweetness grow through a new and greater understanding and manifesting. A continual practice of just what this Love is. Again, the matrix, vision set forth in the personally created wedding ceremony.
In order to create a beautiful, meaningful and truthful wedding ceremony takes some contemplation and communication between the couple, guided by a caring Minister/Officiant who also sees this vision for them.
In my experience, when I get to know the couple through a relaxed phone conversation or meeting in person, a trust is set forth that my professional experience and guidance, along with their personal thoughts and ideas, will together create their perfect wedding ceremony. In offering a ceremony template with many options, they have a base to begin. This also serves for them to consider and image their ideal they would like expressed.
I feel and notice that it is this simple process which births the most perfect unique wedding ceremony for each couple. It is their chosen length of the ceremony, sentiments expressed, readings and vows, personally written and read or repeated, that is honored. The unique architecture and landscape of their and only their marriage!
Now that they know what will be said during their wedding ceremony, they can just "be" with each other and imbibe in the beautiful movements of the symphony that is their wedding. Again, a beautiful reflection of the actual experience of a good marriage.
I believe that a beautiful, meaningful, joyfilled, loving wedding ceremony is also a gift to all the guests. In those moments, they too can open to a more expansive idea, and or, experience of love within them.
My wish for every couple and their guests is to experience these moments of, "Love is All there Is, Love is All there ever has Been, and Love Is All there ever will Be!" This is what is always reflected back to me, as I serve officiating for them. In answer to the beautiful bridesmaid's question, this is the meaning and experience of the wedding ceremony. "Letting this Love always Be the Foundation of your individual life and of your marriage." The key to a successful marriage!
This is my experience as I serve each couple in creating their personal wedding ceremony and officiating on their wedding day. I hope this sharing from the minister, wedding officiant point of view will help you contemplate for yourselves the purpose and meaning that you want your wedding ceremony and marriage to be!
May the Blessings Be!