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    Wedding Ceremony Settings

     I'll let this image in oil by Mary Moquin, a local artist showing at Addison Gallery in Orleans, speak for itself. 


    Theme: What does it mean?

         Today I met with a couple to plan their June wedding ceremony. Towards the end of our visit the groom said that he wanted "a short, but meaningful ceremony with a theme."

         The word, 'theme' is from German 'thema' meaning 'what is laid down.' As in foundation?  What is the ground on which this relationship rests? What is the re-occurring or identifying thread of the story? If this couple's love story had a theme song what would it be? As I worked on their ceremony I found myself humming the Paul McCartney song, "The long and winding road that leads to your door."  The poetry of Wendell Berry and the last line of John O'Donohue's  'Blessing for Marriage' also came to mind,

                                                   "May love bring you home to each other."

          I believe it's my job to listen for the theme;to sense the thematic thread,to perceive in the story what is being laid down, like a good guitar riff and hope I get it right.

    (Someday I'll share the time I didn't get it right, well not down to the finest tuned details. You know what some writers say:Pesky facts should never get in the way of a good story. But not every couple wants their ceremony to become a work of historical fiction. There were several other factors that threw me off my game that fateful day, such as a raging sinus infection, the oppressive heat and then the thunderous rain cloud that unleashed a downpour just as the "I do's" were being said." A day best left to silence it turns out. But I'll wait until I am completely booked to share that story in more detail. It is a story that could readily be themed,

    The Return of Mr. Bean.






    Not everyone wants Mr. Bean: Picking an officiant 

         The first wedding I offiated was on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay in October of 2000. Newly ordained and nervous I never-the-less presented myself as just that; nervous and new to this officiating biz. As fate would have it the couple, Kathy and Pete, were creative and casual from somewhat eccentric and very forgiving families. In fact, I became the sea of calm in the midst of some pre-ceremony chaos when the father of the bride was having too much fun gabbing with the guests. As the sky darkened and rain threatened he returned from where the bridal party was gathered, after several attempts to secure his daughter he gave up saying, "Im not going back in there. Don't send me back in there."  His wife took him by the arm and finally the harpist began to play and the bridal party processed in. Kathy was a sensational bride, naturally elegant and Pete, so attractive made even more so by his obvious love for Kathy.

    They really got each other and I got them and they got me. (And some years later they begot Eli, their adorable son.)

    Look for an officiant that gets you. Who gets what you want, who gets who you are to each other.

    "To have and to hold' couples sometimes ask me what that means. I know it when I see it. Couples who truly get each other despite their faults and foibles or sometimes because of them.    


    How to Begin the Beguine:Getting started on your ceremony

    Let me stop you here. With all the planning you have to do once you choose an officiant/celebrant the crafting of the ceremony itself is the officiant's responsibility. You get to give them your ideas, set the tone and nature of the ceremony and they should be able to take it from there. I try to put my couples at ease when it comes to the ceremony. It is my great pleasure to get to know them so I can create a ceremony that truly reflects their unique love story. I welcome as much or as little input from the couple as they want to give. Once it becomes a chore for any of us it is time to take a break. It's the quality of the energy that will effect the outcome of the ceremony as much as anything.  

    So how do you pick an officiant? Good question. ( But guess what? I've got to go see the stars walk the Red Carpet so I will go into that later. For best picture I'm torn between Colin Firth's perseverance, In The King's Speech and just about everyone's athenticity in The Fighter.)  

    Speaking of stars if you are looking for a wedding planner plus Chad Michael Peters can do it all from the over-all design, to the flowers and the photography and with such an eye for beauty he will take your breath away. Chad was the planner for the Bohemian Beach Wedding featured on my website as well as the person who designed my website with the help of his able and beautiful assistant, Bethany.

    My husband is calling me to come see who just arrived.....More later





    Creating a Ceremony 


    "Love has to spring spontaneously from within; it is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. Love and coercion can never go together; but while love cannot be forced on anyone, it can be awakened through love itself." Meher Baba

    Like any creative process or any story worth telling, a wedding ceremony must have an beginning, middle and end. In ceremonial ritual and rites of passage there must be an alchemy of containment and freedom, holding the space yet allowing sacred spontaneity. This is the first time I've ever tried to put words to what happens during a wedding ceremony because like love, this phenomenon can in no way be forced nor does it ever help to become self-conscious about such things. Aware, yes, self-conscious-no.


    " Love is essentially self-communicative;those who don't have it catch it from those who have it. " Meher Baba

                           (photo of Sean Lennon catching some love from Meher Baba while shopping at Blumeria )