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    Entries in Cape Cod Celebrants and Officiants (6)


    Wedding flowers and bowers

    "As spring unfolds the dream of earth may you bring each other's heart to birth"- John O'Donohue

    As April showers bring May flowers my thoughts turn to all things wedding including archways and bowers, threshholds and being shy or bold as you say," I do- I do." Tis the season to be true.



    The Ceremony: the corner stone of your wedding day.

    Happy third anniversary Bethany and Scott ! Red Rock Cornerstone


    "Thank you for helping us with and playing such an important role in the most fantastic day. We had the best time and the ceremony was the corner stone. It was everything we hoped it would be - inspirational, spiritual, grounded, loving, funny, fluid, warm - I could go on and on. We loved it. It captures us perfectly. Thank you thank you".- Mara and Kevin Movember 1, 2014


    These kind words from Mara and Kevin inspired me to think of the ceremony in a new way. I've written about how the ceremony is the heart of your wedding day. I've mused about  how it sets the tone for the rest of your big day. But this use of a structural term caught my imagination. The ceremony is the first stone in the construction of your wedding day. And more importantly, the vows and promises you make set the foundation for your future life as husband and wife. 

     The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.


         "Scaffolding” by Seamus Heaney

    Masons, when they start upon a building,

    Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

    Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,

    Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

     And yet all this comes down when the job’s done

    Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

     So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be

    Old bridges breaking between you and me

     Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall,

    Confident that we have built our wall.




    Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown- Jen and Joe's Wedding Setting October 2014


    An Interfaith Wedding Minister Muses about Fusion Ceremonies

    How to avoid confusion, when there is to be a fusion, of two religious or cultural backgrounds? How do you avoid clashes and find an authentic tone and text to your ceremony? How to keep it real while remaining sensitive to family members who hope your ceremony will be more this, less that- whatever this or that may be.

    Some couples have two ceremonies. Two ceremonies can be a beautiful, as well as, practical option. If this isn't an option then here are a few suggestions.

       Start the conversation early just between the two of you. Put all options on the table then begin discussing what is negotiable and what isn't. Have you always imagined you would wed outside, on a beach or has a church wedding been your dream?      

     Start there then tackle the trickier parts. There is a reason we don't discuss religion, money or politics in polite company...it can be divisive. Clarifying what you believe, what your spiritual framework is or isn't and how this will come forth in your ceremony is an important discussion.

    After the two of you are fairly clear then and only then begin to consider what will make your family comfortable with your ceremony. Then have some fun exploring and asking questions about family traditions. Your relatives will come alive telling you about their weddings. 


    An authentic fusion ceremony can be a marvelous meritage - a blending of two fine heritages into one fabulous marriage! 

     From the bottom up Kate and Alex wed at Chatham Bars Inn in a very literary ceremony with many readings,  Leah and Anthony say," I do" on Ridgevale Beach Chatham: a Christian wedding with Jamican/ Cape Cod Flair, Siobhan and Kirrill wed at Captian Linnell House with elements from her Irish and his Ukranian background, Lindsey, hennas her hands in a nod to her husband's Indian heritage, Kelley Chapel though originally Quaker can be used for wedding couples from all or no religious background,  in a small village outside of Madrid in Spain, Leah and Emilio say I do in the first of two ceremonies, stay tuned for the next one. This double I do wedding tradition is carried on in our own family! 


    Let My Love Open the Door -This ceremony celebrant/officiant /interfaith minister

    came across this beautiful quote today about tears from a book entitled Love Alone Prevails- A Story of Life with Meher Baba by Kitty Davy

    "Such tears are emotional experiences, for they warm the heart, and the warm tender heart is a vehicle of the spiritual experience and the condition of the creative act."

    The rite of marriage at its best is a spiritual and creative act. It is no wonder that so many of us cry at weddings. Recently I saw a funny bridesmaid gift. It was an embroidered 'No Ugly Cry Hanky'  for the bride.  I chuckled but no bride is ever ugly, crying or showing any emotion. Never be afraid of tears, they purify and show you are in the moment. (I bring a lovely lacy hanky with me when I preside so that we are always prepared.)

    This exquiste bride, Amanda, in the photo below, wept at every one of our meetings. We also laughed really hard (who woudn't around her hilarious husband, Scott.) In this picture the bride's brother is reading Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road. Both Amanda and Scott are Jewish so Andrew was a natural for the role of co- celebrant. He took his role seriously,doing the blessing ove the wine and indeed he made us all weep. His sincerity along with his composed presence made the ceremony uniquely tender. (I was so touched that I was caught ugly crying and cropped myself from this wonderful photo by Heidi Vail Photography.)


    Wedding Readings: A Threshold of Life - This my husband. This is my wife

     I love this reading: It is a beautiful way to set up the vows and prepare the couple for crossing a sacred threshold into the state of matrimony.

     Union by Robert Fulghum      

    You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.  The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another,

    “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” 

     Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion.  Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.  For after today you shall say to the world –

    This is my husband. This is my wife.

      Please turn and take each other’s hands and share the vows of marriage.

     The Vows:

    ______, the woman who stands by your side is about to become your wife. She will look to you for gentleness, for support, for understanding, for encouragement, and for protection. You must never take ____ for granted, but be continually sensitive to her needs. Your life and love will be her greatest source of joy.


     So therefore I ask you ______do you choose_______to be your wedded wife, to have and to hold, to share your life with her? Do you promise to love, honor and care for her with tenderness and affection, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for all the days of your life.   “I do."

      “I do, too"