Feeling the Love
The cold weather is moving in and, just in time, the 2018 wedding season is coming to a close. What a season it was! Here are a couple of highlights:
One couple contacted me and asked for two weddings: the first would be smaller and more intimate, performed at the bedside of the groom’s dying mother. The second would be larger and would take place in a rented venue. Both ceremonies were powerful, but officiating a wedding in the room of a beautiful older woman who was about to cross her own major milestone made an impact I will never forget. She was so grateful to be there for her son, and both he and his wife-to-be were so glad to take this step with her motherly love surrounding them. I never cry when I am officiating but sometimes I come close, and that was one of those times.
Two wonderful women asked me to officiate their wedding. I don’t often get asked to officiate a same-sex wedding and it is always a delight when I do. All was going along well until the day of the rehearsal: Jessica came down with a bad case of food poisoning. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know you are helpless — all you can do is let it purge you of everything inside and then some — and it purges out of both ends, sometimes at the same time. Yuck! There are better ways to look slim in a wedding dress! The wedding coordinator and I directed the rehearsal with Emily and the others, often taking video footage to show to Jessica later on. We made default plans: If Jess was too weak to stand, we could get some lovely chairs up front for them to sit in during the ceremony. I confess that I especially liked that idea because I am quite vertically challenged and, for once, I would look taller than the couple whose wedding I officiated! But we didn’t have (or get) to do that because Jess pulled through and, weak but there, she made it through the whole thing. If you hadn’t been in on the background, you never would have known.
Another bride I got to work with this year was quite fragile emotionally. She could barely talk about her wedding without crying, so happy was she to have found the love of her wonderful man. She sobbed during the rehearsal. During their beautiful wedding in Downieville, right in the middle of the ceremony, I had one of those intuitive flashes of knowing: On an energetic level, I was holding this woman up, and she was allowing me to do so. She sailed through the wedding with only the occasional teary eyes. Often, after a wedding, a couple will thank me for “holding them up” out there, but I’d never experienced holding anyone up as completely as I did in that moment.
The truth is, Every. Single. Wedding was a highlight. Seeing the light in a groom’s eyes as his bride walks toward him; feeling the invisible but so palpable love between a couple as they promise to preserve that love; seeing the emotions of pride and love fly around Dad’s face as he walks his daughter down the aisle; feeling Mom’s sadness and joy as she cries her way through a box of Kleenex; gathering the audience in a circle of love, knowing that everyone is feeling it deeply in their hearts — oh my, it is all so lovely that I might have to go get my own box of Kleenex!
This job never gets old -- in fact, it seems to be getting younger. I love it more now than I did almost 30 years ago, when I first started. A deep thanks to my 2018 couples for entrusting me to guide you through one of the most important moments of your lives. Like you, I will never forget it.
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