Often when people say, you'll have to decide what's important to you at your wedding, they're talking about what things you need to make the wedding right. But long before you start deciding about things, you need to decide about values and relationships and how you're going to let them shape your wedding ceremony and reception.
When Steve and I married, there were things that were of paramount importance to us as we celebrated our love for one another. Getting them out and on the table before we began any planning was vitally important and made our wedding celebration so much richer.
- Celebrating the wedding to honor our relationship. We are in our 50s and 60s. We are not going to ever look like a traditional couple. We're artists who need a lot of separate time and have important individual goals. We're also a couple who wants to work together. We have different financial goals and realities than many.
- Celebrating the wedding to honor our families. My parents are elderly, we wanted them present. We wanted his children and grand children there.
- Celebrating in a way that honored our beliefs. We chose not to do a legal ceremony since so many of our friends are prohibited from marrying. We didn't want gifts. If people wanted to give us gifts, we asked for money to begin a foundation for peace. Friends were generous.
- Celebrating in a way that honored our community. Both of us believe in the power of community to support and to move history.
- Celebrating in a way that honored ritual, celebration and community. I've worked in this field for 30 years. I believe in the power of ritual - and in its beauty. There was a legion of clergy wanting to participate. Steve is a life-long member of the Society of Friends, so it made sense to incorporate the community as well. We wanted silence. We wanted music, we wanted beautiful words.
- Celebrating in a way that honored the arts. We were very lucky. We're part of a widespread community of artists. All our friends offered (and demanded) to participate. Ours was the happy task of trying to accept people's gifts while managing the reception!
- Celebrating in a way that honored our great Love. A Twilight Love is extraordinary. You don't expect it. You don't need it to fulfill you. It is just the most unbelievable gift. Our passion for our lives could easily flow into our passion for one another and then back. We share values and we have values that complement rather than mirror one another's. this makes our lives interesting and challenging and demanded wedding vows and a wedding ceremony that kept us involved in the constant creation and managing of our relationship. For many it would not be what they chose. But since we did, we wanted to manage it well! (or to the best of our abilities!)
- Celebrating in a way that honored the earth. We wound up using disposable plates and silverware. But we bought good plastic ones that can be reused. And they have been. They have been washed and rewashed and carted off to potlucks, funerals and other weddings. The tablecloths have become part of the community's linen closet.
- Celebrating in a way that honored all of life. Everyone was invited. Everyone participated from the babies to the grammas. We wanted a ceremony that was as big as we are. We had it! We created it.
Steve's a man who hates to shop for toothpaste; so, he wasn't going to be a guy to talk over the fine details (or even the gross ones!) of wedding reception products. But he is a guy who wanted to read and reread, question and rewrite the wedding ceremony. He wanted to muck about with the words for the wedding vows. He wanted to organize the list of who would play or sing next.
If we'd have started with the wedding or the budget, we'd have missed the point for our wedding and our marriage. It would have been “nice" rather than “fabulous!" There would also have been a lot more struggles over what to buy and where. And we would have spent a lot more. By focusing on what really mattered to us, we got to focus on what was important in our Love for one another. This has set an important precedent for our marriage, one we still struggle with, and will probably struggle with forever. But we made the right party for us!
Bottom Line?: Give your relationship the chance it deserves to succeed wildly, against all odds! After all, you deserve it. Your relationship deserves it! And now I'd like to invite you to sign up to receive 2 free templates for creating the wedding ceremony of your dreams, the wedding vows of your heart and the marriage of a lifetime: http://annkeelerevans.org/weddings/free
The Rev. Ann Keeler Evans - helping you move from “I do" to happily and healthily ever after!