Writing a ceremony is not something that just happens. It’s certainly not an on demand activity. I can’t set aside a time and tell myself that I am going to write a ceremony on a Tuesday afternoon at 2.15pm. Writing a ceremony takes a lightning strike and they are very rarely convenient.
The last one happened in the middle of a normal workday. I was actually teaching a class of year 7/8 students Latin roots and spelling rules. Not the most exciting of topics, but necessary when teaching my kids how to spell words they’ve never seen before, nevertheless half way through the description of logos and pathos, the sun hit the dinosaur through the blinds in just the right angle and my kids laughed at the way I pronounced logos like a Mexican wrestler, and it hit like a lightning bolt. The world froze and the kids looked at me a little strangely and our lesson took a HUGE tangent.
Pathos – appealing to others based on emotion. We were talking about a Zombie Apocalypse and convincing the authorities that as a zombie, what emotions would you use to convince the authorities of your reason for living or whether you should be ‘taken down’. Out of the mouth of a twelve year old came the line, ‘I’d tell them I loved them.’
It’s not necessarily the most earth shattering revelation nor is it a particularly profound statement that will change the way we view the world. What it did do was start a discussion with some very clever twelve year olds about what it means to be loved. And out of the mouths of babes, it was right there.
Apparently all that love is, is caring about someone else’s feelings more than you care about your own. And that was my lightning bolt. Loving someone, marrying someone, choosing someone is never really about you, it’s about them. It’s about wanting things for that person that make them happy and doing what you can to make that happen and putting what you want second. And if that’s the case, then the world is filled with it. You can see it, touch it, feel it everywhere and in the smallest of moments between people of all kinds.
So watch out newly weds. I’m waiting for a couple who want a very special kind of zombie love in their ceremony and until then, I’m searching, daily, for the moment of love that we share as people.
My last two weddings have been for strangers. These couples I had not met before their first text message asking me for my services. Like all times, meeting new people can often be awkward and a little nerve racking and when you’ve only communicated with people via phone, meeting face to face brings a whole plethora of new anxieties. I am a wedding celebrant and meet new people all of the time but the anxiety attached to meeting brand new couples face to face doesn’t go away even when you do it all of the time.
I had only spoken to Jenny on the phone. We had texted and talked but not actually met in person. Breaking the ice with your celebrant is by far the most important thing you can do. Once we both moved past the apprehension of first time meetings and hellos our relationship and their wedding took on a totally different feel.
From the moment I met Jenny and Rob, they welcomed me into their home with a cup of tea and their middle child crawled onto my lap to say hello and we drew while we talked. From the first four seconds of spending time in their presence, they were no longer strangers but people I shared tea with and people I talked to about the everyday goings on of life.
When four months later I stood with Rob under a beautifully white decorated gazebo, I was not at his wedding as a stranger. I was at his wedding as someone he knew. We had laughed together, shared cups of tea and talked about Jenny’s ongoing DIY projects long before the day they would both say ‘I do’ and now this wedding was about all of us. The guests, the family, the lady from next door who rushed down a bouquet or some other forgotten necessity and me. I was personally invested in making sure this day went perfectly and watching Jenny walk towards us, I was genuinely happy to see her and Rob so happy at the thought of what comes next.
At the end of their ceremony my cheeks were so sore from smiling and my happiness so severe that it took a lot out of me. Giving Jenny and Rob a great big hug as Mr and Mrs Watts was truly a moment of happiness and joy that they let me share with them. Jenny and Rob, it was a privlege and an honour to spend the day with you and I thank your beautiful friends family for making me feel so included in your special day. (Someone needs to share that punch recipe immediately and tell that lady she needs to start selling her cupcakes!) Rob and Jenny I can’t wait to see a photo or two of your day!
It happened. This week I married one of my oldest friends. She’d kill me if she knew I said she was old but you know what I mean. She’s been my friend for eons. She knew me before I was a grown up and encouraged me to be a better human more than once in our lives. On Sunday the 12th of April, I married her to the person that makes her a better human everyday.
I met Sarah years ago in a small country town as we both paid or penance in our former years of teaching. We both had the hidden agenda of finding husbands or at least fill in husbands to while away the hours of country living. I was not so lucky. Instead, I found Sarah. Sarah and a few others to while away the time but she has been a keeper.
Now living miles apart, our drinking escapades (well mine) have ended and we now see each other over craft fairs and shopping trips but we still maintained the idle chit chat that comes with finding our own fairytales. Sarah found the beginning of hers in our country town and she vows that mine is just around the corner. But in her fairytale, I get to be the fairy godmother. I got to be the one person who could join her and her prince charming and I got to say ‘…and she lived happily ever after.’