After the very moving Circle of Love, we made our way back up onstage and continued on to what would be considered the “marriage address”, in traditional ceremony terms.
What it really was for us was a short section written mostly by Momma Star and my Stepdad about what marriage meant to them, and it included a reading from Madeleine L’Engle that I really wanted to incorporate.
Kate and Dan have put a lot of thought into what marriage means to them, which is what makes this particular wedding ceremony so unusual and personal. I did the same thing when I married Kate’s mother 5 years ago. It took a lifetime for me to realize how important it was to think through your own expectations for marriage before taking that step. It’s remarkable to see it in two people as young as Kate and Dan.
They have asked me to read to you this excerpt from Madeleine L’Engle’s “The Irrational Season.”
Ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take.
It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together, we become a new creature.
To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation.
It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.
Kate and Dan are taking that biggest risk today. With courage and determination, they are stepping into a lifetime of learning each other. They remain Kate and Dan, and yet they become something entirely new, something they don’t even know yet because it’s theirs to create, nurture, and explore.
I loved that quote because 1. who doesn’t love Madeleine L’Engle (come on, A Wrinkle in Time, anyone?), and 2. Especially as a child of divorce, I didn’t want to gloss over the great risk involved in choosing to form a marriage and how much courage it takes to truly be a good life partner.
Then it was time for our second reading by my wonderful Godmother, the lady who taught me how to love crafting and making things. We were also honored that she spoke at the wedding for us, since when I asked her she was initially terrified and also overcame it to make us happy. I couldn’t help but smile when I found out that, even though we had provided copies of the readings for everyone, she had come prepared with not one, but TWO decorated copies of her reading, complete with scrapbook stickers to liven it up on the inside, where only she and I could see. 🙂
Kate and Dan would like to invite one of Kate’s favorite people to speak.
Kate’s godmother has devoted much of her life to Kate’s happiness, particularly in guiding her creativity and artistic nature. Kate and Dan think it’s fitting that she lighten the mood a bit with this reading.
We felt like this next reading was particularly appropriate for two tradition-bucking showbiz-lovers with big dreams. It’s also an awesomely uplifting tale about how life sometimes really sucks, but you always come out on top in the end! We cut a few short stanzas and re-arranged a couple of words to make it appropriate for a couple, but it’s mostly unaltered. We read the text in its entirety, but here is a snippet, below.
Reading #2 ”“ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ”˜em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
You’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
Out there things can happen
And frequently do
To people as brainy
And footsy as you
And when things start to happen,
Don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!
Not everyone’s wedding is cool enough to incorporate Dr. Seuss, right? Right.
The next part of the ceremony would usually be the unity candle lighting, but since you’re legally not allowed to have open flames in theaters and I really wanted something a bit more nontraditional anyways, I did the logical thing to do: steal an idea from a previous bee, of course! I was reading through Weddingbee archives one day when I came across Mrs. Lovebug, whose posts were unfortunately before my time here, but I immediately dug her style and in particular, fell in love with what she wrote for her “wine and chocolate ritual.” I used her words as a jumping off point and wrote what I felt about the future good times and bad times that our marriage will experience.
Play this song as you read the rest of the post, if you feel inclined:
Wine and Chocolate Ritual
In any good marriage, as in life, there will be days filled with happiness and days filled with grief. In acceptance of this, today you will share the bitter and the sweet in the form of wine and chocolate, and let them serve as a reminder that both bitter and sweet bring the opportunity to deepen your bond as husband and wife.
As you drink this wine, let it symbolize the bitterness of life that you will endure together. There will be days filled with innumerable struggles and unavoidable pain, days that will shake your foundation and test the strength of your marriage. During these times, turn to each other for comfort and let the triumph over dark days and bitterness bring you closer than ever.
And taste of this chocolate, which symbolizes the sweetness of life. Let it stand for the days when joy radiates effortlessly from and between you both ”“ days like this one, the “opening nights” of your life ”“ your first big promotion or the day your newborn child is placed gently into your arms. Let your good fortune and the rewards of a job well done delight you both while you celebrate together as husband and wife.
Have you noticed that we haven’t stopped holding hands since the ceremony started? Yeah, we were pretty happy to be together, alright.
Ready for our vows next? Let me tell you, my guy’s a keeper. And I’m totally gonna cry.
*All photos by John Martin Photography *
The Star Wedding Recaps:
One Last Not-So Debaucherous Night
We’re Pros at Rehearsing, But I’m No Director
Dinner in Havana
The Girls Get Their Hair Done and The Boys Wash The Dog
We Tackle the Beast
I May Be Biased, But”¦ I Have the Prettiest Ladies Ever
Takin’ It to the Streets!
The Boys Goof Off (and Set Up, Too!)
It’s Almost Time For Our Lives To Change Forever
My Big Break
Gathered in a Place of Magic ”” Ceremony Part I
The Circle of Love — Ceremony Part II