We’ve finally gotten around to writing our ceremony and, after almost a month of tweaking, I think we’ve got the meat of it done.
For probably 98% of it, I used readings and ceremony texts that already existed, but personalized them by mashing them together with other readings, changing the phrasing so it sounded more like “us,” adding my own words, and other such things. One reading that I used looked like this in its original form:
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Take responsibility for making the other feel safe, and give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness, and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty, and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at some time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. In this way, you can survive the times when clouds drift across the face of the sun in your lives, remembering that, just because you may lose sight of it for a moment, does not mean the sun has gone away. And, if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
The line about not forgetting about the sun when there are clouds in front of it really struck a chord with me, but Mr. Wiz thought the phrasing was a little cheesy. I tried and tried to rephrase it myself, but couldn’t come up with something that still conveyed the same sentiment without the flowery language. Then one day, it hit me.
Didn’t Dumbledore say something exactly like this? I could even hear Michael Gambon’s voice saying it in my head.
It was perfect. Not only did it convey the same sentiment without the frills, but it was a reference to my favorite books of all time, an acknowledgement to my nerdy roots, and a nod to the fact that just recently I finally got Mr. Wiz to watch all eight Harry Potter movies—one every evening for a week—and he loved them. He even made us go to his parents’ house the next day so he could get all the books and start reading them. If that’s not a way to personalize a ceremony, I don’t know what is.
So now, with Dumbledore’s wise words and some other changes made, here is exactly what Wizard Aunt will say to us just before we recite our vows:
Miss and Mr. Wizard, in just a moment, you will say a few words that take you across a threshold of life.
As you step across this threshold, and in your journey together through life, remember these things: Always treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Reaffirm your choice to love each other every day. Take responsibility for making the other feel safe, and give the highest priority to the tenderness and kindness that your marriage deserves. Never take each other for granted. Should frustration, difficulty, and fear assail your relationship, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part that seems wrong. Remember that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Practice the ability to forgive and forget. Marriage is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner, and if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.
Now, Miss and Mr. Wizard will exchange their vows, and their lives will be forever changed. For after these vows, they will say to the world: This—is my husband. This—is my wife.
And that, hive, is all you’ll be seeing of our ceremony until it’s recap time. Our ceremony text is practically sacred to me, and I don’t want to share it until I can do it justice with photos, emotions, and the experience that went along with it. I’m so excited to share it with you, though, and I absolutely promise to share every last word when the time is right.
Did you include any references to books or movies in your ceremony?