Saturday, March 16, 2013

Reading Rainbow

One of the tasks that took us the longest to finalize for our wedding (already 6 months ago!) was writing the ceremony. We utilized some major Google-searching skills to steal create ideas for our officiant to build on and find 2 readings to accompany the ceremony.

Getting married outside of a church meant we didn't have a built-in officiant, and searching online for someone ordained who would do the job for $500 or so just seemed a bit impersonal. We decided to ask a friend to marry us, both a way of personalizing the ceremony and having more good friends involved without forming a groomsmen/bridesmaid train on either side of us. We also had the distinction of a ceremony conducted off of an iPad - I'm sure a growing trend! Although, I don't think I would have ever gone as far as that couple who tweeted their vows.
photo by GReyes Photography
This link takes you to a script we cribbed the most from. I read this script so many times, I really feel as though I know Kristen and Frank...those crazy kids. Just kidding. We changed things up a bit according to our own thoughts - skipped over the involvement of family and friends and wrote our own vows. We kept them short and sweet, though I did threaten weeks earlier that I was going to rap mine. We each began with three sentences of "I love that you...." which was a nice way to tie them together.
photo by GReyes Photography
When it came to finding readings, the world wide web was not short on suggestions. It was interesting to see how many times the same ones popped up: Oh, the Places You'll Go, The Velveteen Rabbit, Shakespearean Sonnets.... Our "do not play" list was simple: non-religious, not too sappy, not too jokey (we don't need them rolling in the aisles) and we'd rather it not rhyme. I narrowed down a few choices and asked Bob to make some final choices.

Stumbling upon "Gift from the Sea" we found a text that talks of the complexity of working together to maintain and grow the relationship while looking to the future. It tied in well to the partnership aspect of our ceremony script. And, we all learned a new word: propinquity. Bob's college friend read this one for us.

From Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

So most couples in the growing years of marriage struggle to achieve a place in the world. It is a physical and material battle first of all, for a home, for children, for a place in their particular society... In these years one recognizes the truth of Saint-Exupery's line: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction” For, in fact man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction; they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots, a firm base. Here one makes oneself part of the community of men, of human society. And here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow growing devotion and playing these through, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.


What I liked about the ceremony script is a focus on responsibility and respect. So when I found this reading, it seemed like it fit right in. It didn't hurt that it is from one of my favorite stories of all time, The Little Prince or that the author was also cited in our first reading. We asked my aunt to share this short passage:

From the Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery

And he went back to meet the fox.
"Goodbye," he said.
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."
"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

With respect to Mr. Saint-Exupery, we did make one edit to the text above - something about saying "time wasted" didn't seem quite right when talking about our relationship, so we changed it to "time spent on." 

I printed the readings in  large spaced out print and used photo corners to paste the pages to sized scrapbook paper.
The ceremony stayed within 20 minutes, truthfully I was never the biggest fan of readings but added them in to help boost the time! In the end, we were very pleased with the readings we had - they hit all the right notes and really meant something to us both.

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