We got started with planning right away and realized it took about 5 minutes for me to be ordained online. I had the background experience of working in ministry related job for many years before I became a teacher. I had helped plan weddings, funerals and Sunday services. I just had never actually performed the ceremonies before.
After the "ordination" there wasn't much to do until closer to the wedding.
Then, this summer I began to think about the ceremony and interview the Bride and Groom about their love story in preparation for the Big Day.
As the wedding got closer I took a look online to be sure I had followed all the correct formats in writing the ceremony.
It went something like this...
Welcome guests...ok check
Intention...state intention of Bride and Groom to get married...ok check
All good so far...I've totally got this!
Reflection...give a short, personal reflection on love and marriage...
That's where I hit a major roadblock. Or maybe it was writer's block? Or a WALL?...whatever it was...was not good.
What could I possibly say about that?? I was coming out of Round 15 in the cycle of on and off again relationship with a lying cheater.
But, I thought I would give it a shot.
I started with thinking...Love and marriage are great. Hope for a happily ever after but, be smart and have your own bank account and your name on everything. Be prepared for anything because people can turn out to be lying assholes that will rip your heart out.
this wasn't going as planned.
I needed to STOP and find inspiration...FAST!
I started to reflect...What do I believe about love other than it is a crock of shit?
There must be something...
Then it hit me...I HAVE known love.
I was raised by a couple that truly loved each other.
Ok, I was on a good track now. My father was an amazing man and he loved my mother like she was the Queen of his Universe. And she loved him. My Dad always said, "You stay for love."
40 years of ups and downs and no matter what ~ they loved each other.
Once I got on a roll thinking, I realized I have been loved like that too. I was married to an amazing man. I knew what it felt like to have someone love me like I was their world. I thought about how I felt on my wedding day. That feeling that love can fix it all. THAT was good. Believing that love exists, that it can bind 2 people forever. It CAN happen. Maybe our marriage ended in divorce and I have had some shitty experiences since then, but LOVE still binds our amazing little family. We created that, we nurture that.
Next, I thought about my Aunt and Uncle -the Bride's Parents. YES!! They have True Love! They met when they were 6!! For God's sake -of course!!! Love has kept them together through all these years.
I was in such a freaking good place at this point. For a couple days I started interviewing random strangers and asking how they found love. What was the secret of their marriage? I used to do this on regular basis when I was in college. I'd forgotten how many great love stories there are out in the world.
And of course...the story of the Bride and Groom turned out to be the best love story for their Big Day.
And so the Reflection went like this...
We are here today because of Love.
We have all heard of love at first sight.
Some believe it exists, some do not.
And some people
like E and A
cannot agree on who saw the other first
that fateful day 8 years ago
when they met on the beach.
Did he see her first as she believes?
Or did she him first as he believes?
That remains a mystery…
That remains a mystery…
but they do in fact agree that the first look they exchanged started it all!
When A approached E and asked her out,
she decided to take a risk.
She said yes
and the rest as they say is history.
That yes, that risk
brings us here 8 years later.
When I asked A what he loves about E, he had so many fantastic things to say.
But, one thing he said stands out most
She loves me with all of my stuff.
THAT is real love. Not just accepting what someone brings to the relationship, not loving someone in spite of it, but loving them BECAUSE of it.
THAT is Unconditional love.
Romantic movies and songs always focus on meeting someone and falling in love.
But, TRUE love is in the the day to day.
It is “the experience of loving for the long haul.”
THAT is the kind of love that A and E share for one another.
Their love started from a day at the beach and spanned long distances.
As they built a foundation for their relationship, changed locations, and created a Home ...
They strengthened their unconditional love.
They’ve decided to declare that love and make a commitment to one another today.
We are here to celebrate that commitment with them.
So I was reminded that True Love does exist. It is all around us, if we just look for it.
And then... my Ex-Husband Oz helped me practice the ceremony until it was just right. Because that is LOVE in it's own dysFUNctional way!