10 Steps to Building the Perfect Wedding Ceremony: #2c The Place

What is it about this venue that represents either your history or who you are as a couple today? Has every member of one of your families been married here? Are you a couple who finds meaning in the outdoors and a stand of redwoods seemed perfect to you. Are you golfers and the club-house is a place you are often found?

Tell people why this place is special to them. Make the connections so that they can make the connections. Selecting a place that is part of your life is a great way to keep reinforcing your marriage. Every time you visit, your brain will remember, “I was married here.” That kind of reinforcement helps you remember your wedding vows. That helps you keep them.

Tip: Choose a place that has meaning for your wedding venue. and then tell your crowd why you love it.

10 Steps to Building the Perfect Wedding Ceremony: 2b The Community

You’re getting married and you’ve invited these amazing people to your wedding. You’ve brought together the most important people from your two lives to witness your wedding vows and celebrate your movement into marriage.

Your community:

  1. Who are they?
  2. What do they mean to you?
  3. What do you want them to do today?
  4. What do you want them to remember about Love and Marriage?

One of the most wonderful things that happens at a wedding is that somebody”s Aunt Jane gets to meet your best friend’s wife because they have so much in common. Getting that bonding happening is building bridges for your marriage. Those bridges will serve you throughout your marriage. You want your community to mingle. You want them to remember the important ways in which love has changed their lives. You want them to know how important they all are to you.

Tip: Take the time to tell your community why they’re important to you. And then tell them what you’re offering them at your wedding: a chance for the most important people in both your lives to meet, greet and get acquainted — all while having a great time!

Great Words from a Favorite Author on Reading Aloud

Reading is perhaps my greatest joy. It has been my delight since I managed to to crack the rosetta stone of the alphabet.

But long before there was reading, there was being read to. Our parents read aloud to us, often the group of us for years. We gallumphed through Winnie the Pooh and wept through “The Yearling” and “Ol Yeller.”

And they schooled us in reading aloud as well. And we all read. And we all read.

Barbara Kingsolver is a favorite. An old beau and I once read “High Tide in Tucson to one another. Steve and I read to one another (and push poetry at each other). It’s a wonderfully intimate and comforting thing. In fact. Steve and I like it so much we’re working on reading children’s story with voice and drum.

My parents aged and stopped being able to read. Dad couldn’t see it. So i started reading. I chucked the mysteries for other things. We spent many months slowly working our way through “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.” The day he died we were giggling about reading “Jesus for the Non-Religious” in a very religious setting.

Mom doesn’t necessarily comprehend it. But Winne the Pooh is an old friend with whom we visit from time to time.

Tip: So go read Verlyn Klingenborg’s essay in the NYTimes. and then turn off the tv, find a favorite book and read it to some friends.

include your community & lower wedding costs

OK, The Wedding Priestess will acknowledge right off that there’s a fine line here. I am not advocating one of those made-for-tv-mini-series where Bride and Groom Zilla abuse their community and demand that everyone do it “their way.”

And what I’m suggesting still has a price tag. You’re going to spend money on your wedding. You’re still going to have to manage a budget.

But your wedding can also be an investment in the future of your community. The more your community is drawn in, the more they participate in the making of the wedding; the more likely they are to participate in the growth of the marriage.

Not everyone is going to want to make their wedding gift an activity or a service. But some will. Some will love finding ways to participate with you. There’s uncertainty to live with. You’ll never know what everything is going to look like day of or what’s going to happen, but it’ll be great. Your community will enjoy it — and so will you. (You are going to have to work on the meaning of the ceremony and the wedding vows so that people know they’re participating in something that makes a difference!)

This is only viable if you are people who are understood to invest in your communities.

Tip: consider a community wedding, where the emphasis is on the people in your lives and your desire for them to witness your vows and celebrate together. And then see what kind of wedding magic you can make together.