Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Ceremony


Our Wedding Ceremony

Our wedding ceremony was a blending of the New and Old Testament with poetry.

We were looking  for a ceremony that was more personal. We asked our friend Tim to officiate. He gracefully obliged and registered with the state of California as a minister.

The ceremony was sweet, simple and meaningful. Our vows were non-traditional and spoke to who we are, how we view marriage and a forever commitment.

Our guest gathered around the ceremony cite underneath 100 year old oak trees in front of a reconstruction of the Newbury House, the home of first settlers in the Conejo Valley in the late 1800s. Guest took their seats on benches and got ready for our short ceremony.

Nate, Braemon's cousin, sat on the porch playing his guitar, old church hymns and other songs in his repertoire. Providing a little entertainment and music while guest waited.

I walked down the aisle to Here Comes the Sun. Before Nate flew out from Minneapolis he emailed me this little sampling of the song, which was extremely sweet and helped me get a sense of how everything was coming together.

Tim started the procession with Braemon following directly behind. Then Titus and Kira began their march with their "Here Comes the Bride Sign," playfully throwing rose petals and having fun as they lead the way. Right behind them was my father and me. It was a sweet moment that I am grateful we had the opportunity to share.

Once we were gathered on the porch Tim began:

"Good evening, dear friends. We are gathered here this evening to join in uniting together Braemon and Chelsy in marriage.   What greater thing for two persons than to be joined together, to strengthen each other, to rest on each other, to help each other in all need, to share all joy, and to be one with each other.

Braemon and Chelsy, today you are vowing to continue sharing life’s deepest and richest experiences. You are continuing through your life with the affection of each other, and also the companionship and blessing of mutual respect. You now enter into life’s most important relationship. It is a gift given to bring comfort when there is sorrow, peace when there is restlessness, laughter when there is unhappiness, and love when it is shared."

 Annie, my dear friend, gave the first reading from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments. Love is not love
which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh, no! It is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
within his bending sickle's compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

Our next reading was by my sister, Jezra, from the Song of Solomon

 "My beloved speaks and says to me:
'Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.'

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it."

We then exchanged vows…I cried a bit, a little unexpected too. I was unprepared for the tears and found myself without any tissue, which made me laugh. I gained composure and recited our vows after Braemon.

I vow to help you love life,
To always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands,
To speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not,
And to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.
I vow to fiercely love you, in all your forms, now and forever.

I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love.
I vow to love you, and no matter what challenges might carry us apart,
We will always find a way back to each other.”

We exchanged rings, and then Bryan gave the final reading from First Corinthians.

Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.”

 Tim concluded the ceremony:

Braemon and Chelsy, today we celebrate sacred vows between you.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord strengthen your consent and fill you with his grace.
May the joy of this day remain with you always.
Braemon and Chelsy, by the act of exchanging vows and the giving and receiving of rings, you have solemnly promised to love, honor, comfort and cherish each other, so long as you both shall live.  Therefore, it is my honor and privilege to now pronounce you husband and wife.

 You may kiss your bride.”

We then walked back down the aisle while Nate played Would You Go with Me and whistled the tune.

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