Most often I write about diverse wedding ideas, traditions and customs; I rarely write about specific weddings. But today I have a tale of two weddings. And as so famously written in A Tale of Two Cities, it was just a little the best of times, and it was the worst of times. Let me explain.
Couple number one: I met with them only two weeks before the date they hoped to be married. A very cool couple who lived at the New Jersey shore and wanted to get married, no muss, no fuss, at the groom’s family’s home on a beautiful lake here in the Poconos. I’m available and totally up for it, even though it was December. Winter.
After speaking with them, I had a good sense of who they were. They had made very specific choices about their work so they could play. By that I mean they pursued surfing, fishing and shared an active, fun, and well thought-out life-style. They’d already been together for ten years and I couldn’t help but notice how much they smiled. How could I not love them?
An obvious ritual for these beach loving people would be a sand ceremony. Did I mention they also spend time in Costa Rica? So not a sand ceremony with colored sand from the craft store – they would use sand from the Jersey shore, sand from the beach at the Pocono home, and beach glass and drift seeds from beaches of Costa Rica.
December might have put a damper on the dream of being by the lake, but we got lucky. This December turned out to be exceptionally warm. It was the best of times!
Couple number two was not as lucky. Their story was also lovely. I’d met them during the summer months, and they were unique and thoughtful, and we really clicked. I was excited by the possibilities for their ceremony, but I was hesitant to agree to a January wedding because I always worry about travel.
They chose to have their ceremony and reception at a local winery that (at the time) didn’t seem so far away. Through our discussions we came upon the idea of making Sangria as a unity ritual. They chose the ingredients and I came up with a little description for each ingredient that they would use for the concoction. It was to be made from passion, fun, the spices of life, bubbliness, sweetness and even a little bitterness, all mixed together, just as in marriage. Their daughter would add the final ingredient of fruit – which we saved as a surprise. I could hardly wait to see this unfold. But it turned out their wedding date was on the day of our recent blizzard. It was the worst of times that day.
We keep in close contact throughout the storm, and the couple tried so hard to make it happen, but in the end, they just had to cancel. It was impossible for anyone to make it to the venue.
Happily it all came together quickly the following day – and less than 24 hours later I married them, sangria and all!
Every couple has their own story, their story of love, life, successes and failures, and commitment. Sometimes it’s fate, or luck, and sometimes, through intentional efforts, two people meet and fall in love. When it comes to weddings, how it all turns out on involves a bit of luck as well. How you deal with it is up to you. Whatever the circumstances, try not to panic, believe in your journey and remember the big picture.