Give Them Something To Talk About

Recently, I ran into a couple I’d officiated for, maybe 10 years ago, and they shared something wonderful. They told me that people still talk about how they ‘jumped over that stick’ at their wedding. WOW. Mission accomplished. Rituals are meant to be memorable.

Sometimes, however, the most memorable part of a wedding isn’t the good part. That was the case with my own wedding, and one of the motivating factors that led me to become a celebrant.

My story is that the short, civil ceremony we had left me feeling let-down. ‘That was it? That was my wedding?’ I thought. On such an important day, the brevity was disappointing. There should have been a little something more! Because my husband and I come from different backgrounds, we just didn’t know what to do. This was back in the late 1970s (no Celebrants yet) –  so we had a mayor marry us. It was basically: Blah, blah, blah, do you? I do – ok, you’re married.

If you are planning a wedding, what will be most memorable? What will be the best part? And although I hope there are no disappointments, what could be the worst part?

I decided to ask a few friends what they remembered about their wedding ceremonies.

One reply was: I remember walking down the aisle crying and laughing at the same time. I was so desperately happy; it was the most intense feeling of joy I had ever had!’  What a great memory!  This illustrates the power of that simple, ancient and fundamental ritual – walking down that aisle – walking towards your future. Never underestimate the power of the entrance.

Another friend recalled a moment in their wedding ceremony when her mind went blank as she tried to interpret what words the officiant was asking her to repeat… she simply couldn’t relate to these words, ones she had never heard before, and then, especially when the word ‘obey’ was included, it was a moment of panic. She told me she thought later that she wished she had written her own vows. I think this recollection speaks for itself.

I was told another story of how the couple’s videographer forgot to charge his battery and the wedding video was completely blank. This obviously reminds us to choose vendors with great reviews and lots of experience.

And while I am constantly trying to remind people not to under-estimate the importance of your wedding ceremony, I need to remember what another friend shared with me. He said his best memory of his wedding was how beautiful his wife looked in her wedding gown.

With that, I am reminded that all the gorgeous details, the dress, the bouquet… all are lovely and do matter. Still, remember your wedding is not only a photo-op and a party. It is a celebration of your love, and a time when you take an important oath –  that promise to stick together. For many people, it is a sacred time, a promise made before God. For others, while it may not include a religious aspect, it is still one of life’s most important milestones.

Many people will tell you that their wedding day flew by. It may have been a long time in preparation, but the day itself was over in a flash. Savoring the moments is great advice to give, but not always easy to do. All you can do is try. Stay mindful.

For us old married folds – what do you remember most? And for those about to take the big leap, I wonder what you will remember. What do you want to remember?


Once more thank you Lisa Rhinehart for your awesome photography!



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