Year-end highlights

It’s practically obligatory for columnists to do their year-end column or wrap-up. And then there’s the one about coming trends. I am not going buck those traditions! Here are some reflections on weddings I’ve officiated this past year, as we say goodbye to 2017.

From intimate elopements and micro-weddings at my own ceremony site, Harmony Gardens, to big beautiful spectacles at high-end venues, my season was full and diverse.

Intimate ceremony at Harmony Gardens

I loved them all, or to be completely honest, almost all –  but some of the most appealing ceremonies for me, included those with children, and even a few with expecting parents. Including kids in the ceremony is something I feel strongly about. For couples with children, whether from previous marriages, with children from the two of them, or any combination –  this big day is also about the kids. While its fine for a niece or nephew, having your own child be a flower girl or ring bearer doesn’t feel like quite enough. So, with these couples I make lots of suggestions, and many of them really like the idea of saying vows to the children, if they are old enough to understand.

Photo by Garth Woods

I fondly recall the pregnant bride and her partner who performed the sand ceremony including a tiny little container of sand representing their future child. It was incredibly sweet.

I’ve written about interesting locations and I had a couple who got married at the Kemmerer Museum in Bethlehem, another other at Steel Stacks, and one on the balcony at the Inn at Jim Thorpe.

Another sand ceremony on the balcony at Jim Thorpe

I’ve had several military brides and grooms, and I always want to acknowledge that in meaningful ways.

I have a New Year’s Eve wedding coming up. It’s a great choice for a wedding date –creating a double celebration. They clearly have a built-in theme.

There was the Russian/Ukrainian couple, the Jamaican couple, the salsa-dancing couple, and the nature-oriented ceremony with lots of Celtic influences.

Bread & salt ritual

But you don’t have to be ‘different’ in any way to be special and worthy of the very best and beautiful wedding possible. Every couple in love deserves a great ceremony and every couple has their own journey to celebrate. Sometimes that journey is surprising and sometimes it is simple. Sometimes it is complex and sometimes, easy. But anyone taking the leap of faith that is marriage is undertaking a huge commitment that warrants close attention to detail.

I have had many couples who expressed that they were quiet, or homebodies, and didn’t want a big fuss, and together we came up with the right approach. Because still, within the quiet there is commitment and love. And as the expression goes, ‘still waters run deep.’




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