I’m often asked why I like officiating weddings. Well, I can’t imagine not celebrating wedding ceremonies. And while it’s not the only thing I do — I also teach and consult — it’s a dimension of my life that gives me life.
Why do I love weddings? The simple answer is that I love stories. Every couple that comes to me not only has a story, every couple is a story!
I love listening to the ways in which people first met, and I especially enjoy having them tell me the story of what happened after that first meeting — the story of how they’ve gone about creating a life — often times a life that has surprised them in terms of where it has taken them.
Why do I love weddings? I love them because I continually stand in awe of people’s courage and daring and hope. It’s simply not possible to commit to another person without the courage, daring, and hope that necessarily undergirds all faith and love.
I love weddings because I love looking at a couple’s guests as they mingle about before the ceremony and then as they sit in anticipation of the ceremony’s start. I love feeling the wave of emotion that ripples throughout the gathering.
I look at the guests and I know that they know how brutally tough and demanding life can be — that not every day can be as joyful as that day, BUT I see the hope and the excitement in their eyes.
I love standing in the middle of so much hope.
The painter Vincent Van Gogh believed that “The best way to know life is to love many things.” I love weddings because they help me love many things and many people.
Over the years I’ve met some wonderfully interesting and interestingly wonderful couples. Since this is wedding season, in coming weeks I’ll share the top things about weddings that couples have taught me. Here’s the first three:
- The greatest gift parents can give to their children are the words: “This is your wedding, so whatever you want is fine with us.” These generous, selfless words relieve pressure, diffuse tension, and let a couple plan from a place of fun and enjoyment.
- There is no one “correct” way to celebrate your wedding — the only right way is the way that makes sense to you.
- A groom needs to do more than just “show up.” I’m suspicious of a bride who doesn’t want input from her fiancé and I’m disappointed with a groom who is too above it all to have an opinion. If your wedding is not your shared vision, then I’m not sure you can have a shared vision of your life together.
Please send your questions to JP Reynolds at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter: @jprweddings