So far this year I’ve worked on Ceremony Commissions for 22 amazing couples and families — with a few more to go before the end of the year! From Baby Naming Ceremonies to Weddings, every client’s story is unique and magic in its own way. So too were their ceremonies.
Here are a couple of highlights, in no particular order:
Most exuberant and romantic wedding guests of 2010
The Groom was overcome when his Bride walked down the aisle. The Bride full of joy and laughter. And the wedding guests were utterly ‘in-the-moment’ alternating between beaming smiles and tears! After riding a high from the powerful emotional arch of this incredible wedding ceremony, I can now declare the winners of my best wedding guests title: The members of Vancouver’s Chinese community. Perhaps tied with folks in the Jewish and Portuguese communities… but I digress.
Pealing the church bells the traditional way
By hand! After a wedding ceremony at a lovely little chapel in Richmond, I got to pull on the ropes to ring the bells in the steeple — there was something so symbolic and joyful about it. I had a huge smile on my face!
Joined by What we have in Common Not what sets us Apart
Working with a progressive young couple on a Child Honouring for their infant daughter, I became aware of significant fractures within the extended family. Keeping this in mind, we worked together to create a hugely intentional ceremony. It took place in a sheltered natural cathedral in the forest of Stanley Park. We gathered to honour the new life in our midst, as generations have always done. Many tears were shed and family members who were often distant with one another stood closer than they had in years… joined by what they had in common rather than alienated by what set them apart. A pivotal experience for everyone present…the emotional easing was palpable.
Portuguese Guests also Rock!
A heritage church filled to the brim with the extended family of a Portuguese Bride…When I did my rehearsal of the guests, they blew me away with their joyful responses to my tips for how to be enthusiastic wedding guests. Knowing that the elder Portuguese relatives were used to more formal Catholic ceremonies, I had been a little nervous about how they would respond to a less traditional wedding. Not to fear! Apparently they were so touched by the storytelling part of the ceremony (my specialty is telling the story of the couple), they didn’t mind at all!
Two Cultures: One Community
The wedding ceremony of a Chinese Bride and a Jewish Groom was especially meaningful for how it highlighted the striking similarities between two seemingly different cultures. In the spirit of creating a new family, a new community for the couple, I told a Jewish folktale and then a Chinese one… both of which centred around the story that two people are born destined to be together and once they find each other nothing can break their bond. Guests were moved by the reading of the Seven Blessings by the couple’s mothers. The Seven Blessings is a Jewish tradition but given the emphasis on family in both heritages, it was ever so fitting. After the ceremony, guests were mingling and exclaiming over the similarities. When I can get Jewish and Chinese guests alike shouting Mazel Tov with gusto, I think I’ve done my job well.
The Paparazzi and a Laughing Police Horse
There were a few totally unscripted and hilarious moments at this wedding on the lawn beside the Stanley Park Teahouse. When I described the Bride as having an off-the-wall sense of humour in the beginning moments of the ceremony, at that exact moment the air was punctuated by the extended neighing of a horse. Everyone burst into laughter at the sight of a Vancouver Police Horse who had sidled up behind the guests, presumably to better hear the ceremony. Shortly thereafter, I saw a trolley bus full of tourists stop to hear the ceremony too, again directly behind the guests. I couldn’t help but wave, so then did the Bride and Groom followed by all the wedding guests. The tourist paparazzi waved back with much vigor… cue a frenzy of clicking cameras! Absolutely delightful.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading these. More moments to come at the end of the year.
Celebrant Michele Davidson