Tuesday, April 28, 2009

it's the most important part, right?

Planning a party is easy, but trying to figure out what the actual ceremony should be like is taking forever! Some parts of it came together fast -- a couple of jokey things that I'm not posting about here, because we want them to be a surprise -- but the actual substance of the thing is hard.

We can't even decide exactly what format to use. Should the format be dictated by what we want to say, or should we narrow down what we should say by choosing a format first? Right now I'm wishing that we had just invited like 5 people each, so that our ceremony could include some stuff that is more intimate, but I guess it's too late for that!

I started out looking at tons and tons and tons and tons of readings. A few weeks ago I cut and pasted and printed off 16 pages of stuff that I thought would be okay to use (don't worry, I did it in a small font on the back of paper that had already been used), plus the ceremony outline and readings that our officiant suggested. We spent a date night looking at all of it together over drinks, with French short films playing on the wall in front of us (sans sound, just music in the background.) It was fun, and we ruled out enough readings that we got things down to ten pages total, but we didn't make any firm decisions.

Last night we talked about doing a Quaker-style ceremony, where anyone who is moved to speak can do so. The office manager at our venue did this for her wedding, and she said it was amazing and beautiful and she really encouraged us to consider it. Will thinks it's a fine idea, so I thought that would solve the problem of readings: we won't choose any, but if anyone wants to bring some, they can. I like the element of surprise, and the element of community, and the fact that it's like making something purposeful out of laziness and indecision. However...

this morning on my way to work, I started getting cold feet. Here's the problem: no control. And if I thought that everyone would say something lovely and appropriate, I would feel like, "yay! we're done! no worries about choosing readings!" But I'm pretty sure that at least some of Will's friends would say stuff about how he swore he would never get married again, or how he must not hate women as much as he used to, or...who knows. And I don't think it's selfish of me to want our wedding to be about us and our marriage, not about Will's divorce. He agrees. So there goes the Quaker ceremony idea, and we're back to square one.

Then I thought maybe we could each choose one person, and that one person could choose a reading, and we'd still have the element of surprise, without the fear of inappropriateness. Will doesn't know who he could choose who would know what kind of thing to read, so he vetoed that idea as well.

We've texted back and forth this morning, and talked for a bit over lunch, and now we've decided that either we'll each do a reading and then have our officiant read the vows while we just say "I do" OR we'll choose a couple of people to do readings and then read our own vows to each other. What we don't want is a ceremony where the officiant does all the talking. So I guess we've narrowed it down from 5 or 6 options to just 2. That's progress, right?


hopalong said...

Too bad you can't do a screened Quaker wedding -- like, each person who's allowed to speak gets a pink card or something :)

You could do a combination -- have a few planned readings, and then encourage people to bring readings/say something if they like?

sf said...

A little OT, apropos to ya sidebar: is "offbeat" simply a new millenium incarnation of mine & Col's?

Masasa said...

I am still trying to figure out which five people you would have invited.

I definitely don't think you should have no control, not only for the reasons that you mentioned but because it doesn't really fit your personality. Not calling you a control freak, just saying, you are not a NO control kind of person entering into this marriage.

Wise you put an end to that idea.

It's nice that Will is willing to talk. G gets terrible stage fright and there was no way she was going to do more than repeat the vows after the minister said them (even that caused her so much angst that several times we almost nixed it). Really limited our options.

To this day I am still re-writing our ceremony in my head. Over and over. (The minister in me I guess.)

I think deciding what you want to say first and then choosing the structure based on that is good. Who cries at the wedding because of the structure? The structure is the support for all those things you want to say.

sf said...

Hey SM --- I guess those "muscle relaxants" relaxed Gina right out of her stage fright that one Easter!

seppie said...

I think the pink card thing is hilarious, too bad it wouldn't work in real life! Mummy -- Have you checked out that site? Your wedding would definitely qualify as offbeat, no matter what the millennium! Unless you count the Age of Aquarius as its own millennium, in which case your wedding was *really* traditional...SM -- Yeah, I'm definitely not a NO control kind of person. I'm all about the control, baby. Will isn't as excited about talking as I am, but he's not totally against it...he's worried he'll forget what he's supposed to say, but I told him we can have cheat sheets!

Masasa said...

Mom, it probably was really brave of her to do that video.

Although, I guess getting silly for a camera is much less intimidating for her than standing in front of a hundred plus folks and trying to remember what to say and get it out right.

She actually has a hard time watching me preach or do stories in front of the congregation or anything like that. She says that she gets nervous herself just watching me...and it makes her stomach start doing flipflops LOL.

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