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?