When people learn that I officiate weddings, inevitably they ask me, “what was your oddest wedding experience?” I’ve had many an odd experience (check out two of my more recent posts).
Seldom do people ask me, “what was your most beautiful wedding moment?”
I’ve officiated many ceremonies that I could dub “fave.” Beautiful, though, is a different dubbing. It’s a moment that made me realize I was standing in the middle of sheer beauty, mystery and life.
Here are 5 of 10 such moment memories. . .
- The bride and groom were Chinese-American. They did not want to do a traditional Tea Ceremony for their families and so we adapted a modified ritual into their ceremony. The bride’s mother had Altzheimer’s and only intermittently recognized her daughter. The tenderness with which the bride offered tea to her mother was breath-catching.
- Brian and Leah invited his 91-year-old grandfather, who had been married 71-years, to present the rings. This was a stab-me-in-the heart moment.
- Molly and her dad walked down the aisle beaming. When they reached the first row, they stopped, he turned and kissed her, whispering, “I love you”. He then stepped over to Missy, Molly’s soon-to-be wife, kissed her and whispered, “I love you.” An exquisite moment reminding us all that life really is that simple.
- The bride was Mexican Catholic and the groom was Jewish, from Philadelphia. At a remote resort an hour outside Mexico City, I stood with them underneath a Chuppah, and to the side was a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. After exchanging vows and rings, they presented their mothers with roses, as the bride’s cousin, a Mexican actor who starred in the movie “Like Water For Chocolate,” sang Ave Maria. It was a goose-bump moment because of the sheer beauty of these good people, coming in faith and hope and love to a remote village so as to transcend all that could pull them apart.
- The Bride was Muslim, though not observant. She wore a white dress in which she looked like a ballerina. Her mom wore a joyful, colorful hijab. I marveled at both beautiful women bound by a devotion that transcended faith and culture allowing for love to be transcendent.