Friday, September 9, 2011

Harmonious ceremonious

It occurred to me this morning that while I mentioned our pre-marital counseling in terms of the counseling part, I didn't talk at all about the nuts and bolts of what our ceremony is going to be about. I mean, that part is important right? Some might call it the most important part...

Well, with that being said, the man and I are not traditionalists, and we don't care much to make everyone sit through an hour and half ceremony; just because it's uber important doesn't mean it has to be uber long!

My G was super open to anything we wanted to do, he even seemed happy that we wanted to write our own vows. I felt slightly abashed because I think I took him for a traditionalist. Don't paint your grandfather a certain color until you really pick his brain. Just my own personal advice. I had forgotten all the sermons I had seen him preach (my poor attention span forgot them) but I remembered his love of anecdotes.

My favorite recollection of one of his sermons was about grace:
But instead of a nice, biblical dove reference, he described grace as "the way my granddaughter drowns her pancakes in maple syrup:
(He used to take me to IHOP all the time)
Yum, certainly stuck with me. Anyway, I say all this to highlight that not even my grandfather thinks the whole thing has to be stuffy and super serious.

Funny aside, my mom will appreciate this (that's sarcasm); when trying to decide on invitation wording, my mom reminded me that a good proportion of our guests are older, she then counseled me to think about G when wording the invitations, to keep it mature... I said "Are you sure that's who you want me to use as my example??"

ANYWAY, so he gave us a general layout of the ceremony, but then told us we could decide whether or not we wanted readings and told us we could script the whole thing; vows, promises AND rings exchange.

So, what I mean by that is, here's a brief example of a typical vow, promise, and ring exchange:
(A note first: countless different variations exist, or people put the promise and ring exchange together, I'm just using scripts I found online as examples of scripted ceremonies)

I, Hubby, take you to be my wifey
To have and to hold
From this day forward
For better or worse
For richer or for poorer
In sickness and in health
To love and to cherish
As long as we both shall live

Do you, Hubby, promise to love and respect wifey without reservation?
[I do]
Do you promise to honor and respect wifey?
[I do]
Do you promise to comfort her in times of distress? Encourage her to achieve her goals?
[I do]
Do you promise to laugh and cry with her? Grow old with her in mind and spirit? Always be open and honest with her? And stay with her for as long as you both shall live?
[I do]

I, Hubby, give you this ring, as a symbol of my love and devotion. I ask you, Wifey, to wear this ring as a reminder of the vows we have spoken today.

All that, times two, or some variation thereof. Add a processional/welcome, the giving away, the opening/blessing/reading (the only traditional part we're keeping)/homily, THEN all the vow stuff, then the declaration/kiss/presentation or husband and wife/recessional...

There is nothing wrong with this format, it's actually probably shorter than most couples' hand-written vows. It just feels impersonal. We want our ceremony to be short and very sweet. It's already personal because G is officiating, and because he's already the master of cute little anecdotes and personalization. I definitely want to echo that in our vows.

Moreover, to make it even more harmonious and flowing, I would like to join the vows with the promises and ring exchange; make it one fluid stroke. Each of us will have something different to say, it'll come from the heart, and, if I get my way, it'll be succinct! My first draft of my vows/promise/ring exchange is three paragraphs... half a page... period. As of right now though, it's got too many analogies in it:
And when I read over it, I'm not sure it says what I really want it to say yet... besides "I'm gonna' love you somethin' fierce forever and ever and ever."

So, our ceremony format stands as such:

Giving away
G's Prayer, which will include welcome and 'does anyone object' stuff
Short homily, which will be very personal because it'll be G's realm
Pronouncement of husband and wife

Short! Sweet! To the Point! But still capturing everything important and emotional and loving that the ceremony should contain.

Real quick, some things I toyed with adding but then ditched because I felt they would be corny or take up too much silent, awkward time:
  • Ring warming
  • Wine box in place of unity candle
  • Possibly the reading, if Kyle gets his way
  • Asking the guests' blessing
  • Having a fancy marriage certificate and signing it there
  • Can't remember anymore off the top of my head but I know there are some more.
More on vows soon, because I haven't sat down and actually talked to Kyle about whether or not he is comfortable formatting them the same as mine; maybe he will feel that stifles his creative freedom, who knows? I personally think it would be a lot more cohesive, but that's the just control freak in me :)
I didn't say it, the guy in the cartoon did.

Are you going traditional with your ceremony? or doing your own thing?

1 comment:

  1. We are writing our ceremony from scratch. Fun fun!