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Posts tagged ‘blended family weddings’

An Alternative Blessing for a Wedding

Are you looking for a blessing or a reading that isn’t something you’ve already heard many times over? Chances are what I’m including here could be a good one to consider. It’s titled “A Prayer for a Wedding,” by Joel Oppenheimer.

I am weaving it into a relaxed fall wedding ceremony I’m presently writing, for a laid back couple who loves to be outdoors together. They aren’t affiliated with a single religion, yet have family members who are from varied religious backgrounds. Sound familiar at all? Sometimes this situation can get complicated. But I find complication comes only if you let it.

Offering an element of familiarity in the ceremony, not necessarily with an outright prayer if that doesn’t fit your beliefs, although some kind of blessing, may feel appropriate. This may give guests an anchored feeling by honoring a nod to “there is something bigger than us”. Whether we name it God, or Great Spirit, or Universe – or use no name at all – the reverence lends a sense of the sacred to a ceremony in an alternative way.

I like this reading by Oppenheimer because of it’s honesty and straight forward sensibility. (No, it’s not for extreme romantics!) Since I marry quite a lot of folks getting married for their second or third time, this kind of sensibility works.  So if this reading suits you, I’m guessing it fits well. Here is the blessing:

IMG_4843because everyone knows exactly what’s good for another

because very few see

because a man and a woman may just possibly look at each other

because in the insanity of human relationships there still

                  may come a time we say: yes, yes

because a man or a woman can do anything he or she pleases

because you can reach any point in your life saying:

                  now, I want this

because eventually it occurs we want each other, we want

to know each other, even stupidly, even uglily

because there is at best a simple need in to people to try

                  and reach some simple ground

because that simple ground is not so simple

because we are human beings gathered together

                  whether we like it or not

because we are human beings reaching out to touch

because sometimes we grow

                  we ask a blessing on this marriage

                  we ask that some simplicity be allowed

                  we ask their happiness

                  we ask that this couple be known for who they are

                  and that light shine upon them

                  we ask a blessing for their marriage

Tips for involving kids

During the recent weeks of kicking off the busy fall wedding season in Tucson, I’ve enjoyed officiating ceremonies with young people involved. (By young I mean eight to 17 years old.) This happens more and more, as families blend with children of various ages. I must admit I’m not a Mom, yet I do aspire to be the coolest Aunt ever! I don’t have a reservoir of kid wisdom. Although, I’ve experienced a few successful ways to involve kids in ceremonies, be it weddings or memorials.

We’ve all seen adorable flower girls, ring bearers or candle lighters. Here are a few ideas beyond the ‘usual’ to consider:

  • Bring kids into the creative process. While planning a ceremony, the logistics may be overwhelming. Stepping back with a more childlike frame of mind to make it fun and really bring kids into the fray, might just help! I welcome this with families. For example, have a processional led by children
    and ask them what kind of happy noises they want to make! (e.g. bells? kazoos? rattles?)
  • Ask if they want to participate. If so, offer meaningful roles. Many times we see more formal roles for kids where they have to stand still and be cute for pictures. Not always easy to achieve! That is slowly changing though, as this article suggests. What if they were more actively participating, say by exchanging family vows or symbolic gifts? Or reading from a family’s favorite children’s book? Wouldn’t that be more fun?
  • Let them review the ceremony script and offer editorial suggestions. No, I’m not kidding. They might offer up surprising advice that helps the ceremony feel more real to them and everyone present. I just had this  happen last week, when two super-fly boys were helpers with the Ring Warming for their Dad’s wedding.

Hopefully, these quick ideas – plus the fun in-depth articles I’ve linked to – offer plenty of fresh ways to bring kids into whatever ceremony you might be planning!