In the desert, winter weddings are attractive for many reasons – both indoors and outdoors. In Tucson especially, we enjoy mild temperatures with gorgeous skies and often dramatic afternoon sunsets. While I’m hearing from many couples who are currently planning their winter or early spring weddings, I thought showcasing a real wedding from last January would be a timely and inspirational post!
Upon our first meeting, I felt completely smitten with this couple and their extremely loving and natural presence with each other. Amidst the beauty of these photos from uber talented photographer Amanda Rockafellow, I’ll add a few highlights from the ceremony we co-created.
The ceremony and reception were both held at historic Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch & Resort, in the courtyard. (We had a tent, just in case wind and rain entered the picture.) You can see the genuine love and care expressed in everyone’s faces here during the presentation . . . a moment that left me covered in goosebumps. What I appreciated deeply about being involved in this couple’s preparations AND the day-of experience was the profound sense of authenticity in their connection, as well as their gratitude for everyone surrounding them; the people who collectively influenced who they are today. They created a whole weekend experience for their guests and themselves; a series of events I could feel radiated with this appreciation and shared sense of connection.
Guest participation was very important to their custom wedding experience. The Bride’s parents came up together and her father read a message of thanks, along with the Lord’s Prayer. I led an ‘Asking’ and remembrance, where I asked both sets of families to please rise and offer their blessings and support to the couple. The Groom’s Aunt read a passage from Joseph Campbell about marriage. And to top it all off, the whole entire body of guests participated in a community toast after their first married kiss. Of course, there were non-alcoholic beverages involved for the young people, too! We all raised our glasses to toast “To Love and Happiness” based on a ritual the couple has shared together since they began dating.
The theme that arose from the time I spent with them and their responses to my Couple Reflections was balancing each other with gentle hearts. I found the medieval idea of a ‘gentle heart’ entirely resonated with their bond. It is not a “fluffy starry-eyed kind of love” I shared during the ceremony, yet a “true and honorable commitment, a tenderly yielding and spacious kind of love.” The touchstone, for their partnership. It feels palpable in this gorgeously timeless photo, don’t you think?
Oh I could go on and on about the fabulousness of this ceremony experience – yet will stop myself there! I do believe everyone – including and most importantly, the Bride and Groom – had a most splendid time at this winter time celebration of family, commitment and love. Even though the weather became a tad dramatic in the afternoon, mother nature offered an unbelievable canvas for photos like this rooftop view.
As I look back over the past year, my heart is brimming over with gratitude for being a part of genuinely creative and expressive wedding celebrations like this one. Each completely unique. Every one a new experience for me as I co-create with aware and mindful couples stepping into marriage. And as I’m reflecting upon this particular wedding, I think winter may just be my favorite time of year for weddings in Tucson!