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Posts tagged ‘mid-life weddings’

A Romantic Winter Wedding

In Tucson, we are fortunate to hold outdoor winter weddings. And as a Celebrant writing custom ceremonies, I am blessed to work with couples who really know themselves, completely dig each other and fearlessly express themselves during their ceremony. This peek into a romantic wedding I led last month involves a hearty combination of all these happinesses!

Meet Colin and Stephanie: a couple so totally in love as you can see, they positively glow. We had a fabulous time co-creating their ceremony. Plus, we shared the great surprise of a snowy-mountain morning and a gentle rain the day of their wedding. (Rare in the desert!) They both have a playful sense of humor and ease about them, so nobody seemed concerned about the unanticipated chilly temps. (Not even Colin and his groomsmen, as they sported kilts!) It was a magical day.

What I completely enjoyed about writing this ceremony was how passionately Colin and Stephanie responded to my Couple Reflections. (As a Life-Cycle Celebrant®, the way I craft ceremony is based upon a couple’s stories, beliefs and values.) The love, playfulness and humor they shared nearly jumped off the screen when I read through their thoughts and feelings about each other. So, how could I not be inspired to write a fun and meaningful ceremony? And what made it even better, was the Bride offering a poem she hoped to include, which she wrote. It is titled Thoughts on Growing Old with You. I wove it throughout the ceremony and her words became the soul of the whole experience.

As the author of the poem, Stephanie naturally knew the words from her heart. So as a result, a spontaneous surprise happened during the ceremony. She was saying the words along with me as I read the prose — while looking directly into her Groom’s eyes, just beaming him love. I absolutely loved it!

After they repeated their custom vows to each other, and then shared pledges of love and support with their adult children who stood beside them, they exchanged rings. It was a heartfelt and giddy romanticism I could feel! (We say boo to the stuffy or hollow romantic material out there!) To complete the ceremony, I shared a blessing on behalf of everyone present, based on Colin and Stephanie’s hopes for their shared future:


Happy Newlyweds after the Ceremony!

“May every second count. May you not take a single moment for granted. May your love be a journey of discovery that never becomes dull. May you have all the time in the world to discover each other and always share laughter at bedtime. May you value and validate each other, sharing in the small joys as well as the BIG ones! And may you find great contentment in growing old and loving life side-by-side.”

After the pronouncement and kiss, they danced to Louis Armstrong singing ‘We Have All the Time in the World“. (Yes, I got choked up!) And I think maybe the intimate circle of family and friends surrounding them did, too.

Congratulations to you, Mr. and Mrs. Conlee. I wish you many many years of happiness and laughter together!

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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!