As a Celebrant I strive to recognize the most important parts of the lives of brides and grooms into their personalized ceremonies. The narrative—an essay chronicling the relationship of the couple—is one of the hallmarks of a celebrant wedding, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to weave the threads of life into a wonderful, one-of-a-kind, compelling rendering of two people falling in love. When getting to know a couple, it is a delicious discovery of who they are that helps develop that perfect wedding.
I recently married a couple that offered some rich choices in writing. Maria and Paul came to me a few weeks ago, wanting to marry on St. Patrick’s day in Central Park, a favorite venue of last-minute unions. Paul, a dashing native of Belfast Northern Ireland, wanted to get married on this day, not only for its cultural significance, but because it was his beloved late grandfather’s birth date. The festivities of this important NYC holiday provided a unique backdrop for a celebration.
Maria, too, came with a fabulously interesting life story. A native Texan, she came to New York as a teenager, to train as a ballet dancer at The School of American Ballet, associated with the New York City Ballet. An international career in dance and a stint at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, were evident in her statuesque figure, grace, and elegance. Maria’s passion gave me an ideal chance to incorporate a favorite wedding passage by Anne Marrow Lindbergh. The reading compares the choreography of a happy marriage with the ease of dance:
A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate, but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of the Mozart’s. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding.”
Congratulations to my splendid international couple! In the words of a recent pop tune, “I hope You’ll Dance……,” for the remainder of your days!
One of those quintessential NYC wedding moments took place when Paul, the groom, convinced a gifted “street musician” (a classical cellist) to re-locate from the Bethesda Fountain to the Bethesda Terrace, where we hosted the ceremony, and provide the wedding music (for a small donation, of course!). The celebration was enjoyed by all!