Sunday afternoon I was in College Station to perform a wedding. The happy couple are members of my church and have planned long and prepared well. It was a joy and an honor to officiate their wedding as a wedding is about getting married.
Yesterday they had their wedding, today they are married.
The word “wedding” comes from the Old English “weddian” meaning, “a pledge.” A wedding is the joining of two people who have pledged to each other.
A wedding gives birth to a marriage.
Weddings are rich in tradition and range from the fabulously expensive big white wedding to two people standing in my office. Typically, weddings contain the following elements:
- Someone to perform the ceremony
- A wedding license
- Vows or words of promise
- A verbal response of “I do”
- The pronouncement of “husband and wife”
- A kiss of some kind
I perform on average six weddings a year. Some are held in churches while others are event/destination weddings. Some are members of my church and some are from the community. Half a dozen a year doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve been doing them for forty years.
Some observations from having officiated 240 weddings:
- Grooms are typically nervous, perspire and wonder why all the expense and fuss.
- It’s a priceless look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride walking up the aisle.
- I’ve never seen a bride walk the aisle who wasn’t smiling radiantly.
- Someone cries: the bride, groom, parent, grandparent, or all of them.
- No matter what they say, wedding pictures never take “just a few minutes.”
- Receptions are about: relief, joy, tears, celebration, pride, and a little sadness too.
Weddings are rich in tradition and laced with sacred customs.
I’ve performed weddings in huge churches, tiny churches, standing in two feet of snow, standing on the edge of mountain cliffs, next to rivers, in homes and wedding chapels, in the parlors of Bed and Breakfasts, in my office and all kinds of places.
The two most memorable weddings?
My own and my daughters.