I’m so glad the photographers captured this moment when Sarah's dad almost went to his seat without giving hugs and handshakes.
See all those smiles?
As much as you plan and prepare and practice, when your wedding day arrives it’s time to let go of the idea that everything will be perfect.
Actually, those "imperfect," real life moments are the best. They’re how we know we are awake, present...
...that this day is REALLY and finally happening...to US!
Sometimes those moments simply recede into the background of a fantastic day, and sometimes they’re the ones we remember most.
It is those unplanned moments that can startle us into dropping our scripts, our carefully ordered expectations, and come fully into ourselves—into the now.
On one of the most important and anticipated days of our entire lives, they pull back the curtain on the stage set and show us our regular, common humanity (which is where all the good stuff is anyway!).
So don’t be afraid of imperfection, of mistakes and wedding day blunders. Embrace them, even, as treasures—as a precious reminder of what it is to be really, fully alive...especially on your wedding day.
One of my 2015 brides commented on my Instagram post about wedding “imperfections,” sharing: My favorite photo of our wedding is the one snapped right when the electricity came back on mid-ceremony.
That’s right, folks! It was a blustery November day at the beautiful Kemble Inn in Lenox, Renée and Jay radiant in their togetherness, me sharing the story of their love...when—aaaahhhhhhh—the power goes out.
But you know what? It was great. We were all like kids, sort of giddy and excited (okay, we’re off-script!) and suddenly more HERE & NOW than before.
My bride wrote that it was perfectly imperfect, much like life.
Yes, indeed...just the way a wedding should be.
I have been witness to this moment countless times over the years, and yet it always touches my heart.
If one of my brides walks down the aisle with her father, most often she chooses hugs and handshakes over some kind of "giving away."
Contemporary and informal, this non-verbal exchange has deep meaning, especially when intentionally honored as a significant moment.
In the emotion and excitement of entering the ceremony, I've noticed how easy it is to rush, eager to get to your seat (dad) and get started (bride)!
That's why I always have them practice during rehearsals, saying, "Remember, this is your time. Take it. When you hug, make it a real one."
You have to stay long enough to truly feel it.
When that happens—when there's enough pause for two hearts to reach one another, to speak without words—it changes the energy in the whole room.
We feel our own hearts responding, suddenly opened, ready and present to experience what a wedding ceremony is really about: genuine connection.
Today one of my 2017 brides wrote me to learn more about my baby blessing ceremonies—and also, how they differed from baptisms. Well, I'm so glad she asked!
I use the word "blessings" to encompass the many motivations
I have officiated a blessing ceremony for an adoption to formally welcome the child into his new family and receive a blessing from his larger community, as well as acknowledge the gifts and challenges unique to adoption.
You can read a sample of that baby blessing here.
"My baby blessing was the most magical and meaningful ceremony of my life. Hannah folded my words with hers and created a blessing script that was unique and personal for me, my son, our family, and friends."
I've done a blessing ceremony for a nearly-three-year-old, honoring the journey she and her parents had already shared in their first years together, celebrating their family bond and blessing the child’s long life path to come.
You can read a sample of that baby blessing here.
"Hannah's presence along with the service she provided for my daughter's blessing was absolutely amazing! It was very heartfelt and unique! She puts all of her heart into the process and has really beautiful energy and grace."
Prayers, readings, songs and participation from parents, family members and friends can be included along with these rituals. Each blessing ceremony will be different because every person, child and circumstance is unique.
I worked in handcrafts galleries and jewelry studios, learned all about precious metals and gemstones and jewelry fabrication, and even became certified as an Applied Jewelry Professional by the Gemological Institute of America.
Not until my (very unexpected) calling to become a minister did I consider any career other than opening my own gallery of jewels.
When I was in seminary, I realized I wasn’t meant to sell couples their engagement rings and wedding bands… I was meant to tell their love stories, and to witness as they exchanged the vows those bands accompanied.
I still love jewelry, and I’m glad it can symbolize and celebrate these occasions. But I feel so fortunate to have been given this calling – and to have followed it – because I can’t imagine doing anything better with my life than this.
Thanks to all my couples for helping name me
One of the Top Wedding Officiants in Massachusetts
for the 6th year in a row!
Winners are selected by a combination of four factors: overall rating, total number of reviews, review performance from 2018, and consistency of reviews from year to year.
Poetry and Musings of an Interfaith Minister on the Journey of a Lifetime.