I knew honoring our ancestors and family members would be an important part of our wedding ceremony. Not only do I feel strongly connected to our families, I felt awed by the generations of people who had to meet and fall in love for our marriage to be possible. My engagement ring - a pearl and diamond beauty that belonged to my fiancé's great grandmother - was an everyday reminder of this wonderful mystery.
On our wedding day we assembled the photographs along a lichen-covered stone wall in a spot each guest would pass on their way to the ceremony. Giant, gnarled sugar maples flanked the path and a crumbling old cemetery sprawled on the other side of the wall. Time hung heavy in the air.
However you go about it, honoring family members in your wedding ceremony brings everyone together in a deeply shared human experience - that of being part of the cycle of generations - as well as helping tune into the significant and sacred ritual taking place.