Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ceremony Planning

The latest major wedding-planning thing Jeff and I have been working on is the ceremony. Now that we have an offiant and a sample ceremony that he’s done, we had plenty to work with. Jeff did a lot of research on readings and found some that are amazing – just perfect for us. I have two that I really love, now we have to figure out how to narrow it down to one (or make time for two). I put them in the end of this post.

The ceremony is going to have a lot of music, which I think will be really fun, and also gives you time during the ceremony to reflect. Right now, we have one hymn, Sunrise Sunset, something instrumental, and then the IK version of Somewhere over the rainbow/It’s a wonderful world.

Another interesting thing we’re going to do is work some Jewish traditions into the wedding. The two things we’ve decided to go with are the reading of the seven blessings, which is traditional for Jewish weddings, and the breaking of the glass at the end – which is a tradition I think is really fun.

We’ve got a lot more details to work out – like the prelude, processional, and recessional music , and who/how we want to do each song and reading, but I think we’re making a lot of progress. I think planning the ceremony really makes everything seem more real – it’s amazing to think that in a few months it’s all going to happen for real!

Here's the current wedding ceremony plan:
Prelude/ Gathering Music - Probably we'll have a family member play the piano/keyboard, still looking for songs
Seating of the Families
Processional - Keyboard, still looking for songs
Bridal Processional - Keyboard, still looking for songs
Call to Worship (poem) - We like this idea, but we'd have to find a good poem for it
Welcome and Invocation
Song 1 - "Come and Find the Quiet Center" (Could still change)
Presentation of the Bride and Groom (Giving in Marriage)
Promises of Family, Friends, and Couple
Promises of the Couple
Music - Song 2 - Sunrise, Sunset - Both Jeff's parents and Mine had this in their wedding ceremonies
Opening Prayer or Reading - We have two readings we've found and really like - I put them at the bottom here.
Sheva B'rachot (Seven Blessings) - This is a traditional part of a Jewish Wedding, often read by either the Rabbi or a family member.
Song 3 - We're thinking either an instrumental piece, or maybe "If I should fall behind" (Springsteen) or "To Make You Feel My Love" (Bob Dylan)
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
Wedding Prayer and Lord's Prayer
Song 4  - What a wonderful world/ somewhere over the rainbow (IK version)
Explanation of breaking of the glass (just to tell people the meaning of the Jewish tradition)
The Kiss
Breaking of the Glass
Presentation of the Couple
Recessional - Good Day, Sunshine (Beatles) (Instrumental)

Readings (the following two are our current favorites):
Robert Fulghum “The Union”
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

James Dillet Freeman "Blessing For Marriage" 
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite
excitement marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience,
tolerance, and understanding.
May you always need one another -
not so much to fill your emptiness
as to help you to know your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make
the mountain less, but more;
and the valley is more a valley because
it has a mountain towering over it.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!"
and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart,
may both of you hope to have
good sense enough to take the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is
the awareness of one another's
presence - no more physical than spiritual,
warm and near when you are
side by side, and warm and near when
you are in separate rooms
or even distant cities.
May you have happiness,
and may you find it making one another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.

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