Friday, September 22, 2006

A Family Wedding

I'm not often asked to do weddings for my relatives. They are mostly served by their own religious communities and don't need my services. I'm not even doing my son's wedding next summer; according to him, his fiancee's parents, who are good people but pretty conservative, might expect me to show up in high priestess garb with a bone in my hair (or was it my nose?). I'm not sure who will perform that ceremony, but I am going to be strictly the mother of the groom---------which is fine with me.

Tomorrow, however, I am joining in holy wedlock my niece Tennyson (brother Buz's daughter) and her beloved Joe. T and Joe are well-matched, goodhearted young people who met online in a gaming venue, became friends and then found their relationship growing. T was brought up in a mainline denomination but began to branch out in college, looked at neo-paganism, Celtic spirituality, and even UUism. They don't attend church but consider themselves spiritual, if not religious.

The ceremony is pretty standard UU ritual, very simple, not very long, and they have personalized it a bit with their own vows. It will be quite sweet and if my brother and his ex can quaver out the words "we do" before bursting into tears, it will go off without a hitch. The venue is outdoors near a fire station, which could create a bit of a stir, but we'll play it by ear, I guess (NPI).

I did my brother's wedding to his new wife a few years ago, in my Portland living room, and cut the ties to my ex-husband quite decisively six years ago by marrying him to his new wife.

I like doing weddings. I used to feel a bit like a hired hand, especially when I was new at it and hadn't yet figured out how to build a relationship between myself and the couple. And of course there's always the discrepancy between how much the wedding costs (thousands and thousands of dollars, often) and how much the minister is paid! It's interesting to me as well that the "wedding planner" guides published in the spring rarely mention the officiant as an important member of the wedding party.

Be that as it may, I am looking forward to seeing family members tomorrow and to performing this sacred act for my dear niece. It will be an honor to serve my family in this way.

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