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The Ripples

September 3, 2011

Photo by Ray Siler (raymondsiler.com)

When we set out to have a wedding, we had to really think about what we wanted from the experience.

It was a contemplation that wasn’t easy – we felt as if we were already married, really.  There was nothing about our commitment to each other that would be changing with a legal contract. We did not want to treat the marriage as something new and shiny, because it certainly wasn’t either of those things. So why were we having a wedding at all?

That question came up a lot. Especially when we felt over our heads emotionally – when I felt like I had some sort of event expectations to meet, or when Jason felt like the whole event was becoming too complex, we often would wonder: just what is this wedding about?

We’d already rambled through the “Why Marry?” question, including all the ethical and equality aspects of such an undertaking. (That’s a whole other blogpost someday.)

There were days when Jason would say, “I just want to have a big party! Why is this so hard?” And I would counter, “But it ISN’T just a big party. It’s our wedding. It has meaning and purpose.” It was defining that meaning and purpose that was difficult.

We talked about how we saw it as sort of a gathering of the tribes, perhaps a presentation of ourselves and our choice to walk together in life. We wanted to be honest about where we were and who we are – and we also wanted to be fair to marriage. Life changes, and both of us having been married and divorced, we did not want to lift Love up on a pedestal that couldn’t be reached.

We wanted to bring Love down to everyone’s level.

I think that was what clinched it for us; we wanted the event to be a powerful experience- for us, for everyone. We wanted inclusion and welcome, openness and honesty – we wanted to invite everyone into our love, and hope that everyone would be touched by it, changed by it. And that love would root itself in each person, and change how they perceived the world.

It had happened before: a few years ago, we’d hosted a four day dance intensive with Zafira Dance Company. The purpose of this intensive was to approach expression in dance from three directions: emotionally, physically, and culturally. Twelve people and three teachers, a lot of crying and connections: we all came away from the event with our chests cracked open and the horizon of possibility widened.

From this event, people said they felt changed. One woman decided to quit her terrible job and move – leaping headlong into uncertainty, which ultimately led her to better things. Another woman reached out and embraced a new lifestyle entirely.  Jason and I made rock solid friendships in a matter of an evening, and we all cried and laughed with joy.  We all learned the benefits of letting go of our walls, of opening up to the possibility of connection and showing our real selves.  Sure, it’s vulnerable, and you could get hurt.  But the good times, when they happen, are amazing…and life-changing.

That’s what we wanted for our wedding.  We wanted to create an experience that changed people, that drew connections across the web of family and friends that could only be done by a shared memory.

I think we did it. So many people told us that they were amazed by the experience, really felt included and a part of it all, and very touched. It was fantastic – I wish I could have invited so many more people, now.

But you can’t plan a life-changing experience and then expect everything to stay the same.  Already we are feeling the ripples of change float through people’s lives – making scary decisions, opening themselves up, letting go of the past.  If you intend on embodying the idea that love is an every day thing, you need to be ready to bring that with you, and follow through.

To all we love who are facing unique and painful challenges right now, we are here and ready to meet you where you need to be met.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 15, 2012 8:49 pm

    Sounds like a) an amazing workshop and b) a pretty phenomenal wedding.

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