My fantastic New Jersey couple this weekend have a running theme in their relationship; water! They met in a thunderstorm, betting each other who could last longer sitting outside and getting wet! (It was a tie…) They said that thunderstorms always remind them of the night they met, so it made perfect sense to have a water ritual as part of their wedding ceremony.
As guests enter the wedding ceremony site, they will encounter a small table with a beautiful bowl of water and tumbled river rocks. There is a small card on an easel that quotes part of a John O’Donohue poem about the blessing of water, and a suggestion that they dip their fingers into the vessel and make their wishes for the couple.
As part of the ceremony, before the ring exchange, I will pour the water, and in essence the hopes and dreams of their friends and family, over their hands. (We’ll have a towel handy!)
This is the reading that will accompany the “pouring”;
Marriage is a promise between two people, but it is a promise that exists with the support of a community. As you entered our ceremony space, you all infused this water with your wishes, hopes and dreams for this couple! I invite you to think of those wishes again as they start their journey together, immersed and renewed by the imaginings of the people who mean the most to them.
May you be comforted, nourished and inspired with every thunderstorm, with every river and ocean, with every drop of dew you experience. May you never forget the rainy night that you met and may you be reminded, again and again of this glorious day; a day that marks a twist in the river that is life!
With the pure intention of all those present, may this water bless your hands and hearts.
I think it will add meaning to their wedding ceremony, not only as a visual opportunity for their photographer to have something besides me talking and everyone else listening, but it will truly personalize their ceremony in an unusual and memorable way.
This beautiful bowl is from www.chopa.com. It is a Tibetan singing bowl, relatively rare in the United States, although in China, these bronze bowls date back to the 5th century B.C. Traditionally, they are filled with water and when the brass handles are rubbed, the bowl will sing! Legend has it that the higher the water splashes to your face, the longer your longevity is on earth!
I’m going to try and NOT splash my bride and groom, but the fond wishes of their guests will bless their union. Do I have the best job on the planet or what??
As you start to think about your New Jersey wedding ceremony, or your wedding ceremony anywhere else, think about elements of your own history that would provide a meaningful and individual ritual. It will make your wedding ceremony truly something to remember.