A how-to guide for choosing the words that mean the most to you for your wedding ceremony, as well as designing the event.
In a welcome respite from the marriage-industrial complex, minister and officiant Reid takes the immensely practical tack of helping you select the right words for your wedding, from pure suggestions to full sample ceremonies. That’s not to say that the book’s cup doesn’t runneth over with glad tidings and peals of joy at the event; just that the author would like to see you get it right for yourself. To start the process, Reid offers a step-by-step overview of the many possible elements that can be included in a ceremony, from approval and dedication blessings, to the declaration of intent and pronouncement (the only legal stipulations involved), to vows and the exchange of rings, to the kiss and the close. Since the whole point of this project is to provide the reader with word choices, Reid serves up abundant samples for each element in the service. They might be spiritual or nonspiritual, traditional or alternative; they might be brief or extended, soupy or flinty. Her sources are rangy and inclusive—biblical scripture, Native American blessings and prayers, Buddhist homilies, rabbinical teachings, Irish blessings and toasts; Armenian, Hawaiian, Inuit; Rumi, Oscar Levant, Kierkegaard; song lyrics, movies, children’s books, television. Even if some of them make you recoil—perhaps Richard Bach isn’t your cup of tea—there is always a counterbalance somewhere in these pages. Reid encourages readers to use the words as a springboard to zero in on the day’s significance and intent, to embellish upon them, just as she recommends ways in which to broaden the ceremony with personal touches, such as the ringing of little brass bells instead of the shower of rice or birdseed. Lastly, she takes on the bureaucracy; obtaining license, filing paperwork, officiating.
This may be a nuts-and-bolts primer on fashioning the architecture and words for your marriage, but Reid keeps it sweet as the cake and smooth as the silk.