Perfect Wedding vs. Authentic Wedding

cropped-wedding-canoe.jpgAs a MN Wedding Officant I can look through a unique lens. I have a “closer than front row seat” at the most beautiful weddings in Minnesota. To me, perfect weddings are found in the “heart” of the wedding, the ceremony.

“I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value. Life hasn’t revealed it’s beauty to them.” -Boris Pasternak, Writer

What if I could promise that you have a perfect wedding ceremony? Would you like: ideal weather, assurances that all of your relatives will be on their best behavior, every well chosen reading would be delivered without a single mistake, every petal dropped by your flower girl was perfectly placed? Would that be a “perfect wedding ceremony?”

The royal wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate was a pagent of perfection. However, I believe the most interesting moments were unplanned.

Did you see in the telecast when Will said “something” to Kate when she arrived at the altar? The BBC hired a lipreader to decipher that he said, “you look beautiful.” That was very sweet and memorable and spoke to “the heart.”

I thought that another great part of the wedding ceremony came at the very end.  It was so cute when the little flower girl held her ears and made a sour face during the famous balcony kiss! The moment wasn’t scripted. It wasn’t “perfect.” But it was adorable and the world smiled. Every wedding should have an “imperfect” moment like this.

When I talk with couples years after their weddings the only thing that mattered to them was how they felt at that moment that they said their vows. To them, whoever they are, they all remember how they felt to be there, assembled with their families and friends making the biggest step of their lives thus far.

All of the lost sleep over whether it would rain or not didn’t matter. The typo on their program didn’t shatter the earth. The solo that lasted 2 minutes instead of 1 minute and 45 seconds was forgotten. It was the emotion and the depth of feeling during the experience that left a lasting impression. Memories of the details may fade but the feelings remain.

“If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.” -J.A. Wheeler , Physicist

So, after planning and performing hundreds and hundreds of wedding ceremonies as a MN Wedding Officiant since 2001 my advice for you is this: make your plans as best you can and let the event unfold as it will.

Savor each moment as a treasured memory to keep and hold–to bring you joy and laughter as the years go by. May you also have “an unscripted moment” and a story to share with a smile and a laugh.

(Resources cited: Don’t Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats by Kathryn & Ross Petras, Workman Publishing)

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