Congratulations to ggirl, who recently became engaged to her beau. I got married some time in the eighteenth century (I was a child bride), and, against stereotype, took at active role in planning our wedding. The process was relatively angst-free, in part because we undertook one decision that made the day itself much calmer. This is my only piece of wedding advice. Don’t worry, I’m not hunting for an invite. I find most weddings kind of dull.
Early on, it occurred to me that holding a wedding is just like producing a play. There’s a venue, cast, crew and an audience. Everyone involved needs to be marshalled, lines have to be said, and events need to occur at the appropriate time and in the correct order. This conclusion influenced all of our wedding plans, including the program (which looked like a play program, and listed everybody involved under ‘Cast’ or ‘Crew’) and the style of the ceremony itself.
If the wedding’s like a play, I figured, then it ought to have a stage manager. So, I hired my friend Marianne ‘Chuck’ Davies, for the last couple of days before and the day of the wedding. She’s an excellent stage manager and an organizational demon. We just gave her instructions on how the day should run, and she took care of the thousand tasks (Is the seating organized correctly? Is the caterer here? Who’s drunk uncle is that?) that often fall to the bride, groom or immediate family. I would have trusted Chuck to run my funeral, so a wedding was nothing.
A side benefit of this move is that Chuck handled well-intentioned friends and family on our wedding day. They all wanted to help, so Chuck had a bunch of tasks to divvy up. There was never any emotional debate about it, because Chuck (and this is perhaps the most important bit of all) had no emotional investment in the occasion. She also had the ultimate trump card if someone wanted to, say, change the seating arrangement at the last minute. She just said “that’s the way Darren and Julie want it”, and the person’s hands were tied.
In writing this entry, I tried to find a digital copy of the program, but it’s on another computer. Instead, I’ve dumped the details of our ceremony below, should anyone care. Held in the Victoria Art Gallery, it was, by wedding standards, slightly unorthodox.
We wrote our own vows. Mine started this way: “To say I vow, comes through the Middle English, vou from the Latin, votum, to vote.” To my distress, that got a big laugh. There was a whole extended metaphor about our lives as countries, but I had to pause for the apparent hilarity to abate. I guess that’s a second piece of wedding advice–make sure you know whether your vows are funny.
- Clair de Lune – Lynn Szabo
- Prothalamion – Marlis Schweitzer
- Processional – Quartango
Air and Variations
- Introduction and Declarations – Justice of the Peace
- First parable – Mr. Hill
- Wedding – Coby Fulton
- The Cinnamon Peeler – Matthew Bissett
- Second parable – Mr. Hill
- Exchange of Vows – Julie and Darren, Justice of the Peace
- Two Words: A Wedding – Roberta
- Third parable – Mr. Hill
- Ring exchange and concluding remarks – Laurie Smith
- Signing of the Register Quartango
Air on a G String
- Epithalamion – Marlis Schweitzer
- Presentation – Marlis Schweitzer
- Recessional – Quartango
Overture, Marriage of Figaro