On this first day of 2013, I am sharing a look back at my first wedding ceremony as I eagerly anticipate the celebrations in the year to come…
Photos: John Goodman, Kathy Barrette, Michael Coutcher (and me).
Second to last photo is of me with my mom and dad shortly after the ceremony.
* * * *
When I performed my first wedding ceremony on September 11, 2010 at the Channing Memorial Church in Newport, RI, much of the experience felt like a dream.
In the months leading up to that day, I had been quietly studying the basics of ceremony creation and delivery with my mentor, Rev. Deborah Catherine Faith, when my mom called to say that her good friend’s daughter was getting married in September and wanted to talk to me about officiating the ceremony.
I wavered back and forth with excitement and fear as I went through the steps I had learned — meeting for coffee, getting to know the couple, gathering pertinent information, writing the ceremony, leading the rehearsal.
Even on the day of the ceremony, I could not quite shake the feeling of being a little girl in her mom’s high heels playing “dress up” as I put on the beautiful stole my mom had made for me.
And yet I knew, with all my heart, that this is the work I am called to do.
* * *
Before the ceremony began, I was in a small room behind the altar with the groom and his groomsmen, when one of them asked me about how I came to do ceremonies.
I smiled. Gave the short version of my story. And admitted that he was about to witness my first ceremony.
After the ceremony, which went beautifully by all accounts, he found me outside the church and congratulated me.
“I would have never known this was your first ceremony,” he said. “You are a natural.”
* * *
I have performed dozens of weddings since that day — each one a joy, an honor, and a gift — and can honestly say that I feel more comfortable and ‘at home’ in my minister’s attire and in the role of ceremony officiant than I do in most any other setting.
And I still know, with all my heart, that this is the work I am called to do.