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My first wedding ceremony

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.

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Jeremy and Kerry Got Married

July 8, 2012

Jeremy and Kerry got married in Portsmouth, RI (on my husband’s and my 12th wedding anniversary) and I had the honor of performing their ceremony.

In addition to many wonderful shared moments and lots of beautiful laughter as we got to know each other, they were the first couple to introduce me to the concept of the First Look.

(They were not the first couple I’ve worked with to enjoy this private, pre-wedding moment — and certainly not the last. But they were the first who named and explained it to me, which I greatly appreciated.)

They were also one of the many couples I’ve worked with that I didn’t want to say goodbye to at the end of our planning meetings, and with whom I often lingered chatting about life well beyond vows and readings.

But one of the things I will treasure most about working with this beautiful couple, is the way they touched my heart in a very special and significant way.

I will never forget the end of one of our cozy, coffee-shop meetings when Jeremy looked at me and said:

“Honestly, it almost doesn’t even matter what you say, Erin. We picked you because we want YOU there with us on our wedding day.”

His words marked a significant turning point for me, personally and professionally, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with this beautiful couple.

I am also very grateful that, with their permission, I get to share a little of their magical day with you.

(Can’t see the video link above? Click HERE to watch it on Vimeo.)

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Location: Glen Manor House | Video song: A Million Years, Alexander Ebert

Learn more about my ceremony services HERE.

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.

You get to choose

Today I am sharing a peek into a recent wedding ceremony that I was blessed to perform . . .

* * * * *

Four months ago they lived on separate continents, not knowing the other existed. Two weeks ago, surrounded by family and close friends, they became husband and wife. Below are some of the words I shared at their ceremony.

* * * * *

Sometimes love arrives slowly and tentatively, steadily building and growing over time. Other times, it appears seemingly out of nowhere, like a spring rain — fast-arriving and most welcome.

How and when love finds us, is not for us to choose.

What matters most is that when it does arrive, we, who enter into sacred partnership, become the stewards of love’s gifts and blessings.

Today we give thanks and honor the forces of this beautiful Universe that allowed your paths to cross, your eyes to meet, and your hearts to know, without a doubt, to know.

We celebrate this moment, as you prepare to cross the threshold into marriage – your marriage – and remind you, that you get to choose, each and every day, how it feels in your home and in your hearts.

You get to choose with the words that you speak and the actions that you take, how you will steward the gifts and blessings of the love that brought you home to each other in a little City by the Sea.

May you be blessed with a lifetime of love.

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Flowers by Robin Hollow Farm | Ceremony location: Rum Runner II

Learn more about my ceremony services HERE.

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wedded bliss

Oh do I love my job.

Thank you to Brianna and Rob, one of the lovely couples I worked with in September, for sharing this video.

I got to sit with Sam Lathrop, the videographer from Squared Away Cinema who created this beautiful video, at Brianna and Rob’s reception and am happy to say that he is as charming as he is talented.

Really. Such a nice guy.

And boy did he have me reaching for my tissues while watching this. Beautiful job, Sam.

Congratulations Brianna and Rob. It was an honor to share this day with you.

(If you can’t see the video here, click here.)

sunday still life :: rain (on your wedding day)

Sunday Still Life is an evolving photo project; an invitation to explore the beauty and depth of life through traditional still life composition and / or photos and words to evoke inner stillness and reflection. If you are inspired to join in, please leave a link in the comments.

Nobody plans for rain on their wedding day (and definitely not torrential downpours).

But sometimes that’s exactly what happens.

Sometimes an hour before your wedding ceremony is set to begin, a team of people is moving the lanterns that were supposed to line the path from the outdoor ceremony to the indoor reception, inside. And making a plan to turn the ceremony room into the reception room while guests mingle in an adjoining tent.

It may not be what was planned, but this is what it is all about.

For better or for worse.

In good times and in bad.

In sickness and in health.

In sunshine and in rain.

 

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