Kat Seltzer and I got married a couple weeks ago (be sure to check out the slide show at the bottom!!)… it seems like a long time ago, and yet the whole event is still very fresh in my mind. There is some reflection that needs to happen in regards to our event and as to how we decided to include and celebrate with the community. How does one envision a wedding as a community transforming event? How do two people hold space for a celebration out of deep authenticity and steer clear of the “shoulds” and appropriate ways to do a wedding? My Foundations in Community are hardwired in my mind and always effect how I hold space for such occasions.
First, I should say that Kat and I already considered ourselves married. When does marriage really happen? Is it a legal commitment, a religious event, a spiritual decision before God, or a community ceremony? I have heard all of the above… and before September 18 Kat and I had gone through all but the legal. Not much really changes for us. No name changes, no living changes, no job changes. But now “it’s official.” The world knows it and we have said “I do” for our lives… and we can have babies!
So… community, ceremony, celebration… and weddings. Kat had to keep reminding me that this event was about us, something that was a bit difficult for me to hang on to. I revel in getting so many beautiful people together. In the planning, we were insistent on a few things. We had to be married by the ocean (Kat), the ceremony had to be small (Kat) and very personal (both). We also had to have an open invitation to ALL of our community (Nate) and maximize the involvement of as many, if not all, individuals as we could (Nate).
So we had our “Pre-ception” before. We partied before the ceremony and all were invited. No sense in sending out invitations when Facebook, email, and personal invites would work just fine. Potluck, live music, beer… maximize involvement.
Then a few of us went to the coast. The whole schedule was very laid back and “organic.” I say organic because time, weather, and how people chose to spend the time they had was not something that could be controlled. And really can we control these things? With plenty of space, people were able to slow down enough to be themselves, reflect, and experience the community. It rained all day, which allowed us the opportunity to reconsider the location in the last hours. This was not a problem (to some of us), because whether it was outside or inside was irrelevant. We were together.
I could go on, and I a very open to questions. But it is important for me to note that when we are seeking to build and transform community, every event, every aspect of our lives, has to be considered with the community in mind. EVERY aspect… especially ceremony and celebration.