Summertime, with ample sunshine and warmth, is an ideal time for outdoor weddings. Schedules are often a bit flexible in the summer as well, making it easier for family and friends to take time off of work or to travel to see loved ones wed.
This past summer, I had the pleasure of officiating at four outdoor weddings, as well as my first Vow-Renewal Ceremony. My travels took me to Lake Powell, Moab, Millcreek, and Kearns in Utah -- and to Macon, Georgia, for my first out-of-state wedding!
The most exciting ministerial occasions for me are those unexpected twists and turns; the off-the-cuff, unplanned moments that make or break an event. When I have my wits and calm about me, these moments always seem to create the best of memories for myself and for the couples who are marrying or renewing their commitments to each other. All those chaotic times . . . when a bride's mother is in a panic, wondering if she's remembering her lines in the ceremony; when a scheduled meeting place doesn't work out and we have to wander around looking for another picturesque spot; or when a groomsman isn't sure when to start the processional . . . remaining calm in front of the crowds of family members and friends, or remembering to smile and laugh in the midst of the unexpected, these are the moments that remind me of why I love this work.
When I feel I have something to offer; I know I've done these things before; I'm comfortable speaking in front of people; and I genuinely love meeting new people and building positive relationships -- these are the times when I know I have something to bring to an event that is uniquely personalized. The memories the couples create as I work with them prior to and on their event day are ones that they will look back on, and they will recall the laughter and the mishaps as fondly as the tears of joy and the hugs of congratulations. These are the moments that shape us, that remind us of what it means to be human. We make 'mistakes,' and we learn from them. And in every moment that we are willing to be our own real, authentic selves, we are opening ourselves up to relate to the world around us in a more real, authentic way.
I hope that your summer-time was filled with warmth and joy from trips taken, family-time enjoyed, and whatever came your way! I look forward to the Autumn that is now here, and to the Winter that is approaching, as more introspective seasons of change that allow us to slow down and appreciate everything in our lives. If you have been recently married, I wish for you that all the strength, warmth, and enjoyment of summer will seep right on through these months, and that you and your loved ones will enjoy the cold and stormy weather to come as you build your homes together!