Your Name Here

To change your name(s) or not to change your name(s) that is just one question. But, it is not the question today. Instead, take a look in the box… to the left. That’s the box for your “first name.”

There are at least 7 people who I have known for at least 10 years, all of whom have real names that their families gave them when they were born. I don’t know any of those names. I only know their nicknames. It’s been 10 years and I think it’s too late to ask, but also I wonder if it matters.

On your wedding day you might think it matters. You might be convinced either by yourself, your family, or by the magnitude of the event itself… you might be convinced to change your name. You might avoid Jo and instead choose Josephine or skip Reggie in favor of Reginald. Then again you might just choose Big Papa instead of… whatever his family thinks his name is.

In the end it doesn’t matter what you choose. Only the officiant will remember messing up your chosen name. Everyone there knows who is in love with whom and who will be with whom forever. It’s pretty hard to hear through tears of joy anyway.

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Sunrise Ceremony

Eric Clapton sang about “the sunshine of your love.” Shakespeare let slip from Romeo’s lips a mouthful of morning metaphor when he wrote, “…it is the east, and Juliet the sun.” Or something along those lines.

Cliché after cliché stack up and spill over the sides of the metaphor bin, like VHS tapes at gas stations in the middle of nowhere. You can have 4 for a dollar. “That’s okay, I think I already have a copy of Pretty Woman.” 12 for a dollar… “okay, take ’em they’re all yours we’re just going to through them away.”

But these frequently flung phrases are flung so freely because they make visible or taste-able or hear-able the invisible emotional and psychological transformation that happens when you love and are loved.

So, go ahead and get married as the sun rises. And don’t be afraid to say you didn’t even know it was dark until you met the light of your life. And go ahead and say that you didn’t even know you were cold until the radiance of your beloved’s love warmed your skin. I’d love to be there for that.

To Church or Not To Church

Churches are pretty places. Most of them are pretty places anyway. However, churches are also pretty religious places. Most of them anyway. So when you’re deciding where you are going to tie your strings into a knot with your beloved you’ll probably be encountering what has become a classic contemporary conflict between religion and aesthetics when it comes to the architecture of your wedding.

It used to be the case that no one was really allowed to go into God’s “House.” It just wasn’t safe. They used to tie a rope around the priests just in case encountering God literally killed them. And that was when it was still just a tent.

It is currently the case that many people connect with God through experiences in the natural world. We’re talking about hiking. We’re talking about rivers in the evening and dry mouthed, sweaty sleeping bags, and cooing birds in the morning.

If the last 15 years has taught us anything it’s that it can be just as ugly and just as beautiful in a church as it is outside.

Damned if you do? Damned if you don’t?

I don’t think so. The real question is what it means to you and to your beloved that you are getting married in this place in the world at this time in your lives. And, you don’t have to figure out the answer to that question on your own.

Daunting and Confusing

It was clear that, while this was our only wedding, Chase had done many before, and he brought a calm expertise to what otherwise could have been a daunting and confusing mess. Though nothing was set in stone and everything was open to our approval, it was very reassuring to have him give us possible outlines for the ceremony and remind us of traditional parts that we may be forgetting.