In the last couple of years, I've been called names, my spirituality has been questioned, my resolve has been tested, and so has my faith in it all. I went from believing that love was just another 4-letter word, to knowing that it is real. I have found friends in unlikely people, seen the true colours in others, and rekindled relationships that were long overdue. I walked into my divorce with the notion that I would never, ever remarry. I assumed that he was the best I would ever do or that I was so tough to live with and be with that I just needed to be alone. Along came a man who taught me that patience really can be infinite and that faith and love really are stronger than anything else.
Having only ever planned one other wedding, I was a wreck over how this was going to go. See Ex and I didn't have a big one at all, there were 8 of us total and the Justice of the Peace. That's it. Then we went and had lunch and partied. No, the first one was with a college sweetheart who's father was well known in the city. What I intended to be a small intimate ceremony ended up a big church affair with a bare minimum of 150 guests. I panicked, we broke up, the rest is history. I'm not a pomp and circumstance kind of gal. I believe the purpose of a wedding ceremony is to seal the bond between two people, not show the community how much money you have or with which priest you are in favour. And, I'm by no means the most traditional person there is, or am I?
I mentioned a few blogs back that I'm more traditional than folks would believe. You're probably thinking the standard: pretty white/cream/pink/lace dress, bridal party, in some sort of building, "I do, I do", *kiss*, party. Yeah we did a version of that.....sort of. We didn't have a bridal party per se, just two of our close friends to stand with us and keep us from passing out. I did have a minister, she is a great lady who is ordained through the Universal Life Church and is a Christo-Wiccan High Priestess. Very much a believer in Jesus and his prophesy. We were married out doors under a tent with the sun shining down, the grass beneath our feet, and the wind in the trees around us. We were under God's own sky, no need for a fancy building to hide us from his/her glory. My dress was a navy blue ball gown that I fell in love with and can use again, he went comfortable and practical, jeans and a nice shirt. Simple, easy, practical, and wonderful.
When I think "traditional" I don't think societal standard. I think actual, ancient tradition. Traditions handed down and lost over time as societies grew and changed. Some folks forget or never find out why certain things are done in what they believe to be the perfect traditional wedding. Have you ever wondered where the wearing of the veil comes from? Or why groomsmen and bridesmaids all wear clothing so similar to the bride and groom? Why are cans and things tied to the back of the car for the new couple? All of these are based an old superstitions, old lore from a time when people believed vampires walked the streets and the undead would come out of the coffin to grab you as you walked by the grave. People do them because it's what they are told they should do but honestly, how many would adhere to some of these if they truly understood what they meant?
We chose to go with something ancient and far less common. We did a handfasting ceremony, we bound our hands with a cord made from ribbons that signified important parts of our lives. We included the children in our ceremony by having them bind us, thus showing their support. If our children were not comfortable with our union, we would have never done it. Handfasting is an ancient rite dating back to the Celtic age in Europe. A young couple would promise themselves for a year and a day, at the end of that time they would either part ways never having been married or join for life. Today handfastings can be promised as long as love shall last.
Regardless of how traditional or not it was, it was an important happening for both of us. We both hit on revelations prior to our wedding that helped us make that leap. Our life together has reached a point of calm that I prayed for for a decade before. We both ended up with someone that we could trust, stand beside, and not fear, qualities we both prayed for. My only regret in closing that prior chapter of my life is that I didn't meet this man sooner. Perhaps.....just perhaps....neither of us would have known heartache before we knew true love.