Last month, I had the very great pleasure to marry Cynthia and Fran, a lovely couple in Connecticut. From our first email exchange, I could sense that this was a special couple—gentle spirits in a sometimes harsh world. In all of our wedding preparations they were kind, gracious, and lovely.
Cynthia and Fran represented a “dream couple” for any Celebrant. They were creative, innovative, fun and gracious. Both were reflective and considerate and provided fabulous material to help me create a special narrative of their romance and path to the altar. It took a number of years for this romance to blossom, but as I said in the ceremony, this couple embodied the expression, “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait!”
A special ceremonial flourish was courtesy of Fran, who is of Fillipino ancestry. From the beginning of our work together, Fran and Cynthia made it clear that they wanted to pay special honor to his Motherland. After reviewing numerous ritual choices, they decided that they wanted to include a traditional “cording” ceremony as they took their wedding vows. Many ethnic and religious traditions provide colorful rituals to represent the unification of a man and a woman (not to mention two families and potentially two cultures) in the wedding proceedings. In this sweet ritual, the mothers of our bride and groom lovingly placed a decorative cord over the necks of the bride and groom. The ritual had several interpretations. The cord was symbolically placed in a figure eight configuration, representing the infinite nature of the new union—marriage is for all time. Moreover, the strength of the cord, as shown in the picture below, is a visual representation of the power of the marriage union. Just lovely!
The cording ceremony is part of a long list of unifying rituals ranging from “handfasting” to sand ceremonies. I relish the opportunity to draw in the customs of the bride and/or groom’s ethnic background(s) in fashioning a ceremony. The expressions of love and commitment are limitless and American couples are increasingly drawing upon the customs of their countries of origin, allowing an expansive cornucopia of beautiful ceremonies. So for this lovely experience, I thank my bride and groom, their extraordinary family members, the staff of the Stonecroft Inn and such, and Ian Pawluck, photographer, for capturing the moment.