I had never presided over a ceremony at the Masonic Centre in Ottawa. So when I asked the couple why they were having the wedding there, their answer reminded me why weddings are part of the circle of life. The bride’s parents, who were present, celebrated their wedding here 27 years ago.
We were waiting for the grandfather to show up. He was lost on the way to the venue. These moments present me with a chance to chat with the folks gathered and find out more about them. We were surrounded by the Masonic symbols as a backdrop to our conversation. In looking around, reminiscing, the bride’s father shared memories of his wedding. I joked with him that he and his wife should renew their vows to celebrate the time they’ve been together and raising a wonderful daughter.
Grandpa finally arrived and we started the ceremony ten minutes late. The bride came down the aisle with her dad, and with the presentation to the groom, the ceremony continued. I’ve found that brides typically have one of four stress responses during a wedding ceremony. They either cry, giggle, hyperventilate or fidget. This was the first bride I’ve seen who did all four- at the same time. The groom was busy finding her a tissue while I was worrying whether she would faint. I noticed from the couples’ reactions during the ceremony, that they truly loved each other and that they were looking forward to their married life together.
I was about to declare them married when I looked over to the bride’s mother. She was in joyful tears. The kiss the bride and groom exchanged was one of the more enthusiastic ones that I have seen a while. A loud cheer went out as I announced them as the newly married couple and they walked down the aisle.
After the ceremony, I asked the bride’s mother if she had been as emotional during her wedding many years ago. She smiled at me and said that she had indeed but not to the extreme that her daughter had displayed. Her husband, who was moved by the ceremony, turned to his wife and said ” you know, we should renew our vows”. The bride gave me a big hug as I congratulated them. I wished them well and said I would see them in five months time. You see, I left that ceremony with two more ceremonies to schedule: the renewal of vows for her parents and a baptism for the couple’s new baby on the way. I am always in awe as how these ceremonies really are part of the circle of our lives.