What does one do at a non-traditional wedding where each party for their own reasons objects to the way religion and state organize and define marriage?
Well, in our case, we focused on other things and left the ceremony up in the air for quite some time. We focused on cake. And on picking a wonderful restaurant that we love. We focused on the menu, visiting several times to sample different dishes. Then, we focused on us, and finally being together and enjoying one another’s company. Then, as life will have its way, we focused on moving across the country, my grandmother’s death, my new job and life.
In the end, one of my closest friends did a lovely ceremony. I had picked two readings that I thought reflected us and my cousin and another friend read them. No much planning or tradition went into it. But it was beautiful and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Here are our readings:
From A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works “Being in Love” (edited by Clare)
“If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after” is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,” then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense-love as distinct from “being in love”—is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be “in love” with someone else. This quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”
— C. S. Lewis
From The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran:
And a youth said, “Speak to us of Friendship.”
Your friend is your needs answered.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, “And what of Marriage, master?”
And he answered saying:
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.