Like almost every couple, after we officially got engaged, we thought about what type of wedding we should have. We are very lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives but wanting to have a small ceremony made it a difficult decision as to where to draw the line. This, I am sure, is not unfamiliar territory to many couples. Having just gone through the experience of our own private ceremony, I highly recommend the experience.
It was just Ren and I, our officiant, Elizabeth Oakes, and our photographer, Steve Lucero. We wanted something intimate, low key but not necessarily a courtroom ceremony or being serenaded by Elvis, though all are good choices. I must confess, we did fantasize about Ren riding in like a prince on a white horse and me wearing a cathedral length dress with a long, dramatic train, followed by days for feasting. Aside from these notions of grandeur, what it really came down to was, how did we want to feel? We wanted to be outdoors near the ocean but finding a public yet secluded space to have our ceremony, during July in Southern California seemed like an unlikely proposition. We decided on a beautiful house we rented for the weekend which had a view, a pool, and a small patch of grass with a big pine tree flanked by olive trees and that became our sacred space.
We wanted to the be the most present in that moment we possibly could. We wanted it to feel important, bonding, and very meaningful. Something that we would remember for the years to come. Elizabeth, with her many years of experience, guided us through a very memorable ceremony. She gave us examples of ceremonies with different thoughtful expressions she’d created and we selected the things that resonated with us the most, then she further personalized it to us. She told us what being married really meant in the eyes of the law, and what it could mean for each of us in our relationship as we grew together. Elizabeth is intuitive and perceptive. And most importantly, she believes love can change our human experience and therefore affect the world. Which is something that resonated with us both.
It was the most intense bonding moment I have experienced with another human. And I think it was because of the promises we said out loud. The things you see reflected in the person you are marrying, the gratitude you feel. It was completely about us as a couple, without the concern about anything or anyone else around us. While we love so many, we did take this time to selfishly keep to ourselves, to relish the moment. The next couple of days we had all to ourselves to let the ceremony soak in.
We are now celebrating with friends at a few different receptions, and finding ways to include our loved ones in our ceremony, in part, by repeating some of what was said between the two of us.
I created our engagement and wedding rings. We call them our power rings, to remind us of our love and to give us strength as we journey through life together.
We did not come riding in on a carriage, but yes, I got to wear an amazing custom-made one-of-a-kind wedding dress and Ren in a custom-made frock from our friend and expert costumer, Rory Cunningham.
We have a day to remember, always.
Ren said he was glad we put a bow on it. I replied, quoting Beyonce´ in her song “Single Ladies”, ‘Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it’ And we did.
We both feel very lucky.
Many thanks to our generous and talented photographer, Steve Lucero who was amazingly unobtrusive. Our gratitude to Rory Cunningham for his gorgeous gifts and immense talent. And Elizabeth Oakes you rock!