Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Jason and Sam at The Cotton Room in Durham
On Saturday, May 8th I had the pleasure of presiding over Jason and Sam's wedding. It was the culmination of many months of careful and very creative planning. I was so impressed by their embracing all the opportunities that this public declaration of their love offers. The above is one of photographer Ann Hathaway's wonderful photos.
Sam is a 6th grade English teacher and her imagination showed in the beautiful chuppah that she and her friend, Christel batiked with an image of the tree of life. Its structure was designed by Sam's father Karl and Jason, using Cedar trees cut from the woods at her parent's home. Here's a better picture of how wonderful it was.
Here is their invitation in the same rich imagery and colors. Ignore the line next to Jason's name. That's where I blocked out their last names for my scan. I'm sorry that the colors don't show up more vividly on this image. It's really elegant and is has 'Shell Artistree' on the back, which I assume in the manufacturer. I hope they frame it. I can't bear to throw it out.
They were married in The Cotton Room in downtown Durham. It was another 'blank canvas' for them to fill. The room was light filled and airy with sections set up for every need - sofas and cocktail tables for before and after the ceremony, ceremonial space and tables for the dinner afterward - all in lovely champagne color linens.
The only downside that I found with this location was the sound of the air conditioning system. I was so glad that the musicians and I had microphones so that we could be heard. But best of all was Michelle who is with The Cotton Room and who expertly coordinated all that we needed for the day.
I was delighted that Sam and Jason sent me these images taken by guests at their ceremony. Photographer Amy Hathaway took the official photographs and I've noted those for you. She was wonderful getting shots of all the special artistic touches that Sam and Jason brought to their day.
Jason and Sam met through mutual friends in January of 2008 when they talked for 4 or 5 hours at that first meeting. They love to travel and Jason proposed when they were on a trip to San Francisco. (Smart man. San Francisco is such a romantic city.) And they're going to British Columbia on their honeymoon.
When I first met them, they were exploring the book 'If The Buddha Married' by Charlotte Kasl, which they highly recommended it. I'm glad that writing this blog has reminded me to get a copy for myself.
Jason and Sam loved the wonderful spiritual exploration into their relationship that it prompted. They were drawn to the symbolism of the tree of life, not in the traditional sense but as a symbol of roots, shelter, and connection. How trees are full of beauty - Aspens, Birch, Oak, Tulip Poplars - , changing in each season, and how they are tied to the earth, how they house birds, and shelter us.
Sam and Jason honor their roots, both spiritual and familial and knew that this gathering would be special in all the different branches of their lives it would draw together for this one day.
They're reflective and joyful people, in touch with the layers of meaning which add texture and strength to our lives and our relationships. They told their guests that their relationship had made them realized the sacredness of the marriage ceremony and how they are growing and evolving as people and as a couple already in their lives together.
They are meant for each other and they were radiant on their wedding day.
I love the vows they said to each other:
'I take you as my partner, loving and respecting the amazing person that you are, and the person you will become. I promise to treasure our commitment and to honor our relationship and family as most important. I will support you in your dreams and be your life long companion. I will remember to appreciate you daily and I will try to be the strength when times are difficult. I love having you as my best friend in this adventure together. And I will cherish every day we have together, sharing the sweetness of our life.'
We were all smiles after that ceremony. You can see it in the final photo, which was taken by Ann Hathaway. Their ceremony had such a rightness to it. I was delighted to be a part of it and I wish them all the happiness in the world.