Monday, June 14, 2010

Derek and Nikki from Labor Day Weekend in 2008

It was great to hear from Nikki and Derek. Time goes so quickly that I'd forgotten all about their wonderful wedding and the pictures and thank you they sent to me brought it all back. Nikki told me that they'd had an online picture disaster when combining the nearly 2000 wedding pictures from various picture takers onto one online repository. Somehow the numbers and labels were lost and they had to redo every single picture's label. Yikes! Hence the posting to their wedding blog now.

I loved their wedding. Nikki and Derek are both really loving people and most of all I remember their peaceful and gentle energy. And I remember their beautiful ceremony.

Their wedding took place at Rock Quarry Farm out I-54 just west of Chapel Hill. I've officiated at weddings there in both rain and shine and it shimmers in simple beauty in all occasions. They had their ceremony on the grassy area right next to the barn, and their reception in a tent next to the house. Camille is always there to help, with whatever logistics need support,

Derek and Nikki had a sunny day, and not too hot day. We were all grateful.

They had an especially lovely welcome of their guests. I've written and adapted text so often over the last 15 years to reflect the couple as I know them that they each take on a little different nuance. For Nikki and Derek, we said: 'Each of you has accompanied them in some way on their journey and will continue to embrace and support them as they embark on this newest aspect of their lives. Their new relationship as husband and wife will continue to draw much of its beauty and meaning from their associations with all of you who join with them today. So we invite you to the joyful task and privilege of participating in their ceremony. We’ll pause for a moment for you to arrive, not only in body, but in spirit and love - to hold Derek and Nikki in the matrix of that love as they take this joyful step into their married life.

They also called upon the four directions in a blessing that I won't add here, but you can ask me for at any time.

They evoked the beautiful words of the Song of Songs from the Hebrew Bible, which says: "Bind me as a seal upon thine arm, As a seal upon thine heart; For love is as strong as death, Mightier than the grave. The darts of love are darts of fire, furious flames; Many waters cannot quench love, Nor floods devour it."

The littlest of our two flower girls wanted to be held by her mother. I always love it when that happens. It just shows the wonderful connections we have to each other, and how they trump formalities. Ritual is real and living and is made to honor the profound connections of love and caring we have with each other. Weddings with small children and grandparents and great grandparents apparent and loved show that with so eloquently.
We pronounced their marriage with the words of Shakespeare from “Twelfth Night”: Attested by the holy close of lips, Strength’ned by interchangement of your rings And all the ceremony of this compact Seal’d in my function, by my testimony... we rejoice to recognize you as husband and wife.
Their friend Toni Ruth then offered a prayer for for their marriage.

For a final benediction we all participated. The responses of the guests was written in their program and are the words in parentheses below:

May you, Derek and Nikki, be a blessing and comfort to each other, sharers of each others’ dreams, consoler to each others’ sorrows, helpers to each other in all of life’s vicissitudes. (We wish you blessing and comfort) May you encourage each other in what ever you set out to achieve. (We wish you encouragement) May you trust each other, trust life and be unafraid. (We wish you trust) May you love each other and offer love and support to those around you. (We wish you love) May your way be blessed, may wisdom’s light shine upon you, may your journey bring you peace. (We wish you wisdom and peace.)

Rock Quarry Farm had both the old farm house feel and the modern inn feel. This front of the house was perfect for a family picture. Here is the work in progress with the photographer. (I apologize for not remembering his name.)

And here's the finished product!

This weekend in June 2010 was a stressful one with both weddings needing to be moved inside at the last minute to avoid everyone getting drenched by rain.

It felt like a burst of sunshine to get Nikki and Derek's thanks from so long ago. They wrote: 'Thank you! The service was perfect and so many people from many walks all told us they felt like they took part in something holy. Bless you and thank you.'

I thank you both, too! Your pictures and words bring a smile to my heart!

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