“I don’t get many things right the first time,
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,
And falls brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face,
Now I see it every day
And I know
That I am the luckiest”
When a couple says they want to avoid clichés at their wedding, our ears perk up. To put time and effort into the things they care about and let go of the rest, that can make a wedding truly memorable.
That, and the fact that Nick and Philip are two professional musicians with impeccable taste and a small legion of friends and students who wanted to help make the day even more special.
Often, the reception tends to be what couples getting married focus on. And their reception was amazing. Balking clichés, they had food trucks lining the parking lot where guests played cornhole on custom-painted sets, and watched the sun wane while drinking specially mixed margaritas and chamomile cocktails.
But for Nick and Philip, the traditional Episcopal ceremony was the central focus. Their meticulous planning and amazing friends made it by far the most beautiful part of the day. They processed in together, holding hands and glancing at each other as they walked up the aisle. After an introduction and blessing, they sat opposite each other across the aisle. But through the entire ceremony, they couldn’t keep their eyes off of each other. Nearly 20 friends, professional musicians all, made up the choir. Every arrangement was incredible. But what truly stole the show happened near the end.
Following their vows, Nick and Philip shared the peace while 40 of Philip’s former students filed in and encircled the congregation. None of the guests knew they were coming. They wore black with ties that ran the color of the rainbow, and serenaded Nick and Philip with their favorite song, The Luckiest. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
A few days after returning from their honeymoon, Philip posted something on Facebook that I think best speaks to the experience:
“As they started singing, the tears quickly came, but the true significance of their performance was lost on me until after the ceremony when a dear friend pulled me aside and pointed it out. You see, this was not just a choir singing at their choir director’s wedding. This was a group of young men, mostly in their teens, singing at the wedding of two men. That did not dawn on me. It didn’t dawn on them. It didn’t matter. That, my friends, is how we fight fear and bigotry. We normalize love in all forms. We normalize kindness. We normalize an ideology that everyone deserves to pursue happiness in whatever form it comes.”
Be sure to check out the video here.
“These two are not two, love has made them one. Amo Ergo Sum! And by its mystery, each is no less, but more.” ~ Benjamin Britten