Our ceremony was a wonderful heartfelt celebration of who Nat and I are as a couple. Nat was in charge of the music and she decided that everyone would listen to classical music while getting settled in and that she’d also walk in with a classical piece. All of our attendants walked in to classical music too – you might’ve thought that we’d keep things on the calm side, yes?! NO! I’m a huge fan of the film Muriel’s Wedding and I love the fact that she walked down the aisle to ABBA, so I did the same. Look at my friend’s faces as the music changes! Everyone was smiling and bouncing up and down at the altar. I was smiling so hard that my cheeks hurt. We had our lovely friend marry us and she wrote a beautiful service. Other personal touches we added in were a reading by my mom & one by my dear friend, Jen Cross. She’s a local writer and I’ll post her piece down below – it was a real tear jerker. Nat and I did rock, paper, scissors to decide who would read their vows first and of course she won! She always wins…although at first we did tie. Nat’s vows were incredible and she recited from memory her favorite Shakespearean sonnet. I was in tears! The ceremony was one of the last things we figured out and that’s normally how it goes. We knew we wanted certain aspects like reading from our friends/family and we wanted love & laughter. The ceremony flew by, so make it memorable. One of my favorite parts was when my nephew ran over to my sister (my maid of honor) and he was being a bit distracting, so I called a “kiddy time out” then someone in the audience yelled, “Cats not kids!” Freaking hilarious!
Here is the invocation that Jen is reading in the photo above: For Sarah & Nat: An invocation by Jen Cross
This is a wedding story, a marriage story, a love story, a wanting the truth story. Let us invite courage to the table now: because we are going home.
This is what coming home is like: hungry and hopeful with our eyes wide open. This is for these two people who waited, this is for the relationship that peeked at possibility and took a seat in the waiting room, this is about an adoration that took its time, an ethical stand, this is about love that lasts like an undercurrent lasts, like the undertow, like the thing that takes you under— not to lose your breath, but maybe to lose your direction, to come up gasping, redirected and true. This is about that thick place inside that says yes. That excoriated, scorching place of unmalleable soul listens closely to the heart that doesn’t want to ache anymore, then reaches out a hand, says, We’re going anyway. We’re going home. That place in us, the place that holds for love: that place understands about stretching.
Love has come to mean things that don’t have anything to do with love: comfortable, easy, predestined, satable. Love has come to be equated with best-friend-fantasy-perfect-sex-right-dinner-night-out-facebook-friendly-just-right-always.
That’s some cute stuff right there, but don’t we know better? Love isn’t a complexity, and it isn’t hard. It’s allowing someone to be present with the raw and honest you, the you that lives beneath, the you you hide beneath genders and roles, the you that’s every age you have been or will be. This is about a kind of trust that is almost unnamable, how I let you see the terrible things, the worst stuff, the words that sound like sledgehammers, the mess that aches and knives under my skin, and how you lay down next to me with your heart open anyway. That’s what coming home is. Love is more than perfect: it’s present. It’s moment to moment, it’s practice. It’s: you are not who I want you to be — but I want you to be who you are.
Love is simple: It’s every day accepting someone for exactly who they are—and, every day, accepting you for exactly who you are. Love is learning your own flaws and failings in precise details. Love does this: Goes in and gathers, brings forth what was lost, turns you inside out and luminous, invites out into the world all the true selves that you both never believed you would truly get to be. Isn’t that coming home? It takes all of our hearts to let home in when it finds us. And because you are courageous, because you are afraid and walking anyway, you are blessed to be going all the way, all the way, home.
All photos by Tanja Nixx & Diana Rothery.