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Last weekend, Erik and I celebrated the wedding of our friends Raul and Sarah, another interfaith couple (Raul is a Salvadorian Buddhist friend of Erik, who grew up in Northern Virginia; Sarah is Christian, from Birmingham, Alabama). As we enjoyed their special day, we took notes for ours.
Raul and Sarah held their wedding in a small church/community center in southwest Virginia, with about 35 of their closest friends and familyâ€”much different than the 200+ person wedding that weâ€™re planning. The food was served buffet-style, and made by the brideâ€™s cousin. Sarah, the bride, made all the decorations herself, and had friends help her set up the room. Although I know (or hope!) that our wedding will be lovely, thereâ€™s something to be said about the intimacy of a smaller, family-style engagement with the people you care about most in life.
One of our favorite take-aways, besides the fact that they wrote their own vows: Sarahâ€™s grandmother, the associate pastor of the church, officiated. She told a story about how, growing up, Sarah used to play dress up with her cousin and ask: â€śGrandma, will you help marry me at my wedding when I grow up?â€ť And, for 20+ years, her grandmother answered, â€śYes, honey. I will be there when you get married, and I will marry you myself.â€ť
It was such a special moment, that it underscored for us the importance of our choice to have family and a close friend officiate our wedding too. Weâ€™ve decided to have my cousin, Wendy, an Orthodox Jew, and Erikâ€™s college philosophy professor, Ken, who introduced Erik to Buddhism, preside over our wedding. Weâ€™re thrilled about it. The next step: figuring out the vows and the ceremony.
We would welcome your suggestions and ideas as we move into the ceremony planning stageâ€¦.
Thanks for reading, and Happy St. Pattyâ€™s Day to any fellow Irish-Jewish folks out there!
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