I received an inspiring email from a woman with whom I worked prior to her wedding in 2010. A few weeks ago she emailed me to say, “I just wanted to thank you for all your help, through the blog and the session. The wedding was magical and, just as you mentioned, the energy and love that we felt from family and friends lifted us through the event like we were on a cloud.” She proceeded to share with me the details of the ritual that occurred the night before her wedding, and I was so moved that I asked if she would share the story here. I’m grateful that she agreed, as I receive emails frequently from people who are searching for conscious ways to create meaningful wedding, and there’s nothing like a first-person account to inspire your own creative celebrations.
I wanted to share a bit about a ritual on the Friday night before my wedding. Two of my closest friends came up to the wedding location in the Berkshires, Massachusetts two days early and joined all our immediate and extended family (many of them who came from from Israel). We met at the small inn that my family and my husband’s family were staying at for the wedding weekend. After a particularly loud and stressful meal with all the families, the women (my two friends, my mother, sister in law, my aunts from Israel, my husband’s mother, sister, and his aunts from Israel) all entered into a small room lit only by candles and together we spent the most magical two hours.
My two friends had organized a “ladies night.” They had contacted all the women before to bring a small object/present that meant something for them to give to me on the eve of my wedding. After a short meditation, my friend thought it would be nice to place a line in the middle of the room and I could symbolically cross the line and step over from my “old” life into my “new” one at the beginning of the ceremony. I immediately became immobilized with fear, I couldn’t bring myself to cross; all the anxiety of the last several months came rushing inside and it was so hard.
So I decided to ask my friend if we could change things around, that I would have the other women (mostly older and wiser and married for many years) cross in front of me and tell me something that would support me. I felt an urge throughout the months before my wedding to hear how other women felt about their wedding day and their marriages. Then each woman had a chance to speak and the most wonderful words of wisdom began to fill my heart. My mother talked about how she could let me go and that I would be fine and strong with my husband. My mother-in-law talked of the sadness and loneliness of her own wedding day, my sister-in-law talked about her ability to completely let herself go into my brother and how I was so different and she wanted me to have some of her, my cousin gave me a silver ring holder for my wedding band from Morocco that her husband who had passed had bought and that they both would want for me to have it. Her story allowed me to really connect to my sadness and pain and we cried together and it made me feel so much better.
I could go on and on; each woman was so wise and I felt so much love that I was finally able to cross the line. I felt their love and support the entire weekend (we all felt so amazingly connected that entire weekend, like we had a special secret between us) and I am so grateful to that night. I still think about it sometimes and how lucky I truly am to have them in my life.
I think the idea of the ritual came from this blog and Sheryl’s book, so thank you so much for the inspiration and the support. It really made the weekend so magical. As we begin to start thinking about our next transition (parenthood), I take the lessons learned from the previous one to the next transition.