October 31, 2004
I have never seen two people so happy to be with each other as I saw this evening under the chuppah. Tonight I married the photographer and the dancer, the first couple who came to me last spring seeking a Jewish officiant for their wedding. My rabbi only officiates for congregants, because doing otherwise pulls him away from the congregation; because I lead services semi-regularly, and because he knew I would be sensitive to the needs of an interfaith couple, he suggested they contact me.
The wedding was at Bucksteep Manor, in their carriage house, a beautiful barn with high cathedral ceilings, a big stone fireplace, and grand rafters decorated with strings of lights. Their chuppah was made of orange cloth (the color of the harvest moon) tied onto birch saplings which rested in pots of stones. Very autumnal and very beautiful.
Her processional was played on jazz clarinet, solo, and as she appeared in the doorway the proverbial hush fell over the room. She practically danced up the aisle. Though everyone in the room stood, her eyes were only for her soon-to-be husband, and his for her. The connection between them was so palpable the entire room shook with unshed tears. I actually had to take a deep breath and remind myself that, as the officiant, I'm not allowed to cry during the ceremony.
They had written their own vows, and had shared them with me but not with each other. So I was the only one who knew how powerful they were, and how beautiful, and also how funny (each of them duplicated one line of the other's, unknowingly). There was laughter. There were tears. In my homily I talked about the mystical teaching that when two people become beloved to one another, the combined light of their holy sparks sends a ripple of joy through heaven and earth, and I don't think there was a doubt in anyone's mind that this is that kind of marriage. It was an honor to stand at the front of the room and make it so.