I had not met Kathryn and Mark before their rehearsal, although we did correspond before then to put together the framework for the wonderful ceremony they had written themselves. Being a Jewish-Christian relationship and wedding, it was very important to them that they honor and incorporate both traditions and blend them into a beautiful celebration of both. To that end, I co-officiated the ceremony with my friend and colleague, Rabbi Andrew Ettin. It turned out that he had known the groom and his family years before when they were all at the same Temple when the groom was in grade school! Mark’s family had long since moved away, but Life had brought everyone back together again for this very special day. It must have been fun for them to reminisce.
The wedding directing was in the very capable hands of Cara Zuehlke of A Southern Soiree and her assistant, Stephanie Cisko. Cara is a joy to work with and things always go smoothly. This wedding presented her with an unusual challenge and she found a very clever solution; the chuppa as designed was not working out well so she creatively wound the cloth of the chuppa into the branches of the tree in front of which the ceremony would take place. Mixed in with that were flower pomanders of varying sizes and voilà - you have one of the most beautiful chuppas I have ever seen. As soon as I have a photo of it I will add it here.
And speaking of photos, the photographers for the day were the talented husband and wife team, James and Meredith Walters, of Walters and Walters. I have worked with them before, quite recently, and loved watching them work. They have such unique ideas for capturing the special and touching moments of their clients and I am looking forward to seeing their photos of the wedding when they are available.
It is always illuminating when a couple write their own ceremony for in the words they write you find the depth of what’s important to them. For Mark and Kathryn Sweet, what’s important to them is that they love each other and continue to honor the different traditions they bring together. The breaking of the glass at the end of their ceremony symbolized for them “the breaking down of barriers between people of different cultures and faiths. May the day soon arrive when all people live together as one.” Amen.
Kathryn and Mark, I hope all your dreams come true!