The Fiddler Played Oh Canada
The Tent was set up and the tables and chairs arrived as scheduled. The hand sewn table clothes and runners were placed with care and the place settings for the guests were arranged along with the flowers, wedding favours, lyrics to Oh Canada and, of course, a box of tissues!
I think the comment was, “Man it takes allot to plan a wedding”! And it does, especially if you are a designer like one of the marriage partners. The ideas just kept flowing until he had to say a big “STOP” in his head.
The anticipation was high
The day had finally arrived and the excitement was in the air as the guests started arriving. Most people had never been to a same-sex marriage before so the anticipation was quite high. Preparations, of course, had been taking place long before the actual day. I have known this couple for several years and when they asked me to perform their ceremony, I was thrilled. It was important to me that their special day be about their marriage and not about them being a same-sex couple. I was able to meet them both separately, as we began crafting their service. I asked some very specific questions and as I listened carefully to their vision of the ceremony, my own ideas started to flow.
Living in Canada offered him freedom
One of the partners is not Canadian born. His idea was to have everyone sing Oh Canada because he felt that living in Canada offered him the freedom to legally marry his partner of 24 years, in full celebration and without worry of persecution. I put together some words about Canada that I hoped would capture his sentiments;
Canada: We live in a great country; a country that fosters freedom, openness and inclusion. Canada is the homeland of justice, equality and tolerance. These are values that are not supported in some other countries. We have the freedom to choose who we commit to, who we live with and who we love. Because of these values, we can come together today to share the joy and to celebrate, a same-sex marriage. Our couple have made a special request to honour our country today by singing Oh Canada. We will be accompanied by their Brother-in-Law, on the fiddle.
I also asked them what they “liked” about each other. As we all know, relationships don’t last for 24+ years without actually liking one another. They both gave me answers on separate days and I kept them secret until presenting them during the ceremony. That’s when the tissue box came out!!
They thought they might like to write their own vows but they found the task quite challenging so I took their thoughts and turned them into words they felt honoured to say to one another. By the time the vows were said, and they promised to take each other for Beloved Life Partners, the tissue box was just about empty and there wasn’t a dry eye under that tent.
As the ceremony came to a close, I remember feeling as though I was bursting with pride as I made the public announcement that my dear friends were indeed, joined in marriage.