Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Marriage Blessing

I've been to many weddings before, including my own and I must say that the day that Rose and I got married is about the closest emotional parallel to my daughters recent wedding. Of course when your daughter gets married: emotionally, physically and financially you are bound to be heavily involved!

It started for me years ago when Kait and I (and sometimes Rose and/or April) would sit  down together and watch "Say Yes to the Dress". That's why when the time finally arrived to pick a wedding dress for Kait, I wanted to be involved. I figured I had earned it after watching dozens, or perhaps hundreds (thousands?) of wedding shows over the years.

So I was there for some, but not all of the appointments and eventually, Kait and I picked up the dress together and I was entrusted with hanging it in my "studio" and keeping it safe until the wedding. I must say that I enjoyed the process, spending time with my wife and daughters and really getting into the part of the cost conscious father of the bride.

She Said "Yes" to the dress!

Just for fun, I dived into the role. "Yes it's lovely....but how much does it cost?" 

Of course there were other aspects of the wedding to plan and when the kids announced that they were planning to have the ceremony at Nick's parents "farm" (3 acres just off of the Manning Freeway) we were excited to see it. Kait had mentioned over and over (and over) about the cute little red barn on the property that she envisioned the ceremony taking place in front of.

When we went to see it, I immediately saw that there was an even better place on the property to hold the ceremony and Rose agreed when I pointed it out to her. (Since that day, there has been some historical revision going on and now it seems everyone involved has stepped forward to take the credit for suggesting that the ceremony take place where it eventually did.)

 The truth however is that it was I who first actually said the fateful words, "let's do it over there" in the lovely spot between two rows of towering, leafy green shade trees that we later began calling, "cathedral grove."

Of course, the problem at that point was deciding how to approach Kait and Nick with our idea, (yes you guessed it, like most good things in my life, the idea was a product of a congenial collaboration between Rose and myself).

Couples planning a wedding can be notoriously difficult to influence without causing undue stress and tension so we gave the matter of how to broach the subject careful thought before spontaneously blurting out our idea at the first opportunity.

Surprisingly, it was quickly decided that "Cathedral Grove" was indeed the ideal spot and so it proved to be, absolutely gorgeous and since the wedding day turned out to be hot and sunny (+29) the shade was wonderful.

It was a beautiful day and everything went perfectly, just a few little hiccups to keep the stress level up such as being short one cable for the wireless mic for the officiant, (Nicks Aunt) but an emergency delivery by the father of one of the groomsmen quickly solved that, whew! 

The ceremony was only slightly delayed and thanks to our intrepid wedding planners Evy and Pam who did everything from setting up chairs to arranging various pretty decorations, everything else went smoothly.

No-one was brained during the smashing of the pinatas, the porta-potty didn't fall over and there was very little traffic on the road during the ceremony, all good things!
Kait, Nick and the "dog of honour" Lola

One of my responsibilities (self imposed) was to say a blessing over the marriage during the ceremony and I managed to get through it with a minimum of waterworks. It proved to be a very emotional ceremony with a lot of sniffles among the audience, and the participants. (Nick developed a curious pollen allergy that lasted the length of the ceremony) 

I enjoyed writing the blessing and speaking it over the marriage of my daughter Kait and her new husband Nick Jewell and I thought I would share it here as well for those who missed the wedding or who may have an opportunity to one day speak a similar blessing over someone they love.

Blessing Kait & Nick, July 13 2014

"Good afternoon everyone, I'm Kait's father and I asked for an opportunity to say a blessing over their marriage today. There are many ways that we can choose to bless someone, it could be as simple as "Live long and prosper." (Vulcan greeting/salute)

And that’s a good blessing, but I’m a little more ambitious than that when it comes to my daughters and when it comes to this marriage.

I could choose to bless the marriage as the father of the bride, as a couple along with my wife Rose, the mother of the bride and of course we do give our blessing to this marriage, (whew).

But you already knew that because Nick came and asked for Kait’s hand in marriage and for our blessing and we were happy to give it.

I believe it's important to speak words of blessing over people and especially over those that we love and we love our children, we love you Kait and we love you Nick as a good man and as our future, (very short time in the future) son in law.

And I believe that there is a blessing that comes from being married and today before God and all of us as witnesses, Kait and Nick will be married. And of course we're not in a church, but God doesn't live in churches, He lives right here (inside us), and right here (all around us).

So the blessing that comes from being married is a good thing, it is,'s incomplete. The full blessing available to us in our marriages is not an automatic part of being married, but instead it comes as a result of inviting God into our marriages and into our lives on a daily basis.

So Kait, as your father and Nick, as your father-in law, that is my hope and my prayer for your marriage and for your lives together. 

So now I'm going to pray and I invite you all to join with me as I invite God's blessing over this marriage.

"Love, Respect, Joy, Won't take each other for granted, Home, Children, Prosperity, Health, Unity."

Rose and I are fortunate to have two wonderful daughters and we now have a great son-in -law added to the mix. For now the immediate family consists of:
Five adults, one dog, two cats and a bunny named Basil.

It was an eventful summer, but it sure flew by fast and now the wedding pictures are in so we can enjoy re-living the adventure as we retreat indoors for the lovely Alberta winter.

Hamming it up at the shower
Barb and Rose doing the reception flowers

Making the center pieces for the reception