Now that 2015 commencement exercises are mostly completed around the country, the wedding season is definitely upon us. At least one source states April is when wedding season actually begins, while other sources consider May the beginning of the “season.” I’ve usually considered May the most common month among my friends and acquaintances.
We’ve already attended one wedding this month. It was a beautiful ceremony with the stunning bride dressed elegantly and the groom all smiles as she walked down the aisle toward him. Venue decorations were stylishly appointed and it was (in my estimation) every bit the fairy tale event a young woman imagines for her day.
To this day, weddings make me cry. I used to think after all the weddings we’ve attended through the years I’d get used to them! But no, I still come prepared with a package of tissues to dab my eyes as needed. When I read the average cost of a wedding last year topped $31,000, I realized there are other reasons than sappy sentiment that would make someone cry at a wedding! When my Beloved and I married in 1969, we budgeted $100 for the entire wedding. Times have definitely changed.
Wedding toasts and blessings vary from the sublime, heart-tugging expressions to the comedic and zany kind. (I prefer the former.) Though I’ve never proposed a toast nor actually shared an anecdote during a wedding reception, I’ve appreciated some of the uplifting, simple speeches I’ve heard.
A reading of Sidney Lanier’s poem, Wedding Hymn, is a perfect example of a poem that could be easily incorporated into a wedding ceremony or used as a benediction at the conclusion of a reception. Whether Lanier wrote the poem specifically for a wedding, I cannot say. It was one of his early works (1865) when he was 23 years of age.
I’ve mentioned Sidney Lanier before in other posts (here, here). He is one of my favorite poets, especially because he had such a keen love of music and poetry. (Note in the above poem his multiple references to music.) Though this particular poem was published posthumously and is said to be an “unrevised early work,” I think it’s a perfect expression of the qualities that mystically bind two people together.