If there’s one thing I get huffy about (ok, I can get huffy about a lot of things) it’s that when we’re at a venue, either the wedding planner or the site planner asks in an aghast sort of voice, “Well, how long is this ceremony going to take?”
I usually point out that contrary to popular opinion, the wedding ceremony is what brings us here today. It isn’t just about the party. A wedding is a sacred marker of an incredibly important life event.
Therefore, your ceremony should take as long as it takes to be finished. If that means you’re going to wait for your 92 year old Daddy to walk across the floor on his walker, that means it’s going to take some time. I confess, my wedding took an hour and a half. (My brother in law points out that there are certain marriages that lasted a shorter amount of time than my wedding! But no one else grumbled, and his was pretty pro forma, it wouldn’t be a spiritual event if he weren’t grumbling!)
You want things in your wedding that are real. No need to add lots of canned music or poetry you don’t like to make it longer, or make it look like you are wildly overeducated. But if you want to have your best friend from college who writes poetry read a piece he or she has written for your ceremony read that piece, DO IT! Do not be cowed by the clockwatchers.
I, who am part of the wildly overeducated crowd, have my own snotty pet peeves about “good poetry.” There are poems that I grimace inwardly every time they get read. And almost every time they get read, I have to eat my words because someone read that poem in such a way as to give it heart and meaning. I heard a horribly sappy poem read by a 15 year old girl. I was practically sobbing by the end of it, because she believed it was true in the life of this couple and longed for it to happen in her life. It mattered.
So, do what’s right — for you! Take the time. This is your wedding to your beloved. You and your incredible relationship demand to be celebrated. So revel in the moment. The only complaints I’ve heard about the length of the wedding occurred when there were no alternative site possibilities and the weather changed. It’s true, if you’re dressed for 75 degree weather and the temp plunges to 35, it changes the amount of time you want to spend … or if the deluge suddenly moves in, then you have to figure it out, but mostly, settle back and enjoy the ride. (and plan for contingencies!)
Girlfriends, We’ve got it all going on! It’s doable. I believe in us. And we sure deserve it!