As you know by now, we spent last weekend in Paris to celebrate, photograph, and officiate over the wedding of our good friends Jess and Scott. You read that right – I’m now an ordained minister and have officiated over my first ceremony.
It was the trip of a lifetime with two incredible traveling companions, and I must say, performing this ceremony for them was a pretty powerful experience. Powerful enough to make this grown man weep like a little girl, much as I did on my own wedding day. I had, however, set that teary expectation the moment they asked us to be involved in the journey, so at least I followed through on my word.
It took place in the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens, in a more private corner of the park. After all was said and done, I actually cried more throughout the ceremony – on our tiny, intimate platform in a usually very public place – than the bride and groom. Combined.
Jess and Scott’s parents had each given them a sealed letter for me to open and read in place of more “traditional” readings during the ceremony. After I had read the heartfelt thoughts of each set of parents aloud and made it through them relatively dry-eyed, I took a moment to impart a few words of my own marriage-y wisdom to the couple. Now, this is where the waterworks really started flowing – and where I may or may not have snorted out loud. The words I read echoed everything I love about being married to Kim (she cried behind the lens, too – bingo!), and I encouraged the couple to find their own sources of joy. At the same time, my reading served as a reminder to work through some of the challenges of being the best spouse that one can. Which, for me, is a pretty emotional sentiment.
Marriage is rarely perfect, but I can say with complete certainty that Jess and Scott are perfect for each other, and I truly feel that their ceremony was perfect for them. Thank you to Mr. & Mrs. Lively for allowing us to be a part of it (and for all the tissues).
PS! Mrs. Lively shares more photos and details right here.