Thoughts on a Quaker Wedding

I don’t typically do weddings. I can count on one hand the number of weddings I’ve been to. Receptions . . . a few more. But weddings and I don’t usually get together. A lot of this isn’t due to a particular dislike of weddings on my part. I have nothing against them, but people seem to tend to get married when I’m out of the country. Three sibling weddings happened when I was either in Jerusalem or Germany. Another friend got married when I was in Slovakia. Other times, people get married in far off places, like Illinois, or California. This comes into conflict with the Bryce Can’t Afford Going to Far Off Weddings side of me, so I miss those weddings, as well. This is all just a long way of saying that when a good high school friend of mine decided to get married–and invite me to see it–and I wasn’t going to be out of the country, AND she was getting married in my home town . . . well, let’s just say that when I’m invited to weddings that occur in my home town when I’m not out of the country, I always go. Always. πŸ™‚

The first leg of my May vacation was centered on attending this wedding. While there, I said I’d blog about it, and here’s the promised blog entry (albeit a tad late). Note: I also have a great picture of the lovely couple, but that great picture is on my iPhone, which for some reason has decided it doesn’t like to email things. Since I’m on vacation, I decided I wasn’t going to troubleshoot it more than a half hour, which I did–it’s still on strike. So you’re not getting the great picture of the lovely couple. My apologies.

Anyway.

Becky’s wedding was a Quaker service, which I really enjoyed. I’d never been to anything Quakerish before. Have you? The service consisted of a lot of silence (on purpose). It started with an overview of what would happen: Becky and Aniel would (after some silence) stand and tell each other their vows, and then (after some more silence), the wedding certificate would be read aloud. After that, people were free to stand and say whatever they wanted to the newlyweds. (Silence was encouraged between each of these, as well.) The silence was there to allow people to think about what had been said. After about an hour, the service was over, and we all signed the marriage certificate.

One of the things I liked most about this was its simplicity. Mormon weddings are also pretty darn simple affairs, when you get down to it. I’d say Mormon meetings could learn a thing or two about simplicity from Quaker meetings, as well. I will say I was surprised there wasn’t more talk of God or Christ, but poking around some on the internet afterward (a stupid way of finding out information about a religion, granted), cleared some of that up for me. Quakers seem much more accepting of a variety of religious views, depending on the sect or branch of Quakerism.

(I had other thoughts on the wedding ceremony, but those branch off into personal religious philosophizings, which I try not to get into too much on this blog. Bottom line: I enjoyed the service.)

The reception afterward was way cool, too. I was really happy to see that there were so many varieties of cool sodas on hand. Black cherry, root beer, cream soda, orange . . . and snazzy brands, too. None of this A&W stuff. πŸ™‚ The food was great, there was live music, and it was capped by an evening showing of the Princess Bride.

Denisa and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and it was a great way to start off the vacation. Thanks for a fun time, Becky, and best wishes!

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