April 5, 2024

 

So, when it comes to weddings, what’s the buzzword these days?

If you guessed “personal,” you win. “Personal” has been and will continue to be the hallmark of weddings. It permeates every decision our couples make, from bridal party attire to flowers and decor, from custom drinks to personal playlists. The wedding ceremony, of course, is no exception.

In fact, it may be the place where customizing matters the most.

Because while the institution of marriage is universal, each marriage itself will be different. And should be different. And to create a customized ceremony for a couple is more than it feeling personal and unique. It also creates a sense of integrity to the commitment being made. We make sure, when we write for our couples, that what is stated about marriage and what is agreed to in the ceremony resonates with our couple. In a way, a customized ceremony sets them up for success in ways that perhaps broader language in the traditional ceremony might not.

So, how do we get to customization? Well, for me, it’s a series of fun (at least that’s my goal) questions I ask them to answer. It’s a way I draw out their story, get to know them, even get my next book to read or musical artist to check out. And the process is fun, actually. Because who doesn’t enjoy talking about their partner? Their relationship? Their love story? Geesh, I’ve been married almost thirty years, and I still love to tell our story!

Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share with you a few questions I ask my couples.

It’s an invitation, really. How would you answer them? Will you tell me how you answer them? Would you add to a question? Rephrase a question? And even if you aren’t married or in a committed romantic relationship, how does the question get answered in the context of your friends, and your community?

To kick it all off, I am going to start by saying that the most powerful tool humans possess is the storytelling tool. Bold statement, but I stand by it. Because the stories we tell ourselves and each other shape our realities. They may be true in part, or in whole. They may be complete lies, or fanciful fairy tales. For my couples, I always want to hear their favorite stories about each other.

Tell me your favorite stories about each other, or about you as a couple.

I love this question because it takes a couple backwards a bit in their relationship. They get to reflect on how they met, or the fun they’ve had. They may recall how a partner showed up for them, or even irked them. But the question asks them to begin to weave together a narrative, which perhaps they’d not intentionally done just yet. And by weaving together a history – long or short – a couple begins to set a course for their shared future.

The answers are wide-ranging, and rarely overlap. One person will often tell me one or two stories, and the other will share one or two completely different stories. This is also important. Because we are never the sole narrators of our story. There is always perspective, multiplicity, and complexity. There is always a range of feelings, emotions, experiences. Could I pick favorites among the stories I’ve been told? No way. But I can say that I am always drawn in and fascinated. It always feeds the narrative of the personal wedding ceremony we create.

We are the stories we tell. And the narrative we choose says a lot about who we are as people, and as a couple.

So, what’s your story?

We’d love to hear it . . . and we hope you love telling it!