Wedding Celebrations and Purpose

I have recently been to three uniquely different, absolutely gorgeously beautiful wedding celebrations. Three wedding ceremonies like I have never experienced before, that have changed my life and the way I am in the world.

I have been married twice: the first time was a large traditional formal white wedding, then some years later a small casual wedding on a beach in a faraway place – both later ending in divorce. Both of my past wedding celebrations were costly, stressful to organise, and centred around myself as the bride, and the groom – with no focus on a celebration of the guests, friends and family.

My two weddings and other wedding celebrations I have attended in the past felt ‘commercial’ at times, a bit like Christmas commerciality, like there was only a certain ‘script’ that was to be followed. Looking back, they felt lacking in love, there was an emptiness and there wasn’t a warmth or a sense of joy, though back then I didn’t consider this much as I assumed this was the only way wedding ceremonies were conducted.

Weddings can be big business. A quick search on the internet found:

  • There was one marriage every 2 minutes in England and Wales in 2012 (1)
  • Civil ceremonies = 70%, religious ceremonies = 30% (1)
  • UK weddings are worth over £10 billion each year, with an average cost per wedding of £36k (2).

However, I have recently attended three very beautiful wedding celebrations that were certainly full of love and warmth and could not be considered as ‘big business productions’.

The organisational arrangements leading up to these events were super simple, with an e-invite, and for two of the weddings an invitation to ‘bring a dish’ of nourishing food for all to share – with a special request as to what type food to bring so that there was a balanced platter.

On the day, from the moment we arrived, we were treated with tender care, love, and the kind of attention I might have expected if I were the bride – not one of the guests.

And there was no whiff of commerciality or standard wedding ‘script’ in sight, people simply felt relaxed and jolly which was unlike other weddings I had been to, including my own.

Friends and family were taking photos and videos of the events, and many of the guests had helped to set up and decorate the venues which were variously held in the family home, garden or grounds of a hotel. Some organised flowers, or table plans with many unique small loving touches to the chairs, the décor, and the ceremony itself. Others helped serve the food, wash up, tidy up, and generally worked together throughout the entire wedding celebration.

It was a very inclusive feeling to be part of this loving family group. The wedding ceremonies weren’t just about the bride and groom – they were about all of us, they were celebrations of us all!

All three of the celebrations involved a religious blessing / commitment ceremony** founded in The Way of The Livingness and were led by one of the most amazing women I have been blessed to know for the last decade, Natalie Benhayon. Each celebration was conducted with such tenderness, care, love and divinity. The ceremony of these touched me deeply and felt as though the ripple effect of the words spoken by Natalie Benhayon, and those spoken by the bride and groom in each case, had a far greater purpose than their union – one that was a union of us all who were there, and beyond – and what was significant about this was the way I felt during and after these celebrations…

It felt like we had all been married that day – and we were all connected to a deeper purpose and commitment to each other as one big family.

I felt I had been touched by velvet, graced by the absolute beauty and divinity of all who were there, held, and honoured by the bride and groom, and by Natalie. I felt that something deep inside me had dissolved: a hard block of ice that had always been there, particularly at traditional wedding ceremonies in the past, had melted in the beauty and absolute care that each of these ceremonies was held in.

In the days that followed I felt more confident in myself and more accepting of those around me in the world; I felt part of a greater whole, a bigger family, and that feeling has continued to bless me ever since.

I also realised there is a greater purpose, another way for wedding celebrations, where we can make each wedding about humanity as a whole.

Opening up to the greater intention of a wedding ceremony, to the integrity and simplicity it is organised in, to the feeling of everyone working together before, during and after, confirms there is another way.

If the ripple effects these recent wedding celebrations have had on me are anything to go by, then the ripple effects for us all in future wedding ceremonies could be far reaching.

Thank you Universal Medicine, Serge Benhayon, Natalie Benhayon and the many Universal Medicine Students who have shown me there is another way: I am constantly inspired knowing there is far more to life than meets the eye – and that traditional ways are not always the best.

** These celebrations were conducted after a legal civil ceremony and were a celebration for the bride and groom and their whole community of their marriage within their chosen religion, The Way of The Livingness.

By Jane Keep, UK

References:
(1) http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/marriages-in-england-and-wales–provisional-/2012/sty-marriage-facts.html
(2) http://hitched-wife.org/wedding-facts-economics/summary-stats/each-year-uk-weddings-are-worth-10-billion-pounds/

Related Reading:
Love – the main event at a wedding
What exactly is the Livingness?
A True Marriage – A New Beginning

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772 thoughts on “Wedding Celebrations and Purpose

  1. Recently I’ve had the joy and privilege of helping with my friend’s wedding. It was amazing, not because of the venue (which was super lovely) or the food (also amazing) but because there was such a sense of everyone being celebrated. No-one was less or more important and it was such fun. It’s an experience that has stayed with me since, not confined to just those who attended but to everyone I now meet – this celebration of people doesn’t have to stay in the past on a particular day but can be brought to each day, expressed differently in response to the situation at hand of course, but the celebration of who we are, that is always there should I choose it and not make any situation bigger than the people in it.

  2. It’s incredible the difference when we allow ourselves to come together naturally as a community to put on a wedding. It becomes an extension to the all rather than an isolated production that serves really only two people. We get suckered into the illusion and fantasy of the ‘weddings’, but they feel empty. They look good, but they are really quite soulless. I have experienced so much more joy and community in the types of wedding that are mentioned here than I have any other modern day extravaganza.

  3. I have been recently talking to a lady I know who has been telling me since the birth of her first son she has been saving every month for his marriage, this is not uncommon from where she is from and intends to spend a massive amount on all her three, inviting thousands of people.
    Its not that she is rich and has money to play with rather she is doing it as this is what is expected.
    I love the fact that that a wedding celebration can involve so many people, though personally I was really pleased to not have an expensive wedding but to instead save money towards a house for me and my husband.

  4. I used to loathe weddings, but having attended some that are now based on the Way of the Livingness, it is clear that my old experience of weddings was nothing like what was possible. Now I know about weddings where the celebration of love is present for everyone in attendance.

    1. When the celebration of love extends to everyone present, this is a true celebration, no matter what the occasion.

  5. The bride and groom can be the focus at a wedding or it can be about the celebration of love, which encompasses all. Recently I went to a birthday dinner where it was the same thing – it was a celebration of love and friendship. We even had helium balloons that said “US”. That is what we were celebrating – all of us.

  6. I love going to weddings where the couple are relaxed and there to enjoy themselves and everyone. Sometimes some weddings have a stressed and superficial feel to them. I have been to a few weddings lately and they have been very natural, relaxed and a great celebration of the couple and all who are in their lives.

  7. No wedding provides a guarantee regarding the future in terms of well-being and even remaining together. Yet, the quality you walk into it is key regarding your future well-being if you honour yourself and that is key even if the marriage collapses since it helps to generate an honouring quality too if there is a decision to walk out of it.

    1. Very wise words Eduardo. The quality we live and emanate is key in all areas of our lives, and sets the abiding standard for an either solid or shaky foundation.

  8. Jane, this is so beautiful in what you have shared – it is a blog to show that we can indeed break away from the usual rigidity of how we might think something has to be (like a wedding ceremony) and actually allow for a more natural way of celebrating in a way that includes everyone. There is a natural way for everything, but sometimes we have allowed outer influences to flavor how we do things, and it is time to let all that go and allow for our inner to be expressed fully – and when this is done, then we learn how much more beautiful this is, how much more inclusive this is, and how much more we hold all as the points of celebration that they are.

  9. With out Universal Medicine so many relationships would have gone pear shape, I am sure mine included, what I have learnt at workshops presented by Serge Benhayon have helped me to set the standard so my relationship is about love first. With out this a basic foundation we are always going to be behind the eight ball.

    1. I agree Samantha it really is about making it about love first and that builds the true foundation of relationship. Starting with self love first and reflecting that in a relationship.

  10. “It was a very inclusive feeling to be part of this loving family group. The wedding ceremonies weren’t just about the bride and groom – they were about all of us, they were celebrations of us all!” This sounds so beautiful to behold. My experiences of attending weddings have not been anything close to this. I can imagine the wonderful feeling to be embraced as one of the family and not overlooked for being a mere celebratory guest.

  11. “It felt like we had all been married that day – and we were all connected to a deeper purpose and commitment to each other as one big family.” What a truly exquisite gift for all present to receive, a new marker for humanity.

  12. I have been to many weddings, not so much recently, but I recall most of the weddings have been arranged based on pleasing others, or living up to the families expectations, making it all about the image and what it looks like. Making it so stressful for everyone involved. These weddings sound like very joyous occasions, where there is sharing, warmth and a celebration of the commitment that the two people are making on behalf of all.

  13. Wedding are so much fun if we make them about love first and foremost and then everything else just falls into place.

  14. There is such a simplicity in love that needs no pomp or ceremony. It is when we are driven by the ideals and beliefs that we are offered complication and drama that is far from what is true.

  15. You could not find a more succinct metaphor for how we are in life. We stress and strain and push and drive all in order to have a ‘special day’. Yet the result is so often not that. The Way of The Livingness and your words here Jane show us there is another way – marry every moment of your day, make every minute sacred and the wedding will simply be reflective of all the beauty you have said yes to. There is no short cut that can divorce us from what we choose.

  16. “It was a very inclusive feeling to be part of this loving family group. The wedding ceremonies weren’t just about the bride and groom – they were about all of us, they were celebrations of us all!” Witnessing the inclusivity of such a wedding feels amazing – unlike most ‘normal’ wedding ceremonies.

  17. A celebration for all and not just a person or couple .. now that is my type of Celebration ✨ I have attended several weddings like this and the feeling amongst everyone is so very lovely and the day so very simple and joy-full.

  18. Jane, I love reading this about the recent wedding ceremonies you attended; ‘the integrity and simplicity it is organised in, to the feeling of everyone working together before, during and after, confirms there is another way.’ It feels very beautiful that guests bring food and help to set up and tidy up, that everyone works together and so the wedding can be enjoyable and inclusive for all rather than stressful and a huge expense, I love this simplicity.

  19. The weddings I attended in my younger adult years left me sad and almost depressed. They reminded me I was excluded from that love. The weddings I’ve attended in recent years with people I’ve met via Universal Medicine are the exact opposite. They are events where as you say, everyone is included, and joyfully celebrated for the love they are.

    1. Absolutely agree – I used to feel less than, sad, or as though I was lacking something at weddings previously – these weddings left me actually feeling more full, and more connected to myself and others than any weddings in my younger years.

  20. People these days are spending so much money on weddings. Why? Surely weddings ought to not be about how much money we spend but instead how much love and connection there is as well as an opportunity to celebrate each other.

  21. What a lovely re-imprinting of the usual ‘MO’ of a wedding – making the focus about people and the purpose of the celebration of the union and not the ‘trappings’.

  22. The ‘expected’ traditional rituals of weddings can be very restricting, as well as expensive. Weddings where two people come together to make a deeper commitment to each other and with those who are present to support and share in this deepening relationship have no need of the trappings of traditions just a shared expression of love.

    1. The cost of weddings these days can be astronomical. No wonder some couples now choose to go away and get married at their honeymoon destination.

  23. I like the way all the guests were involved in making the day happen. What a joyful way to be part of the couple’s life.

  24. ‘On the day, from the moment we arrived, we were treated with tender care, love, and the kind of attention I might have expected if I were the bride – not one of the guests.’ This is a game changer that reflects equality for all which includes of course the celebration of the two being married…

  25. ‘It felt like we had all been married that day’ – that is so beautiful. That is love shared truly, equally – what an inspiration for future wedding celebrations.

  26. Celebrations: be it a wedding, Christmas and or birthday are an opportunity to share and connect to all and this then is bringing true brotherhood and commitment to the all. That is worth celebrating everyday and offers us all the opportunity to be inspired to be and enjoy each other’s company.

  27. Amazing to break through the beliefs and ideals of how weddings should be. I love how the teaching of the Ageless Wisdom re-imprints the glamour about weddings. That it is about the union between the two marrying but equally about the union with everybody else. More inviting cannot be a wedding, can it?!

  28. It is interesting that everything gets narrowed down to that ONE day in life- the wedding day. The pressure is immense that this day has to become the most beautiful day of their life. The money that gets spent with no wink is extraordinary. What a reduction to a union to only celebrate it one day, joined by the pressure to make it something special. I would rather put the focus on the constellation and its everyday expression and how special that is instead of the one day only to celebrate it. It would be much less expensive as well 😉

  29. When a wedding is celebrating a deeper union and intimacy it is a beautiful and inspiring reflection to be experienced by everyone.

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