When Kiera and James got married in November 2011 at the Arlington County Court House, they did so without any of their family and friends present. For us, their family, it was a bittersweet day. For them, however, it was a day they both cherish. So when we pressed them to have a second wedding, there was a certain amount of reluctance on their part. They didn’t want to have another wedding ceremony (been there, done that) and they didn’t want to renew their vows after only having been married for 2 years. In fact, Kiera was not keen to have any kind of ceremony at all until I asked her to think of their first wedding as being for them and this wedding as being for us. And that kind of got the ball rolling and a wonderful ceremony evolved, one that not only celebrated love and union but also marriage as a social occasion that should be celebrated with loved ones.
The vows they exchanged were lovely. I especially enjoyed the promise they made to create a home together filled with loving affection, learning, laughter and compassion; a home wherein they would honour each other’s cherished family traditions and values. There was also a charming “warming of the rings” ceremony, which enabled all of us to be included in the proceedings. Their rings were placed in a small bag and past around. As each one of us received the rings, we were asked to take a moment to give them our blessings before passing them on to the next person. When the rings came back to them, they held our love and hope for them both.
Although I have always been fairly cynical when it comes to the institution of marriage (strange, I know, since I have been married forever!) and have never been particularly moved by wedding fandangos, what I have learned to appreciate is the value of family and true friendship in times when life choices are made. I now realise that it doesn’t matter how big or small the gathering is, what matters is that family and friends are there to support you; and I know that Kiera and James were deeply appreciative of the effort that everyone made to get here.
The heartache of having my daughter live so far away, is somewhat alleviated by the knowledge that she has married into a warm and caring family who I know love her as one of their own.
Most of the photos were taken by Luca Barausse, except for some taken by (Cousin) Bill Leazer which I have noted. I’m posting a lot here because Kiera and James have not seen the photos yet – hope you enjoy them.