This weekend I attended my first Quaker Wedding. For those not familiar with Quaker ways, it's not a typical marriage ceremony.
First we settle into the silence, as we would at any meeting for worship. There is no minister or preacher leading, only people standing to speak as they feel moved. Often they speak about the couple or simply reflect on marriage in general. At some point the bridge and groom will stand and say their vows to each other and sign the wedding certificate. The worship concludes after about forty minutes with the shaking of hands. Then my favourite part, everyone who witnessed the marriage then signs the wedding certificate.
I think it's a wonderful way of bringing a community together. At least when we planned our (non-Quaker) wedding, having our family and friends there was an important part of the day. We could have just eloped, but we wanted to share the event with those important to us. I feel that the signing of the Quaker wedding certificate acknowledges that we don't just get married, we are often sharing a part of ourselves with everyone there.
We finished the day with a shared lunch, which was perfect. For me the photo captures the joy of coming together as we celebrate our lives.