Got married on October 1st! Still in bliss from that experience. The ceremony itself was phenomenal - earth based ritual incorporating elements of Buddhism and Quakerism.
Our musician friends opened up sacred space with a Lakota song while our two families took us to the edge of the circle and our mothers contributed soil from each family to the vessel in the East (the direction of beginnings and the entrance to the circle). We then entered the circle and began our marriage process. We had an altar at each of the four directions and gave vows associated with each of the four directions (new beginnings and soil in the east, passion and truth and fire in the south, flow and water and introspection in the west, air and death/rebirth and wisdom of the ancestors in the north).
Rather than make "promises" one to the other, we composed together our sense of our marriage vows and took turns speaking them using "we" statements. The "vow" part was phrased in Buddhist terms, "Knowing how deeply our lives intertwine with one another and with all beings, we undertake the practice of . . . .
. . . .waking up in the dream, so that we may always be lucid in the moment.(East)
. . . . receiving everything in our relationship as a teaching meant to open our hearts, and to radiate this love outwards to all beings. (South)
. . . .accepting the ebb and flow and opening to the opportunity for transformation that this provides.(West)
. . . . feeling and releasing in full loving presence, for when we release and let go, we are reborn.(North)
At the end of each vow, the High Priestess rang a Tibetan Singing Bowl, and we said together, "Our hearts and minds are one."
We also went through the process of creating a medicine bundle and symbolically germinating the seed of our love by adding to the bundle the four elements associated with each direction (earth, fire, water, air) and by adding the healing plants to the bundle (sage, sweetgrass, cedar, and tobacco) as we progressed through the circle (these were the altar objects).
When we entered the center of the circle, we kneeled down on a lambskin facing one another and sat in silence in the Quaker style. Then the high priestess who married us sang a Kichwa song calling forth the balance of the divine masculine and feminine as we took turns dipping a feather wand into the bowl of sacred water and caressed and cleansed one another with it while she sang. We ended by asking one another again if our hearts and mind were one before exchanging our rings, then made out to the most exquisite flute song which the High Priestess had composed herself. She then chimed the Tibetan Singing Bowl twice and the audience mirrored back, "Our hearts and minds are one" as we walked out of the circle.
Simply lovely. People should get married more often!