I joined a handful of beautiful souls on the outskirts of Wayne National Forest and documented an intimate wedding at golden hour. I was so touched by the incredible ceremony that instead of trying to do it justice with my own words, I will let the beautifully poetic words spoken that day tell the story alongside my photos.
Upon your seats lay a stone. I ask that throughout this ceremony you hold the stone in your palm. May you place in this stone your blessings, your wishes, prayers, hopes and dream for Cait and Daniel as they begin their journey together as husband and wife. I ask that you be mindful of your thoughts in this moment and may your most loving intentions shine from you. Cait and Daniel have asked that at the end of the ceremony, together, as loved ones and family, we cast the stones into the lake. Back into nature, from once they came. For the benefit of all, and remarkably selfless they wish for your prayers and blessings, to be sent back out into the cosmos to be shared with all forms of life.
In gratitude for all our blessings these two souls stand before me with the intention to marry. Marriage serves as a sacred union, a binding of heaven and earth, yin and yang, god and goddess, feminine and masculine. Daniel and Cait wish to seal this union with a ritual exchange of vows, rings and dancing with friends. “The subject tonight is love, and for tomorrow night as well, in fact I can think of no better topic to discuss until the last of our days.” I asked these two to write letters, expressing their love and the reasons why the want to be married in this life. It can be hard to put our feelings into words, but every time I read their letters, my heart burst into tears. Without any knowledge of what the other wrote, they spoke of the same blissful intimacy. The words I share with you today are ripples of inspiration from their expressions. Together Cait and Daniel have built a solid foundation from which the flowers blossoms of marriage will surely bloom. Upon meeting one another, “they slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” Unsure of loves offerings, they went on faith and moved from thinking, to simply feeling. And that feeling is immeasurable love. ”For love is only a word, until we decide to let is possess us like a force. Love is only a word until someone arrives to give it meaning.” Through Cait, Daniel learned that meaning, and through Daniel, Cait understood. Throughout these years they have lifted each other up and watched the other grow into a better human being.
Cait reminds us and I quote : When young trees are newly planted, the wind can force them to lean and cause their roots to grow sideways-ultimately weakening the plant. To prevent this, you put a stake in the ground a few feet out and tie a string from the stake to the tree- the tension keeps the tree straight allowing the roots to grow downward. Your love, Daniel, is my tension string... one day we'll have grown so tall and strong, we will be just touching the sky, blowing in the wind, together. I can not wait to see how tall we grow.
Beautiful words, for a magnificent love. With unyielding encouragement Cait and Daniel have formed a partnership untouchable by time. Their love is as the river, never forgetting its destination is to become one with the sea, a place of profound life and beauty. Through years, droughts, storms, high tides and low, the mountains remain, the trees stand tall and the waves are always arriving, unfolding onto shore. Their love is as constant and consistent as the seasons in nature. And the stars and the moon know that you two sing right in tune. Your hearts beat as one, pulsing with the vibrations of the ever present, universal love. Part of Cait pours out of Daniel and Daniel flows from Cait. They have built a partnership rooted in trust, intuitively knowing that their love is safe in the others arms. From stones to sand, may you gracefully accept and move with your love as it continues to transform and expand. Love is our truest nature, it is the divine condition. We are made of love and therefore love is our way.
Daniel writes and I quote: “She is radiant. Entirely unaware of her own energy and her own potential. She is a flower that has only begun to bud. I cannot imagine how magnificent she will be in bloom, and I cannot wait to see. You have blessed her with a voice that can soothe souls, and a smile that can mend hearts. You have given her compassion, so deep, that even she does not know its true depths. And with these blessings, you have blessed me, and the whole world. You have made her timeless; she is a child who carries all of the wisdom of old men, all of the compassion of old mothers, all of the courage of a young warrior, and the vulnerability of a newborn. I do not know how you did it, but you did, and I am in awe, and you have blessed me, with her.”
May you wake each day smiling in gratitude for the blessing of your love. May your thoughts be positive and peaceful. May you live consciously and healthy. From quarrels may you rise as a phoenix from the ashes, ever wiser and more compassionate. May you always speak kindly and lovingly, knowing that your words are truly gifts. May you love each other unconditionally and infinitely, and may you always see god in each others eyes. Let these vows serve as the seeds of your love, planting them in your hearts. With confidence, water them and watch them grow as they will surely touch the heavens. You may now speak your vows to one another, your promises, your sincerest commitments. And while doing so placing a ring, a circle, a symbol of eternity on the finger of your partner. With no beginning and no end, may it remind you always that you are surrounded by and cocooned in the others enduring love.
With blessings from all life, under the gaze of the Divine Mother, in the name of the great spirit, and by the strength of your own love, it is my distinct honor to pronounce you husband and wife. Daniel you may seal this ceremony with a kiss for your stunning bride.
Marcy Harris Photos is a birth & life photographer based in Canal Winchester, Ohio and available for travel.