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    Weddings, Anniversaries & Occasions

    It is the season for weddings! Let us celebrate the long-awaited and courageously won legal decision that finally brings freedom to ALL people to MARRY, with all the rights and privileges and respect attached to this sacred (and legal) event! Let us honor all the people who have fought for justice over many, many years to reach this time in history.

    I believe we are slowly, sometimes painfully, creating an all-inclusive beloved community in our state and in our whole American culture where all people are treated equally, able to enter into a mutually loving covenant with the person they love, blessed by all and sanctioned by the state.

    Weddings are one of the great joys of my life. I love helping couples discover the essence of their relationship, their beliefs about marriage, and their visions for their future in committed relationship. In the course of working with couples I, of course, have the great joy of hearing their stories! What a gift this is! I mean, what is life but our stories?!

    I also like weddings that help tell a story, in a way: the stories of the two souls who have come together, found their true mate and are now taking the very significant step of taking vows that bind them together for all time. The wedding is just the beginning of the rest of their story.

    As an interfaith minister, I get to co-create weddings, commitment ceremonies, and renewal of vows ceremonies with people from all backgrounds, both religious and secular. We are all certainly spiritual creatures, and deciding to marry brings out people’s deepest spirituality. It is, therefore, easy to help people craft weddings that reflect this as they reveal their passions, their visions, and their love.

    When two people marry, they each bring their unique spirituality to the relationship. As their love and commitment grow, they are creating a union of these two distinct spiritual paths—an interfaith union. The more deeply they share with one another what is personal and precious, the stronger and more intimate their marriage becomes. These are the core beliefs in the center of my wedding ministry:

    There is a sacredness in the covenant of marriage and committed partnership.

    There is tremendous, miraculous power in making vows to share one’s life journey, eternally, with another.

    Thank you for reading the wedding pages in the Bay Times! I look forward to bringing you further thoughts on marriage, telling stories about some of the couples I’ve served and some of the weddings I’ve done, as well as others’ thoughts on marriage as well.  So let me end with a quotation:

    Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of the Universe.

    But let there be spaces in your
    togetherness, And let the winds of
    the heavens dance between you.

    — Khalil Gibran in The Prophet

    Rev. Elizabeth River officiating the marriage of Kathy and Marcy. Congratulations to the new couple!
    Photo courtesy of Kathy Allbright.


    Rev. Elizabeth River is an ordained Interfaith Minister based in the North Bay. For more information, please visit