In her blog, The New World of Wedding Traditions, Celebrant Tade Credgeur, aka The Marrying Lady (www.themarryinglady.com) speaks about her journey in becoming a multi-cultural and multi-faith wedding officiant in an ever changing world of diversity in Toronto, Canada.
Tade has noted that as wedding couples are increasingly choosing to opt out of traditional church settings and moving more toward non denominational settings, it provides them more options for customizing their wedding ceremonies. As a wedding officiant in Hawaii, I do share her mention of the creative challenge to craft ceremonies that beautifully incorporate the special aspects of a couple’s family traditions into western ceremonies. Like her, there are two or more different cultures to blend and double the creative pressure to create an authentic, but new approach to old world traditions.
Her travels have led her to experience ceremonial rites all around the world and taught her to be adaptable in meeting the customized needs of people from all religious and cultural backgrounds. On her website, she lists the various wedding services she offers from all different types of cultures she works with in and around the multicultural hub of Canada’s largest city.
She writes, “In India, it was a blessing to be embraced as part of the family and learn the wedding traditions and customs during the month-long preparations. Today, I post what I’ve learned on my website share my ceremony scripts for the seven steps taken as blessings in Indian ceremonies with other officiants. I can speak to the Persian, sofreh aghd and the honey ceremony. I have combined the traditional veil and cord rite into the paper-signing for Filipino weddings. I have learned that approaches to tea ceremonies vary greatly between families, even within those of the same background. When introducing the chuppah, I often invite Jewish family members to read about this beautifully symbolic structure and invite them to bring the glass to be broken at the end of the ritual. I then speak to the ancient symbolism of this act.” or She writes, “I originally became a Toronto wedding officiant after experiencing pre-Christian, Celtic, wedding ceremonies called handfastings . Born and raised as a Protestant, but serving in the Catholic Church as a teen, I came to understand which parts are important to Christians when creating religious ceremonies. As I travelled around the world, I attended many Orthodox Churches, and also fell in love with Buddhist Traditions. My Saskatchewan prairie roots have given me insight into performing matedness and blanket ceremonies, in honouring First Nations couples.”blanket ceremonies, in honouring First Nations couples.”
I can see her point in that even though the wedding industry is rife with cultural norms and misogynistic traditions, our world is becoming a place where love breaks down old boundaries of marrying within colours, creeds or genders. Love has no boundaries. Exploring creative ways to celebrate love and commitment is the new wedding tradition. It is the one and only theme that truly binds us together in this world.
Rev. Tade and Celebrants partaking in these important conversations include:
USA: James Chun in Hawaii @oahuminister
France: Michelle Wahila @ruffledbygrace
UK: Jane Blackman @janeblackmancelebrant
Deborah Page @truetoyoucelebrancy
Alexandra Harrison @alexandra.celebrant