Following is an interview with award-winning wedding officiant Celebrant Michele Davidson by our friends at Modern Weddings.
Modern Weddings – Q: Thoughtful Wedding Ceremonies, tell us why they matter?
Celebrant Michele Davidson – A: In 8 years of ceremonial practice I’ve come to see clearly how couples cross a symbolic threshold during their wedding ceremony. It happens consciously and unconsciously. They leave behind one phase of their life and step forward to walk a new journey together. This is the path of marriage. It will reshape them in ways they can only guess at on their wedding day: marriage is life changing, exciting, and terrifying all at once! I believe that women and men yearn for their wedding ceremony to be alive with their values and backgrounds as well as personality, joy, and heartfelt moments. It should reflect their intentions and hopes for their marriage. They just don’t know HOW. This is particularly true for interfaith and intercultural couples. Engaged couples can get so caught up in externals like flowers, cakes and invitations that the rich inner world on the way to becoming a married couple is often forgotten. The wedding ceremony is not the culmination of a fairy tale… it is the beginning of an important journey. Some people put more thought into visioning their honeymoon than their marriage. Modern Celebrant is a team of wedding officiants who want to change that. Big time!!!
Modern Weddings – Q: Why are many wedding ceremonies today devoid of emotional richness and personal meaning?
Celebrant Michele Davidson – A: Hmm… honest answer is that couples are often unable to find an officiant who can seamlessly meld their personal narrative with time-honoured wedding traditions. The lower mainland is a changing demographic, with people marrying between cultures and faiths. Very often the officiant in one tradition will not perform a ceremony that includes the other faith. It’s a bitter pill for the couple and their respective families to swallow. So they end up having an entirely secular ceremony stripped of faith and culture, when this is actually the reverse of what they long for. This is where Modern Celebrant SHINES. We are all certified interfaith officiants, and take very seriously our ability to incorporate different traditions in a respectful and authentic way. Michele, for instance has a strong affiliation for Buddhist and Jewish ritual but is clear on what as an interfaith officiant she can do, and what an ordained monk or rabbi must perform. Recently she co-officiated with two Hindu priests at an interfaith ceremony! The Modern Celebrant team is here to serve our couples, in a way that is deeply profound and meaningful.
Modern Weddings – Q: You say that Modern Celebrant’s style is to ‘Weave the Story of You’. What does that mean?
Celebrant Michele Davidson – A: Storytelling is a reviving art and what is a life together but a story worth telling and telling well? We don’t have a menu of options like others do, because we know that story telling is the organic result of conversations, questions, and good listening. That’s our thing! We work closely with every couple, getting to know them, so the ceremonial process can unfolds both in an organized and an organic way. Couples are always amazed at how our reflections allow them to give voice to feelings that they may otherwise have found hard to express. Fun, quirky, and touching questions bring out rich material. And if they are of different faiths or cultures, we research and integrate those traditions into the ceremony – that is certainly a big distinction of working with an educated and professional Celebrant. With respect to ‘weaving’. We weave together the threads of the couple’s values, beliefs, and life experiences into a beautiful tapestry — We call it ‘The Story of You’ — so that family and friends can understand how the couple feels about each other. We also use their own words often in the ceremony. It is their story after all. Our voice, words, and craft weave it all together.
Modern Weddings – Q: Any parting words?
Celebrant Michele Davidson – A: I want to say this to couples: As the lead wedding officiant here at Modern Celebrant, I promise that your wedding ceremony will be a journey of the heart, a collectively heartfelt experience that will inspire the two of you for years to come. There will be powerful moments when you feel as though time is standing still and the faces of your spellbound guests will show that the very human belief in one true love continues to flourish in our world. Thank you so much!