It was my first group wedding. I imagine that it was a first group wedding for the couples, too! We were at Windows Off Washington and a light snow was falling outside. There were seven couples standing in front of me. None of them knew the other couples present, but when the brides and grooms looked into each others’ eyes, it really didn’t matter. What did matter was that they had chosen to be there together, ready and willing to commit their lives to one another.
Shortly after noon, the ceremony began. Among other things, I shared the following thoughts with them:
This is not the first time St. Louis has seen a group wedding, and I would be willing to guess it will not be the last. By participating in this wedding ceremony, you join with a growing number of couples from all over the world getting married in large, public ceremonies: from Santa Ana, California to Baghdad, Iraq; from Gaza in Palestine to Beichuan in China; from 30 Navy and Marine couples this past June to a gathering in Soulard yesterday– mass weddings are becoming just one more way to say “I do!”
But no matter how you say it, where you say it, or what you spend on your wedding celebration, today is one of the most important days of your life. Yet we all know that, as important as this day is, what is most important is how you will choose to live out the vows you take today.
And so they said their vows, exchanged rings, and began married life with a kiss, a dance, and a glass of champagne. Families looked on from the sidelines, snapping photos and cheering the newlyweds.
Not a bad way to spend Valentine’s Day, eh?