We are emerging from a hunkered-down Winter, the indoor and solo kind that’s filled with individual endeavors and commitments. Since the launch of our website in January, these other demands sent the Shadow Wedding project to the cold territory of the back burner, where it’s waited patiently for someone to turn up the heat and start some good cooking. Thank goodness for the arrival of wedding season; Shadow Wedding has made it back to the front of the stove, to that big burner with the strongest flame.
The good news is that we’ve gotten a healthy range of response to the Shadow Wedding concept. East Coast family friends took a look at the website and simply could not wrap their heads around it. To them, inviting darkness to a wedding was antithetical to the reason for the event itself. This confirms our hypothesis that our idea is new to the mainstream and may likely be deemed repugnant and undesirable. No problem.
Other friends from around the country and around the world welcomed the idea like a big breath of fresh air. We know a more than a few people have us bookmarked should they get engaged. Jim even ran into a fan: while having lunch with a friend, he was introduced to someone because she does video work for websites. As they were talking, Jim shared about the Shadow Wedding. Her response was over-the-top enthusiastic: “You’re the Shadow Wedding guy? I love Shadow Wedding!” Jim (ever humble) thought she was teasing him. He quickly realized she was serious and thanked her for confirming yes, this is an idea who’s time has come.
And while at a family Bat Mitzvah in November, Jess shared the idea with her 74 year-old cousin — married in the early 1960′s, a retired radiologist, father of two, and grandfather of six. He was intrigued, and later sent her this: “I looked over the site and thought it pretty cool. The only problem I had is that I felt very out of place both in time and culture. My first thought was what if this had been available when I got married? She would have had none of me and I’d be left alone having no one to be grouchy to. See, it’s better to be lucky than good.”
Even though his tone was somewhat kidding, Jess’s heart made a little “oooh” sound as she thought perhaps some part of him believed that if his wife had acknowledged his grouchy side, she wouldn’t have chosen him. In some ways, he nailed it on the head: culturally, we are different. Many of us don’t simply want to accept the foibles of the other in silence, we talk about them. We process them. On a good day, we’re curious about them. And in doing a Shadow Wedding, we chose them.
So now that we’re back in the kitchen, aprons on, knives sharpened, wooden spoons in hand, we’re ready to turn up the heat and get this show on the road — figuratively and literally. As always, we welcome your passing this blog and the Shadow Wedding site along to anyone you know getting married, whether they’re in the Bay Area or not. We’re on a clear and newly-invigorated mission to help marriage be a more complete and conscious endeavor for as many people as we can.