My Dad, an Episcopal priest, is performing our upcoming wedding ceremony. It's all kind of a big deal 'cause I declared myself agnostic at age 14 and haven't had much to do with church ever since. And 'cause my first marriage took place at the York County, SC courthouse, no relatives in sight. Now understand, the whole wedding is making my family laugh to begin with: tons of people, country club reception with an honest-to-goodness wedding band (the Fabulous Kays) and uniformed waiters, dresses ordered months in advance ... but one cousin said if the communion wafers came out she'd just know the real me had been abducted by aliens and she would just have to leave.
But I'm having way more fun designing the ceremony than I ever thought possible. The consummate project manager, I, of course, delegated task coordination to two dear friends perfectly suited for the task. And they diligently compiled sample welcomes, vows, homilies, and poetry for our perusal. (Our family's 16 year old friend subsequently found the first poem I'm definately using, e.e.cummings.)
The most fun is the exchange of ideas I'm sharing with my Dad ... about marriage, religion, spirituality, the nature of God ... Are we god-like or are we God? Is marriage a divine gift offered by God in our effort to get closer to God's presence? Or is it a human inspiration celebrating a human union with spiritual components? What's the purpose of ritual in our human existence? What's the purpose of religious ritual?
I haven't had these conversations with my Dad in ages & ages, maybe since I was 14. He's a brilliant theologian, with a strong command of Christian history and the history of Christian thought. And it's all a fun surprise side-effect of the whole getting-married thing.