What Is An Enchanted Wedding?

"We are being invited to move from being in love to loving ... from relationships that are an undertaking of the personality, to unions that are illuminated by the soul."
— Daphne Rose Kingma, "The Future of Love"


In a society where half the marriages end in divorce, where falling in love has been replaced by the "pre-nup", a time when one would think marriage is obsolete, why do we keep doing it? One of the reasons we keep having weddings is the fancy dress party that nurtures our Cinderella-at-the-ball fantasies, choosing form over content. Oprah reminds us: "The wedding isn't the party, the marriage is."

wedding officiant Wedding at
San Geronimo Lodge

We live in a consumer-oriented culture in which more is better — more gifts, more food, more guests, a longer train on the bride's gown. Yet we hunger for ritual and ceremony that are an expression of the spirit, not the personality.

Many couples come to Taos for their wedding saying, "This ceremony is for us." Whether they marry in cut-offs or formal dress, in front of two or two-hundred, they have come to understand that this is an event of the Spirit, an Initiation that will change them forever.

I live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, where Spring is beautiful and unpredictable. As I drove to perform a wedding in the garden of a Taos bed and breakfast inn, I worried about the wind. It was gusting up to 40 miles an hour. I conferred with the Groom and immediate family, who decided to "go for it" and have the wedding outside as planned. The Bride made her entrance, radiant in a pearl-studded wedding dress and veil.

It is always the same and it is always different — this unique journey I take with each couple. In this wedding, there were giggles as the wind tried to capture the Bride's veil and her mother had to reattach it again and again. And there were tears — the Groom was especially emotional, barely able to whisper his vows. At the end of the ceremony, the Bride surrendered to the wind — throwing her veil in the air, like an ecstatic graduate tossing her cap.

wedding in Taos, New Mexico Wedding at San Geronimo Lodge

Later, as my colleague Venus Masci took pictures of the couple, the mother of the Groom said, "They've been together eight years — she's survived cancer." I felt this extraordinary energy moving through me, more intense than the wind that had carried our prayers. And I realized again — what an honor it is to do this work!


If your dream is to join your Groom in a sacred circle after a ride through the woods on a white horse...
         Check out the weather.

If your friends and family are flying to the mountains from sea level...
          Research altitude sickness.

If your "perfect" wedding site is in the woods by a mountain stream...
          Think again about the traditional white dress with a long train.

wedding in Taos, New MexicoMost couples (and all Brides) have nurtured their fantasy wedding — that's why it can be such a magical event. Marrying outside the traditional structure and format offers great adventure and sometimes a little discomfort.

Taos is magnificent year 'round. While it is true that we have sun 300 days a year, we also have rain, hail and snow — often in the same day. These events are usually followed by a magnificent, unforgettable rainbow... and a lot of mud!

So bring the long white dress and hiking boots.

Greet your family with bottled water (margaritas can come later).

If you're open and flexible and understand that the unexpected storm is always followed by a magnificent rainbow, you will not only have your magical wedding as Bride & Groom, you will begin your first day's training as a married couple.

- Reverend Jewel Howard

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