I had the pleasure to be witness to Raines and Betsy’s quaker wedding. Their was no celebrant we all sat quietly and they came in and sat at the front under the chupah. Then one of the quakers opened the meeting and said we would all sit quietly and wait for Betsy and Raines to say their vows and then sign the certificate. Once they did this then people arose as moved by the spirit to share thoughts. Then once it was over we all got to sign the certificate.
When I thought about it more and this blog post I came to think of it as a peer-to-peer wedding. Their union is real because we were all there to watch it happen – not because someone in ‘authority’ said it was so. I think of the social web we are building a bit like this. It is also more like how informal economies work – people own things (houses, trees etc) because everyone knows they do not because they have a piece of paper that says they do from a government ‘authority’.