In case anyone was there and couldn't hear, or was simply curious as to what was said, I wanted to post up the words of the ceremony from my sister's wedding this past weekend. We couldn't have had a more beautiful day for it. Jason's face, when he was Lily in her dress at the other end of the aisle, made me damn glad to have him as my brother-in-law. It's obvious that they love each other completely, and I suspect they'll make it all the way through. (By the way, that's me in the picture standing behind the bride and groom - I was up on a milk crate, as Lily is about 6 feet tall, and I am, well, not.)
Lily and Jason gave me an example of the sort of ceremony they wanted. We had to walk a line between his side's Christianity and my side's general heathenism, and I think I managed to pull in what they had in mind and tie it all up together. I dialed the pomp and ceremony WAY back, reworded most of it, threw out any references to possessing each other, and here's what we got:
(Dad and mom walked her down the aisle, one on each side. When they got to me, I asked, "Who brings this woman here?" and dad answered, "Her mother and I." He could hardly speak. I then asked, "And whose blessings does she carry?" and mom answered, joyously, "Her family's." Then they kissed her and sat down and Lily and Jason faced each other.)
Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to celebrate the joining together of Lillian Rose Moon and Jason Thomas Hartman.
There are many things to say about marriage. Wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls has come our way through all beliefs and from all cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and shared. Though we are unable to give all this wisdom to these two who stand before us, we can hope to share with them the knowledge of love and all its strengths. We can anticipate the wisdom that they will discover with time and share with us in turn.
The law of life is love unto all. Without love, life is nothing. Love brings on birth and redeems death. Love fuels creation and gives form to the world. If we learn no more in life, let it be this. Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable time and reflection. As with all unions, it has its cycles, its ups and downs, its trials and triumphs. Understanding this, Lily and Jason have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.
Please join hands with your betrothed and listen to what I say. Above you is the wide open sky and below you is the Earth, and as time does pass, remember:
Like a stone should your love be strong. Like the north star should your love be constant. Let the powers of your minds guide you in your marriage. Let the strength of your wills bind you together against all troubles. Let the power of love for each other make you happy. Let the strength of your dedication to each other make you inseparable. Be close, but allow space for growth. Be bound as one, but be understanding of the differences that arise. Have patience with each other - storms will come, but with your cooperation you will pass through them safely.
Be freely affectionate and warm. Have no fear and be calm in the face of unease, because the blessings of this day will go with you always. Do you have the rings?
(Each turned to their second - our sister Jessie for Lily and his brother Chris for Jason - and took their rings.)
Jason, do you take this woman, standing next to you here in front of friends and family, to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Jason: I do.
Please place the ring on her finger and tell her how you feel.
(He did, and his hands were shaking. He's a soft spoken guy, and many people told him beforehand to really speak up so they could hear. I told him, as long as Lily knows what you say, that's good enough. I wish I had his vows to show you, but I don't. I do remember that he spoke of his love and then said he'd adore her even when she wears heels and he has to stand on a ladder to kiss her.)
Lily, do you take this man, standing next to you here in front of friends and family, to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Lily: I do.
Please place the ring on his finger and tell him how you feel.
(Her hands were no steadier than his, but you could hear the truth in her voice when she pledged to spend her life with him. Also, she promised to give backrubs and learn to make the best brownies ever.)
May you drink your fill from the cup of love.
(I handed them a small glass of wine, and they offered each other sips and then handed it back.)
By the power vested in me by the State of Florida and the will of those gathered here, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Brother, you may kiss the bride.
It couldn't have been better.