Yes, that's me in the middle! I didn't take a lot of photos, as I was mostly standing around being beamy-happy, but did have the presence of mind to hand my camera over to Dude M for the ceremony. There's some more photos in this Flickr Set.
I'm sure you have questions, so here's some answers:
- Yes, I can perform weddings.
- This was my first time, though.
- Back in the 70's, but since I no longer have that documentation, I got recertified for this event.
- The Venerable Evan M. Nichols.
- M is the son of R, the long-time partner of Dude M (Dude M had always said that if he got married, he'd want me to perform the ceremony). M and A weren't affiliated with a church, and thought it would be cool for me to officiate.
- The text of the ceremony is shown below.
- No, I didn't hook up with any bridesmaids.
- The ceremony went very well, thanks. The weather was a bit hot, but we kept the actual standing-in-the-sun part brief.
- The bride and groom wrote their own vows.
- Having experience in Theater helps when speaking outdoors with a busy street near by.
- All in all, it was a joyous afternoon, the kind that makes one's heart feel all open and overflowing with love.
If you want to know what I said, here's what I prepared. I cribbed some of the lines from various examples, but I thought it was suitably brief and meaningful:
Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the joining of M___ and A___ in Marriage. It's a beautiful day for a beautiful event; the declaration of love and devotion between two people. We are here for this event because all of you are M___ and A___’s community, and each of you has played some part in bringing them to this moment. This is why gathering as a community is such an important part of a wedding ceremony. You will also support and contribute to their relationship from this day, and so we gather to see them take a new form in their community; as a married couple.
M___ and A___, in front of those who are gathered here, you will start a new chapter in the adventure that is your lives. In marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously into the care of the one we love, and in doing so, each of us receives the love and trust of the other as a most precious gift.
Marriage will challenge you to grow in ways that no other relationship will. If you let it, marriage will expand you as individuals, allow you to heal old hurts, and take your place as adults within your community. To be successful, it takes strength, courage and patience. But the rewards of marriage are great. May you find joy in your new life together. May each day be filled with love. And may each year be better than the one before.
The Symbol of Marriage is a wedding ring. A circle, without beginning or end, it signifies the commitment two people have made to each other. The ring is the reminder that even when you two are in different places, you are not alone. While the ring is a symbol, your vows are a statement. A statement of your commitment to each other, one that can shape how you grow your relationship into your new life. Now I will ask you to read your vows to each other. M___, please read your vows to A___.
A___, please read your vows to M___.
Now, please present the rings. M___, put A___'s ring on her finger. Do you M___, take A___ to be your wife, in a manner true to, and in keeping with, your vows to her?
A___, put M___'s ring on his finger. Do you A___, take M___ to be your Husband, in a manner true to, and in keeping with, your vows to him?
Then so sworn, before this assembly of those who love you, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss each other.
Dear Friends and Loved Ones, I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. O____!