‘Mawwiage. Mawwiage is wat bwings us togever today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wifin a dream…’
Welcome friends and family. We are here today to celebrate love. Love organizes our large and sometimes unpredictable world. It is that which enshrines and ennobles our human experience. It is the foundation of our life’s highest goal: Happiness.
Please be seated.
In his wisdom, Dr. Seuss said: “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
The love between Jaimes and Brandon has grown over years of dinners and texts, late nights dreaming of and planning for the future, and in treasured moments of both weirdness and deep sincerity. I am not here today to say that this is the start of your marriage. You two have already proven you have what it takes to face the storms and successes of the years. You have a life together that is already long and rich. Today, your wedding day, we celebrate you. We are here to encourage you and delight in the dozens of years that lay before you. So let us all join hands and hearts and give this couple a beautiful memory that will remind them of all the reasons why they have already chosen to spend their lives together as friends and partners, companions, and now, officially, as husband and wife.
A marriage is more than a promise, it is a living thing. This living thing requires more than a promise; it takes a commitment. What is the difference between a promise and a commitment? While a promise is a moment, a phrase; a commitment is enduring. It continues long after the words that will be exchanged today. It endures through hardship and it flourishes in triumph.
It takes work; and some days, the work is easy, it comes as naturally as breathing. Other days, the work is difficult, and it takes every muscle and ounce of will to continue. -You will need to till the earth, the foundation of your marriage, so that its roots may grow strong and deep. -Your marriage will need the waters of kindness and compassion in order to grow tall and strong. -You will need the warmth of sunlight, so that your marriage may enlighten you. -And your marriage will need the momentum of wind, so that the seeds of your happiness can be carried far and wide.
Those of you joining our couple here today are part of that life cycle. Your love for them is present in all parts, the foundational earth, the waters and winds of kindness and support. But as this living thing, this marriage, starts to take root, we must give it room to grow. -Be mindful that advice can quickly become like vines, constrictive and draining. -Be a calm, silent wind when they need to talk to you. -Be a refreshing rain when they have doubts. Flowers bloom when they feel the warmth of illumination. Help them find their light by asking them what they think, or how they feel.
Marriage is a journey. From this day forward, it’s not only about the places you have been. It’s about the place you will go. The incandescent joy you feel today will fade in time, and to keep a marriage long and happy, burning strong and bright, you both need to invest in it and in each other. Buy flowers, make the bed, send texts that say no more than “I love you.” Ask yourself, often, “Have I shown my love today?” Because troubles hides in the idle days, make your marriage an active part of every day.
Commit yourself to being best friends. Friends that share jokes and play games; the first person waiting across the finish line to celebrate life’s successes, the medic to patch each other up after life’s stumbles. Partners who trust one another with their hearts, and friends who recharge each other when the emotional and mental batteries are critical.
Bertrand Russell tells us that for love we need but two elements, delight in one’s company, and great well-wishing for their future. As you can see, this couple delights in each other’s company, and we are all gathered here today with well wishes for their future. I think we can all agree that love is here today.
BREAD BREAKING: Marriage is a tradition far older than any institution, older than any empire, older than any city. Since time immemorial, we have found a special person, and exchanged special words in a special place. It is our first great tradition, and we have honored its ceremony from one generation to the next.
The couple has decided to share in one of the oldest traditions in marriage, a tradition created long before the written word, but so meaningful that it has shaped many of the words we use to describe marriage, celebrations, our homes, and even husband and wife. Jaimes and Brandon have chosen to honor each other, and the tradition and history of marriage, by breaking bread together.
Throughout history bread has been the staff of life, the heart of the home. Bread sustained you and your family, your home was built to house your bread, to make your bread, to protect your bread, you shared it with your guests, and bread is at the heart of special occasions.
So standard is bread that in Russia, “Bread and Salt,” is a common greeting. It is embedded in most “bread and butter” English Idioms, from “Our daily bread” to “breadwinners” and “Breadlines”. “My Lord” derives from loaf, the one who provides the bread, as well as “My lady”, because remember, marriage is even older than bread.
But there is one word in particular that we have used today that best encapsulates what Jaimes and Brandon are to one another. Companion. The word derives from Proto Indo European compound words, “the one you share bread with”. How beautiful is that word, that idea. That your companion, the one with whom you choose to spend your life is the one with whom you choose to share that which gives you life; your bread.
So, Jaimes and Brandon, as you break this loaf of bread, you are promising to sustain one another’s heart, as this bread sustains your life.
You, Jaimes and Brandon, are not only promising to sustain each other. You are also promising to add richness and flavor to your lives together, as we add richness and flavor to your bread.
: Spread butter over your bread to soften the rough edges of life.
: Sprinkle salt over your bread, promising to fill your life together with flavor and adventure.
: And finally, pour honey onto your bread, vowing to always make life sweeter for each other.
Jaimes and Brandon, as you share your bread with one other, remember that you are companions, from days long before this one until days far longer after.
If I may have the rings?
Of all the things this couple has chosen to bring together to celebrate this day, their wedding day: this gorgeous dress, this beautiful venue, you, dear Family and Friends, and even me; it is these rings that will touch every day of the rest of your lives together. So what you have chosen to keep on your hand from this day forward, symbolizing your partnership, has a very special place in your heart. Before you realize it, this ring will feel like a part of you; but better. When you’re nervous or upset, you will reach for it, as one might reach for a shield. It will catch your eye during mundane tasks, and it will make you smile as you remember something funny they said or did. You might feel lonely at times, but when you feel it snug around your finger, like a constant hug, you’ll remember you are never alone.
Jaimes, the gold in this ring represents all the reasons you and Brandon love one another. Gold has a warmth that goes far beyond its hue. White or yellow, gold captures the harsh light of the world and reflects warmth and comfort, just like you. Gold conducts electricity and recharges us, just like you recharge each other. When the first astronauts turned their eyes to gaze upon the wondrous bodies in space, closer than any other human being before them; it was through a sheet of gold. Gold is so enduring, that even when it is hammered to its thinnest, it offers us protection, as you vow to always protect each other, realizing your strength even when it feels like your weakest.
Brandon, your band is of tungsten. The stubborn old man of elements if there ever was. Originally discovered in wolframite, it took four years for chemists to figure out how to get it hot enough to isolate. Since then, that stubbornness has become its greatest strength, and when we want something that can withstand the highest of heats, or the grittiest of jobs, we look to tungsten. And when we want to freeze time, to remember a moment, such as this moment, for the rest of our lives, we wear it on our third finger. Every time you look at that ring, it will look exactly like the very first time you put it on. Remember that your relationship with Jaimes has that kind of strength, and its beauty is just as enduring.
As you place your rings around your companion’s finger, remember that you are giving them a part of yourself, one that they can always keep with them for comfort, protection, and joy.
Together, repeat after me.
Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. (exchange rings)
The pen I am about to use will make this marriage a legal entity, but we already know that long ago your hearts made this marriage a reality. We have just one more point of business.
Jaimes and Brandon, it is my great honor to now pronounce you partners for life.
I believe there is some tradition of a kiss?
Ladies and Gentlemen, please give it up for Jaimes and Brandon Lee!!!