Before the ceremony, I spoke to the bride and groom. Apparently, I was much more nervous than they were. “Well, it’s not exactly the first time we’ve done this,” said the groom, referring to their previous, erroneous marriages.
“Yes, but it’s your last,” I said, and he agreed.
This morning, I woke up and said a prayer to Whomever It Is That I Pray To (aka God, aka the Receiver of My Gratitude, aka the Big Kahuna), and asked for things to go well, and for my friends to have a happy life together. There was a torrential rainstorm today, and as we drove to the bride and groom’s house, I asked for God to please stop the downpour long enough to get from the car to the house, and the Lord obliged, which made my hair happy. I am so thankful to have this clergy certificate. It really seems to be working.
I’d researched vows and decided to adapt (also known as “stealing”) the ones that Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward used. It seemed like good luck, since Mr. and Mrs. Newman were together for over half a century (and made some damn fine movies and delicious salad dressings to boot). Of course, I sprinkled in some of my own words, but seeing as I’ve only had one, fairly awful marriage, I left the sermonizing to the experts. I did add this bit of wisdom that I’d found: “Marriage is not only a commitment between lovers; it is also an agreement between two friends.” To me, that’s what it’s all about. I love the thought of it.
Performing the ceremony was a joy. Imagine sprinkling words of love around friends, and helping to kick-start their new, legal lives together. It made my heart feel fizzy, and it was wonderful to be in a room full of so much happiness. Seeing their faces, and how in love they are, was magic. And I got to be there– not just as a witness, but as a bona fide knot tie-er.
Afterward, Amadeus and my son played music- heavenly, harmonious jazz standards. It was a day of many firsts– their first time playing together, my first time officiating a wedding, our friends’ first day as husband and wife. Champagne and conversation flowed. I took photos and filled out the marriage certificate and ate a lot of cocktail shrimp, and it all went without a hitch. Well, except for the whole getting hitched part, in which hitches are probably important.
What a beautiful day.