“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

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Howdy Y’all,

Something you may not know about me because generally, I keep this shit under wraps is that in my youth, I did like so many other jackasses have done and became a reverend/pastor/officiator through Universal Life Church.

I did this because I thought it would be fun to be able to officiate weddings.

I did not take into account that I FUCKING DESPISE PUBLIC SPEAKING.

I am actually a pretty shy and self-conscious guy (though funny and jovial according to my mom) and being the point of attention for more than a couple of people makes me feel like I am going to die/have a stroke/heart explosion/sweat through my clothes/shit myself.

Needless to say, this is not my favorite feeling.

Unfortunately, my brothers know about my ordination, and as of the 20th of May 2017, I have performed two weddings and have been asked to do three, luckily for me, my brother stepped in for one of them and did it so I could just take pictures of it.

Photography I can handle.

Yes, on 20 May 2017 I acted as the pastor/groomsman for my little brother Sam’s wedding.

Sam was marrying his girlfriend of 5+ years, Stephanie, the mother of his third child, Eden who apparently, finally likes her uncle Chop… a little.

But, this is also the child who smacks herself repeatedly in the head at the beginning of the following video.

So, maybe I am really super cool and she is just a weirdo who doesn’t like awesome uncles.

I still rely on his first and second children for most of the hugs and adoration I receive.

We did a Harry Potter themed wedding which you will see in our clothes though we did not go all out in dress robes and all (thank God… I was hot in a button up and tie).

Ravenclaw Represent!

Honestly, I really wanted Slytherin… they are pricks, but Black and Green is my favorite color combination.

Reminds me of my favorite four dicks from Brooklyn.

Most of the motif was in the reception hall which contained loads of Harry Potter related items and gallons of butterbeer, but there were some things in the ceremony and the church that referenced Sam and Stephanie’s love for the Potterverse.

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One thing that made me happy in this shindig although I thought I fell flat on my face in doing it because I did not receive any sort of feedback was finally getting to perform the Princess Bride Wedding… or at least a bit of it.

There was a small crowd, and many of them were antiquated so,
they didn’t even get the Harry Potter references much less any “As You Wishiness.”

I learned through this new experience that although I was still sweating my jumblies off through the beginning of this performance, having a podium that I can hold on to helped immensely and after they had said their vows, I had even calmed down a bit myself.

Though this one was much longer than my original try at wedding folk, it was much easier to do, maybe I am getting past this stage fright thing… if I have a podium and can grip fiercely and can turn the temperature down to 62°F (17°C for my girl) the night before in preparation.

I hope the best for them and that we are celebrating this day for decades to come.

Maybe if I can talk my girl into it one day, I can make Sam officiate a Discworld/Type O Negtive/80’s movie/Bizarre Foods wedding for me.

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Under the video, see the transcript of the ceremony.

Who gives this woman to be married to this man?

(dad and mom answer)

Wizards and Muggles we are gathered here today to celebrate Stephanie and Sam as they make their unbreakable vow.

I know I speak for most of the room when I say how glad we all are that this day has FINALLY come.

I mean let’s face it, these two aren’t getting any younger, I mean Sam looks like an older, less flexible, on the verge of geriatric, Reed Richards, and it’s not like anyone else could put up with either one of them.

But all joking aside, Stephanie and Sam would like to thank you for coming today and helping to make this day magical.

If you’ll bow your heads, I would like to open today with a word of prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this day, we give you thanks for your gift of enduring love and your presence here with us now as we witness the vows of marriage between

Stephanie and Sam.

We ask you to bless this couple in their union and throughout their life together as husband and wife.

Bless their marriage with happiness and let their home be filled with love, and let that love be an example to their children of what they should strive for.

Keep and guide them from this day forward.

We ask these favors in Jesus name, Amen.

I’ve known Sam for 21 years, we have had our ups and downs as a family will but in all of these years, I have never seen him happier, and I hope one day to find the happiness that he has found with Stephanie.

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I am proud of you both, and I owe Stephanie a huge debt of gratitude for making

Sam less stubborn than he was in his younger years.

I’d like to read you this passage from A year with C.S. Lewis that says:

“If the old fairy-tale ending “They lived happily ever after” is taken to mean “They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,” then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were.

Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years?

What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?

But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love.

Love in this second sense- love as distinct from “being in love”—is not merely a feeling.

It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God.

They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself.

They can retain this love even when each would easily if they allowed themselves, to be “in love” with someone else.

“Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.

It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

Stephanie’s Mammie and Poppy were married for 57 years.

Their love gave her hope that she would find the same love for herself, she never gave up that hope, and partially because of her faith, we are here today.

It is my sincere hope that they always love each other, even when they struggle to like one another.

May they never stop working daily to make it stronger than it was the day before.

May they share happiness that not even Dementors can take away.

Do you Stephanie take Sam to be your lawfully wedded husband?

(I Do)

And do you Sam Take Stephanie to be your lawfully wedded wife?

pause… (I Do)

Stephanie and Sam have chosen to write their own vows for one another

*SAYS VOWS*

Sam: Steph, this is my third attempt at writing this.

My fist draft was excessively long and the second one had way too many vague nerdy references.

Almost 6 years ago, I met you at what I would describe as one of the low points in my life.

I hadn’t seen Corey or Rahiya in months, I had no job, I was trying college yet again and just generally unhappy.

You were the most persistent person I had ever met, and you put in so much effort for me when I didn’t think I deserved anyone of any real substance or value.

A year later and we had Eden, Rahiya, and Corey with us. I was happy… well, as happy as I had been in years.

In the subsequent years, you became an RN, and you pushed me to finish college.

I have now graduated and am trying to get my first paid teaching job… all because you didn’t give up on me at any time in our years together.

In you, I have a best friend that, although we have a big age gap and different interests, we still have tons to talk about daily.

I have a partner that wants the best for our children and a woman that will stand with me, side by side, no matter what.

Essentially, you’re the Ginny to my Harry or the Hermione to my Ron.

But seriously, you’re my light, my direction and the best thing I could’ve asked for.

The kids are blessed to have you, and I’ll be forever grateful that I have you along for the journey.

Before I conclude, I want to tell you that I will forever strive to be the best man that I can for you and out babies.

I love you.

Stephanie: Sam, It just doesn’t seem real that this day is finally here.

It feels like yesterday I drove to meet you for the first time

I’ll never forget the moment that it hit me that I loved you and I never wanted to know a life that didn’t have you in it.

I remember driving to Minnesota, listening to Saosin on repeat and realizing that there was no one else on this earth that could make me any happier.

I remember meeting the kids and knowing that we would be a family.

The came Eden, and as I carried her, I had no idea how much my love for you would grow once I watched you hold her.

I remember all of these things from the last five years, these things are what make up our story.

These last five years have seen so much laughter, annoyance, sass-mouthing and side eye but they have also seen a lot of love.

Today I say these unbreakable vows to the man who holds my heart in his hands.

I promise to respect you and be faithful to you for the rest of my life.

Thank you for always being what I need.

You are the Arthur to my Molly and in 50 years if they say “After all this time?”, I will reply, “always.”

I love you and marriage is but the next great adventure.

Do you have the Rings?

The ring is an ancient symbol, so perfect and simple.

It has no beginning and no end.

It is round like the sun, like the moon, and like arms that embrace.

It is a circle; for love that is given comes back round again.

Your rings are precious because you wear them with love.

They symbolize your commitment in marriage.

They remind you of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.

As you wear them through time, they will reflect not only who you are as individuals, but also who you are a couple.

Sam as you place this ring on Stephanie’s finger repeat these words after me.

With this ring, I seal my unbreakable vow

I ask that you wear this ring to let the world know that you are my wife

I bind my life to yours and pledge my eternal love till Avada Kedavra do us part.

And now Stephanie, as you place this ring on Sam’s finger repeat these words after me:

With this ring, I seal my unbreakable vow

I ask that you wear this ring to let the world know that you are my husband

I bind my life to yours and pledge my eternal love till Avada Kedavra do us part.

The bride and groom have chosen to perform a sand ceremony to represent their joining together as man and wife.

But first, I would like to read a passage from Genesis chapter 2 verses 18-24

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Now out of the ground, the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them.

And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam, there was not found a helper fit for him.

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Then the man said, “This, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

*Sand Ceremony*

Mr. and Mrs. Garvin have asked me to remind everyone that there will be cake and punch in the Great Hall following the ceremony, and they hope that you will join them as they celebrate.

The book of Mark Chapter 10 verse 9 says:

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

So without further ado and by the power vested in me I now (FINALLY) pronounce you man and wife.

You, little brother, may kiss the bride.

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