BRI & JOHN

 
 

Beloved friends and family, fae and trolls and little folk, lycanthropes and elves, time travelers and first cousins once removed, a sweet and magical evening to you all.

We are gathered together tonight to witness the union of Bri and John, and celebrate with them their infectious joy as they dedicate themselves to one another in loving matrimony.

Marriage is the promise between two people who love each other, who trust that love, who honor one another as individuals in that togetherness, and who wish to spend rest of their lives together. It enables the two separate souls to share their desires, longings, dreams, and memories, their joys and sorrows, and to help each other through all uncertainties of life.

I guess that when you just know, you know. And Bri knew. In fact, her exact words were that she practically heard "an audible click," when she met John for the first time, that she felt like this might be her soulmate. Fate had other plans though, as fate often does, and they found themselves out of each other’s lives for four years. But when they ran back into one another again, it was just like yesterday- they reconnected quickly- and let's be honest, Dragon*Con was the perfect setting for the start of their new weird adventure together.

But sometimes two people's personal weirdness is exactly ideal for one another to become a mutual weirdness, and that was what Bri and John discovered that weekend at Con- and when Monday rolled around, Bri drove her tired, bedraggled, con-weary butt an hour across town- (To directly quote John, "Bless her heart,")- and they had dinner together. It was their first official date, and the start of something beautiful.

Though Bri says she was the first to jump at the thought, having not felt a connection so strongly with anyone in her life as she did with John, John told me, "There was one day where I woke up and realized that I wanted to be with Bri for the rest of my years, and that’s all that really mattered."

When I asked Bri what it was that she loved the most about John, her answer was "Freckles! Also, that he's one of the hottest dudes I've ever met. I love that that he makes me feel intelligent, he will let me prattle on about art or color theory or some other obscure thing I am excited about; and he is also super smart. I think he's the only person I've ever dated that I felt like we were intellectually connected and our interests matched up.

"He's incredibly patient with me, and thoughtful, and kind. He boosts my esteem like no one else can. He claims to love my artwork, and encourages me constantly to work on it. He's strengthened my ability to trust. He's made me feel secure and safe.

"He always makes me feel better when I feel low, and always has some clever, sweet thing to say or do to make me feel better. When I was sick, he'd be waiting when I got out of the shower with heated towels and a bathrobe, or if I was just feeling down he'd show up with a favorite dessert or flowers. He brightens my day, every day. Home is where the heart is, and he's definitely home base for me, no matter where we are."

And when I asked John what he loved the most about Bri, he said, "I love her smile, and the little quirk in her lip, and how her eyes sparkle when she’s really happy. I love her art, and I love watching her create. I love that she takes care of me, and puts up with my anxious, crazy self. Bri has made me happy; I’m so much a happier man than I can ever recall. I feel more secure in my own skin with her, and I know that I have someone that I can trust.

"I love that she makes me feels safe. I know that no matter how bad things may seem, no matter how rough of a day I may have had, that when I come home and see her, things are so much better, and that there will always be point of light and joy for me."

Then let us go forward, that you may be points of light and joy for one another for many long years to come.

And now, I would like to invite Bri and John's good friend Sean forward to share with the bride and groom the words of Roy Croft.

[Sean reads:]

I love you,

Not only for what you are,

But for what I am

When I am with you.

I love you,

Not only for what

You have made of yourself,

But for what

You are making of me.

I love you

For the part of me

That you bring out;

I love you

For putting your hand

Into my heaped-up heart

And passing over

All the foolish, weak things

That you can't help

Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out

Into the light

All the beautiful belongings

That no one else had looked

Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you

Are helping me to make

Of the lumber of my life

Not a tavern

But a temple;

Out of the works

Of my every day

Not a reproach

But a song.

I love you

Because you have done

More than any creed

Could have done

To make me good

And more than any fate

Could have done

To make me happy.

You have done it

Without a touch,

Without a word,

Without a sign.

You have done it

By being yourself.

 

Thank you, Sean!

Under a shared roof, partners take on the shared responsibility of caring for one another, and for their Dingoes. It has often times been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and for Bri and John, this is no exception. The sharing of a meal is a ritual unto itself for the two of them, whether it be cooking together, or dining out, discovering new tastes and flavors, or finding comfort and joy in old favorites.

In this way, Bri and John will go on together, nourishing one another, and as such, they have chosen to enact the ritual of the sharing of cakes and ale, that they may bless one another with the wish that they will never go hungry, and never thirst.

"May it be sweet milk, this marriage," wrote Rumi. "Like wine and halvah." I invite you both now to offer one another bites of this raspberry almond tart, which comes from their Saturday morning date spot and was chosen by Bri with great love and symbolism, and sips of La Fin du Monde, which is one of their favorite beers. As you do this, say to one another, may you never hunger, and may you never thirst.

[Bri and John take turns offering one another bites of cake and sips of ale saying the blessing.]

And so you will go together, being nourished by one another, both by the hearth, and in life.

[Long pause for altar cleanup.]

At some point, as it was mentioned on Facebook probably a year ago, I had every intention of forcing these two to surrender to one another, and admit that they they're girls, and they have ribbons in their hair, and they want to kiss all the boys, but we take this wedding thing very seriously.

...Which is why, instead, I'm having them battle it out with boffer swords. No, not really. Gosh.

But you are about to go on a great and powerful, Sam and Frodo kind of adventure, so I'm going to ask you now- are you ready?

Can I get a high five? [Bri and John wedding high-five each other! Badass.]

Bri, John, the words you speak to one another today are a seal, a testament to the bond that you form with one another, and with your families. So too are the rings that you bring before one another this day; Thank you to everyone here who took the opportunity to take part in the "warming" of these rings, imbuing them with their love for the two of you, imbuing them with their well-wishes and hopes and prayers and blessings and dreams for your future together. And now that all of our humming, happy energy is spinning through these rings with fundamental force, let us see them home.

Bri, would you please place John’s ring upon his finger and repeat after me? (Bri repeats.)

I Bri take you John

To be none other than yourself

Loving what I know of you

And trusting what I do not yet know

I will have faith in your abiding love for me

in whatever life may bring us.

John, would you please place Bri’s ring upon her finger and repeat after me? (John repeats.)

I John take you Bri

To be none other than yourself

Loving what I know of you

And trusting what I do not yet know

I will have faith in your abiding love for me

in whatever life may bring us.

These rings, which have no beginning and no end, symbolize the love and trust between you that will never cease. May their presence on your hands remind you of your love for one another and the vows you have just taken. They have been placed on your finger as a visible sign of the promises which have made you husband and wife, and are a reminder that you are together, even when you are apart.

When I asked Bri why it was that she chose to hold her wedding ceremony here, she explained to me, "I grew up in the woods and nature has always been a huge part of my life. My mother once told me if I wished to pray to God, to go out in the woods, because that was the church he built for us, and this is something that has always been important to me. I feel like going out and doing something this important in the woods is a better way to link with the rest of the universe."

In times past, marriages were not often sanctified in a church; rather, they were celebrated by a simple handfasting ceremony in which the two partners joined hands in front of friends and family, just like this. Bri and John have chosen tonight to engage in a handfasting ceremony to commemorate their entering, together, into the union of marriage.

The couple will link hands in an infinite circle, and their wrists would be bound together with this cord, which I braided and beaded especially for them, imbuing it as I went with all my love. This symbolizes the binding together of their two lives into one, and is where we get the phrase "tying the knot".

Bri, John, if you will please place your hands together now, I will bind you together.

[Bri and John are bound.]

Bri, I ask you now, before all those gathered here, do you take John to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you promise to love and cherish him, in good times and not so great ones, when life is shining or when it's caving in, so far as this adventure takes you?

(Bri responds, "I do.")

And John, I ask you, before all those gathered here, do you take Bri to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you promise to love and cherish her, in good times and not so great ones, when life is shining or when it's caving in, so far as this adventure takes you?

(John responds, "I do.")

Then, by the power vested in me by the state of Georgia, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.

(Kiss! ♥)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my utmost honor to introduce to you for the very first time as husband and wife, the Westmoreheads!