The setting? A semi-private alcove on a Brooklyn pier near the luxury rentals at 184 Kent Avenue and East River State Park in Williamsburg.
The ceremony? “We want a 5-10 minute ceremony,” the bride wrote me. That’s rather short, I reflected privately, even for a wedding officiant used to couples requesting short ceremonies. To make the decision of what ceremony to use became even more daunting when the pair revealed disdain for anything too romantic. But when they separately e-mailed what they loved about one another, I smiled, and the ceremony congealed. Underneath the pragmatic exteriors resides two people who understand, love, and like each other very sincerely. Here is the prelude to their vows.
Almost eight years ago, Alex’s band advertised for a singer in a British newspaper. Lolita responded. Her singing ability impressed Alex, the guitarist. For nine months, the pair merely remained co-workers. After a hook-up, though, their friendliness began to evolve into an affectionate bond. The ties uniting the band fizzled, but their relationship aged with more grace.
For this musically inclined pair, words are not nearly as consequential as the gestures they reflect. They do not often verbalize how much they cherish each other, but their actions do.
But they finally sufficiently repressed the internal paralyzing alarm ringing in their minds about the inevitable list of sugary ingredients for weddings. And so when they exchange their vows today, the words will not be stale or routine. Their vows will mean something.
And so, here and now, they will express an abbreviated list of reasons to marry.
Alex, Lolita can hardly believe her luck. She loves the way your toes search for her toes under the covers before you fall asleep. She loves that you have brought huge, enormous bucket loads of happiness into her life. You are smart, and you are a master when it comes to encouraging her to do scary things. Although your unending belief in her abilities is weird, she appreciates the confidence boost. Rarely do you reach an opinion without thought. Indeed you are the most considerate person she’s ever met. Perhaps it is in this quiet, unassuming way that you gently compel people to like you. For many years to come, Lolita will watch you sleep, and she considers this a true honor. When you kiss her nose or hug her, all the annoying aspects of life melt away. And she loves the way you have made her a much better human than she was before you came along.
Lolita, you show overwhelming joy towards the simple things in life. You lack artifice and affectations: you are absolutely genuine in your approach to everything. In fact, the diamond ring and limousine that normally accompany weddings do not interest you. Instead, you want to marry Alex. You see beneath the surface to the underlying beauty. You are always fighting against taking anything for granted. With no one else does Alex have so much fun. You never fail to find it hilarious when Alex does something stupid. For some strange reason, even after seven years and to his bewilderment, you still look happy to see Alex. He appreciates how you always want to make him feel good about himself. But most of all, Alex loves you because you are the cutest, sweetest, and loveliest person he knows.