Scottadito Osteria Toscana offers a warm, inviting atmosphere for an intimate ceremony in a restaurant. Located in Park Slope, it is a family friendly place: no one will feel uncomfortable here.
My couple had what I consider to be a “perfect small wedding” there. The flowers–gorgeous. The bride–gorgeous in lace; the groom too! The violinist and clarinet player–fabulous. Oh, and they had a cake. (I know cupcakes are hip and cool. But I am definitely a cake-girl: I just think cakes are prettier.) And the scale of everything was beautifully balanced.
Here is their family friendly ceremony–tailored for a spiritual bride and agnostic groom.
Friends, we assemble here to celebrate the uniting of Roseann and Doug in to the holy bonds of matrimony. Yet we are not only present to witness to their vows. We gather to bless their marriage with our support, admiration, and affection.
“Today,” as Jane Hirshfield wrote, “when persimmons ripen. Today when fox-kits come out of their den into snow. Today when the spotted egg releases its wren song. Today when the maple sets down its red leaves. Today when windows keep their promise to open. Today when fire keeps its promise to warm. Today when someone you love has died or someone you never met has died. Today when someone you love has been born or someone you will not meet has been born. Today when rain leaps to the waiting of roots in their dryness. Today when starlight bends to the roofs of the hungry and tired. Today when someone sits long inside his last sorrow. Today when someone steps into the heat of her first embrace. Today, let this light bless you; with these friends, let it bless you; with snow-scent and lavender bless you. Let the vow of this day keep itself wildly and wholly, spoken and silent, surprise you inside your ears, sleeping and waking, unfold itself inside your eyes. Let its fierceness and tenderness hold you. Let its vastness be undisguised in all your days.”
Let us pray: God, we are thankful for the gifts of love and the marvels of this universe. We admit that sometimes we strain our relationships; sometimes we neglect each other. We are only human, and we have flaws. But today we promise to renew our bonds with loved ones; we promise to try to surmount personal limitations. We also seek strength to encourage these nearly newlyweds in health and prosperity. We pray their wills be woven of one design gracefully. And we ask that you sanctify their union in faith and wisdom. Amen.
Roseann and Doug met eight years ago at a poetry reading. Doug felt the tug of attraction, yet repressed it. Two weeks later, as they both walked through Union Square, a prescient friend helped along their fate. A bundled Rosie greeted Doug with a friendly hello. Doug chatted and said, with a touch of cowardice, “good-bye.” Upon rejoining his friend, the friend issued a warning: “if you don’t get her number, we won’t go to the movie.” Emboldened by the light threat, Doug offered his number to Rosie. To his relief, she accepted it.
Their friendship evolved and progressed gradually. Doug worried about their differences, and Rosie needed time to heal. Both wisely knew they had to grow as individuals to enrich the possibility of a long-term commitment. Nonetheless, despite initial concerns and tendencies to be shy, a magnetic force-field kept returning them to each other.
Roseann and Doug, you are able to reconcile any disparities between you. As a couple, you can be silly and serious. You can expose your weird habits to one another. In other words, you have proved you have the skill and desire required to marry many times over.
You show gratitude for each other in all types of ways—whether by doing housework or getting cupcakes. Disagreements are fair and objective. You are willing to change and compromise to abide in calm tranquility. Each has adjusted to the other in the spirit of empathy. You can have fun and be quiet together. You energize the artist in each other. With sympathy, you give one another personal space for restful solitude. And with enchanted allure, you seek mutual companionship once more.
Roseann and Doug, you have invested much in your bond already. Even more auspiciously, you channel the values holding together your bond into your world views. For you, the humbleness of love reveals itself through respectful curiosity. It is intellectual without being arrogant or boastful. It cultivates an understanding of history. It cares for family, community, and the natural environment in equal measures. It is slow to adjudicate and quick to learn lessons. It notices the aesthetic virtues of the sublime and everyday. It resolves conflicts in peace. Love never ceases, but matures.
Roseann, Doug understands you better than anyone else. He knows you to be warm-hearted, generous, thoughtful, curious, affectionate, sincere, patient, reliable, and a talented writer. He admires how hard you have worked to overcome challenges. You are always looking to improve yourself and the lives of those around you.
Doug, Roseann understands you better than anyone else. She knows you to be a good listener, dependable, handsome, smart, thoughtful, creative, sensitive, generous, compassionate, and “a good man.” She is deeply grateful for your encouragement throughout the past years. You are wonderfully supportive and, if you’ll pardon this sugar, inspire her to gain insights about life.
For these reasons and many more, you wish to marry. Indeed, you have chosen to exchange personal vows.
May we have the rings, please?……………………
Roseann and Doug, difficult events have confronted you separately. Although they will remain with you, painful memories are now little more than speckles of shadows from the past. In spite of life’s nonsense, hope brought you here. Faith restored harmony. Inner strength helped you to build creative, meaningful lives. Together, you are home; you are safe; you are loved; and you are blest.
May future years be enhanced by travels to sunny beaches, ancient cathedrals, and centers of urban delights. If it is your fate and desire, may you nurture children in loving-kindness. May you escape the banalities of office work. May you continue to be a comfort onto each other. May you discover truth together. May your imaginations guide you. May you enjoy happiness with honorable modesty. May you enjoy life. May you be each other’s “reality check.” May you grow in knowledge always….
And may God bless you and keep you; God’s countenance shine down upon you and be gracious onto you; God look upon you with kind mercy and grant you peace. Amen.
What you have joined before God may not be torn asunder.
…………..I now pronounce you “husband and wife.”
Signing of the License