“Today in this place of beauty and in the presence of your love, Kevin and Mike stand before us to declare publicly what is in their hearts. Their choice to become a married couple means they have each found ‘The One’. This is an extraordinary moment in their lives… for neither ever thought they could have what other people did – a spouse and a family of their own. Today is a celebration that this dream will now personally and officially become a reality…”
Kevin and Mike are two gentlemen (and gentle men) from the US. They could not be married where they reside, due to politics and gender bias. So they flew their family and friends to Whistler. Rather than eloping, they felt strongly about being legally married in the presence of the people they love, in a place where they feel accepted. Hawaii is very important to them and they asked that this be reflected in their ceremony.
My opening remarks (above) set the tone for the ceremonial experience… in a subtle way letting guests know that this was a ‘wedding ceremony’ first and a ‘same-sex wedding ceremony’ second (if at all). I see my couples as two people deeply in love. That they are same-sex or GLBT is secondary to me. These special people yearn for their ceremonies to feel deeply human and not to be categorized by some sort of label. While at the same time recognizing the journey they have taken in their lives.
Having had grandparents who lived in Hawaii, I was already familiar with the Hawaiian concept of ‘Ohana”. Because of the couple’s family connection to the islands, I brought in words to honour this very beautiful model of community. I also offered a handjoining ritual, complete with a flower lei made by Kevin’s mom.
It was an incredibly moving classically Modern Celebrant-style story-telling ceremony, with so many elements that included family and friends in the experience. These are my carefully guarded secrets… the ways I work magic for the lovely people I am so blessed to stand with at such an important moment in their lives.
Call me thankful.