(Wedding party and friends walk into the woods, and stand in a circle facing couple. The ceremony is about 15 minutes, plus laughter)
Dear family and friends: thank-you for your intrepid navigating, and for wearing sensible shoes! We are standing here together, because Liam and John have invited all of us to be present to witness and celebrate this public ceremony celebrating the private commitment they have already made to one another.
Let us all support them with our love, and our respect.
My name is Mary Beaty, Humanist Chaplain. I am licensed by the Province of Ontario and the Ontario Humanist Society to officiate at weddings. Humanism is a natural philosophy of life, stating that all people are equal in all ways, and we each have a duty of care and compassion to other people, and to the planet we all share. I am honoured to be here to officiate at John and Liam’s wedding.
Statement of Purpose
Marriage is the promise of hope, between two people who love each other sincerely, who honour each other as individuals and who wish to unite their lives and share the future together. John and Liam have chosen to marry each other as an expression of their love. It took a few years, and a lot of airmiles to get to this event we are celebrating today – so here is a Very Short Story about Liam and John…
A Story in Four Chapters
Part 1. John and Liam fell in love the first day that they spent together.
It was a very nice summer day. John and Liam were with two other friends, and the four played volleyball and then sat drinking coffee at a cafe. Liam payed no attention to John and barely talked to him. However, The first chance he had, John lured Liam away and asked for his email address. Then John returned home to Britain. Thus began a long and very romantic exchange of emails in which John and Liam each patiently waited for the other to make the first move.
Part 2. John takes a plane.
Three years and hundreds of emails later, John returned to Toronto in pursuit of Liam, but returned home empty-handed.
Part 3. John takes another plane.
A year later, John returned to Toronto, again in pursuit of Liam, both of them finally gathering the courage to express that maybe, perhaps, they might possibly consider being together.
Part 4. Liam takes a plane.
On February 11th, Liam and John were united at last, and have since spent nearly every waking moment at each other’s sides. They have embarked on very excellent adventures around the world, and plan to continue this way until they are old and broken and tired.
…this story to be continued…
Liam and John speak to each other
Intention to Marry
Please repeat after me:
I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any lawful impediment why I N, may not be joined in matrimony to N.
Please hold hands and look at each other
Do you, [NAME], promise to be wholly and completely yourself:
to love without judgment,
to be clear when you are angry and infectious when you are happy;
to be electric when he is inspired
and gentle with him when he is fragile,
to be passionate in love and life,
and to live brilliantly beside him until you have both burnt out?
John and Liam’s RESPONSE: I do
Please each repeat after me:
I call upon these persons present to witness that , I [N] do take you [N] to be my lawful wedded husband and partner.
Exchange of Rings
Liam’s nephew Sean presents the rings. Mary asks each person to present the ring to the other, to accept the gift, and place it on their hand, saying “With this ring, I take you into my heart”.
It is with great pleasure, that I, Mary Beaty, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Marriage Act, do now pronounce you, Liam and John to be married!
Signing of Marriage Licence (on the rock)
Liam and John lead the procession back out of the woods