This was due in no small part to our officiant, Katie, a family friend and socially progressive minister. She opened with a welcome, including the following words:
As we celebrate this marriage today, the covenant promises that these two will make and the rights and privileges that will be offered them as a result, we are ever mindful that there are loving couples to whom these privileges are not offered. Econo Boy, BiE, and I celebrate this moment with the hope that marriage might someday be an institution recognized by both church and state for all couples who would make the promises of living their lives together.Then she read us the declaration of intent, the "I do" questions. Econo Boy went first, and I was so spellbound by those words that when my turn came, Katie had to prompt me with a little smile and nod -- "Do you?"
Yes, I do.
Katie then read a homily she'd written, with 3 new R's for these two academics: Recognition (of our differences), Reverence (for the promise we'd made to one another), and Ritual (shared traditions binding out lives together).
And then the vows. I handed my bouquet to Supermaid, and took my fiance's hand.
Econo Boy almost cried, but managed to hold it back to just a few sniffles. And when my turn came, my voice suddenly broke. For a moment I thought I wouldn't be able to say those words back to him, that my throat was too closed with emotion and that I'd have to whisper them. But my voice came through, wobbly and soft and not at all like my usual public speaking voice. But Econo Boy could hear me.
When the vows were through, we beamed at each other, clutching hands for dear life, and instinctively, we leaned in to kiss -- stopping ourselves just in time. Katie laughed, and so did our family and friends. "You can kiss if you want!" But we held off until after we exchanged rings and Katie presented us as the newlyweds.
Katie gave the benediction and blessing, the string quartet started up the "Hornpipe" from Water Music, and we turned to go down the stairs, but then I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder.
Supermaid: "Uh, sweetie? Do you want your bouquet back?"
Me: "Oh, yeah!"
And down the aisle we went, married, glowing, and complete with bouquet.