We have gathered here today because we love Jamie and Patrick – and we celebrate their love as it reflects our own. That is why we are here – and it is the wonder and the magic of love that it can bring us all together from across a continent to share this day with them. It brings us here today, as it brings this family together; Jamie, Patrick, Adam, Patrick and Hannah. Over great distances, over seemingly impossible obstacles, love has triumphed.
I know that Jamie and Patrick want to thank everyone here for coming and for giving that which is most precious, and which Jamie and Patrick value above all things: your presence in their lives.
Sometimes we can get caught up in symbols, but some symbols are truly meaningful. They are simple, universal and powerful, and they represent that which is most dear: life, and that which is most beautiful: love. We’ll see many symbols this evening: our gathering together; the exchange of rings; the kiss; the raising of glasses; the cutting of the cake; the way we are arranged here before you….
But it’s not all symbols and rituals and ponderous meaning… it’s also a party. And tonight we’ll celebrate the beauty of love and the majesty of life with some good food, some good booze, and some serious boogying.
Reading 1 – Marc Yousey
I like you
And I know why
I like you because
You are a good person
I like you because
When I tell you something special
You know it’s special
And you remember it
A long longtime
Remember when you told me
And both of us remember
When I think something is important
You think it’s important too
When I say something funny
I think I’m funny and
You think I’m funny too
I like you because
You know where I’m ticklish
And you don’t tickle me there except
Just a little tiny bit sometimes
But if you do then I know where to tickle you too
You really like me
And I really like you back
And you like me back
And I like you back
And that’s the way we keep on going
And I like you because
If we go away together
And if we are in Grand Central Station
And if I get lost
Then you are the one that is yelling for me
Hey where are you
Here I am
And I like you because
When I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad
I like you because
I don’t know why but
Everything that happens
Is nicer with you
I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then
I like you because because
I forget why I like you
But I do
So many reasons
On the Fourth of July I like you because
It’s the Fourth of July
On the Fifth of July
I like you too
Even if it was the
nine-hundred-and-ninety-ninth of July
Even if it was August
Even if it was way down at the bottom of November
Even if it was no place particular in January
I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
That’s how it would happen every time
I don’t know why
I guess I don’t know why I like you really
Why do I like you
I guess I just like you
Because I like you
“I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg
Reading 2 – Tim Richmond
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
by E. E. Cummings
Thank you, Marc, thank you Tim.
Patrick and Jamie: Well, here you are. Life sometimes leads us down roads we never expected, to destinations we never knew existed. And it has lead the two of you here; to affirm your love before your families and friends, and to make a commitment to each other for all of the days of your lives.
I want to tell you both what a great privilege it is that you have given me, to allow me to symbolically join your lives together. Patrick, we’ve been friends now for many years, and I’ve seen you deal with good times and bad. And while there have been good times, I’ve never seen you as happy as you are now, I know that Jamie, Adam, Patrick, and Hannah have brought you that joy.
And Jamie, it has been a pleasure getting to know you, and I thank you for making my friend happier than he has ever been. I know that you inspire him every day. It has been wonderful to see the two of you fall in love, and to see how happy you are together.
Since you’ve given me a captive audience, let me wish you both my sincere best wishes in your lives together. May your love together grow every day, and may you always remember the promise you make to each other today.
May you know every happiness and every joy that life has to offer. May the two of you be blessed, and free from misfortune. But should misfortune arise, may you be the love and strength for each other that sees you through to brighter days.
A marriage is built on the strength of the two who build it. The commitment, the honesty and the trust that a lasting marriage requires must be given freely, wholly, and without reservation. Commitment cannot be demanded, respect cannot be forced, dedication cannot be faked, and trust cannot be taken. Just as you each have found the other, and just as you each have courted the other, so too you must now build your marriage with each other.
Jamie and Patrick, tonight you honor a promise you have already made to each other. A promise you made when you fell in love: that you will love one another, support one another, and care for one another. And more, you make a promise to your family, to Adam, Patrick, and Hannah: that your love will encompass them, protect them, and support them.
For all of us here, I offer a blessing:
As you have filled these seats with your friends and loved ones, so too may you fill your life together with friendship and love.
As you have enriched our lives with the strength of your friendship, may you enrich each other’s life with the strength of your passion.
As we have witnessed your character and your commitment, may you always find that same affirmation in your lover’s eyes.
As we sing and dance and celebrate this evening, may you always rejoice in the bond of your marriage.
Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it was like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt that you planned on falling in love with me. We fell in love, despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles we faced. And once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. The best kind of love makes us reach for more, it plants fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that’s what you’ve given me. That’s what I hope to give to you throughout our life together.
So, today I vow to always appreciate how lucky I am to have you in my life, and to try to make you feel as special as you make me feel every day. You’re intelligent, funny, kind, honest and generous. You have brought incredible joy and laughter into my life. You provide a safe place for me unlike anyplace I’ve ever known, and I promise to always provide an equally safe place for you. Every day I am amazed by and incredibly grateful for this love that we share.
Most importantly, you are the love of my life and you make me happier than I could ever imagine and more loved than I ever thought possible.
Time slows as you curl into me
my breath measures softly with yours
the press of your cheek slight against mine
and still touching fingers dance
smiles and whispers slide
one into the other
until your eyes are everything
I see you in moments and fragments
stolen seconds of astonishment.
I swallow myself each time
What stays about you is all
laughter and sighs
and something is lifting inside
Jamie, Before I met you, I thought I knew what love was – but you showed me what love could be: you invited me into your family. And now, Guys, you’re stuck with me. The hokey pokey in the road, the bad rapping, the singing in the shower, the funny stories…. I’m yours and yours completely, and you’ll never get rid of me – I’ll love each of you forever and ever.
Adam, you are smart and funny and kind; you fill my heart with laughter and joy. Patrick, you are smart and strong and agile; you constantly amaze and astonish me. Hannah, you are smart and fearless and utterly irrepressible; you make my soul smile with happiness and sunshine. I love each of you more than I could ever have imagined – I love you even more than you’re embarrassed right now – so you know that’s a lot!
Jamie, I’ve spent years thinking about these words, these vows. Every poem I’ve ever written, every novel I’ve ever read – every bad romantic movie that I’ve watched (no matter how many times!), they were all preparation for this– because everything has always and only been preparation for this; for you.
But still, you catch me off guard. I can’t prepare for your smile, or your laugh… or your eyes and the way that you enclose me….
I prefer you, and your laughter, and the laughter of your children.
To spend my life with you, I would like that of all things.
I love you, Jamie, now, today, and forever and forever.
Patrick Kevin Stephens, do you take Jamie Lynn Dorrian to be your wife? To celebrate the beauty of life and the wonder of love? To love and to cherish her in good times as well as bad? To comfort and support her through whatever trials and sadness you both may face? To laugh and rejoice with through all the days of your life?
Jamie Lynn Dorrian, do you take Patrick Kevin Stephens, to be your husband? To celebrate the beauty of life and the wonder of love? To love and to cherish him in good times as well as bad? To comfort and support him through whatever trials and sadness you both may face? To laugh and rejoice with through all the days of your life?
Take these rings that you have chosen. You’ll wear these rings as you wear your love for each other – openly and proudly.
With this ring, I thee wed.
With this ring, I thee wed.
I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may most definitely kiss the bride.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor and privilege to present to you Mr. and Mrs. Patrick and Jamie Stephens