Opening Words

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Lilli and Kevin. They have come here today because they share a commitment to nurturing the love between them, and to maintaining it as an integral part of their lives. For Lilli and Kevin, the Merchant’s House Museum was the perfect place for them to have their ceremony. Kevin and his family have a strong connection and a rich history with New York City, going all the way back to when it was called New Amsterdam.

One of the first recorded marriages in Queens was in the mid 1600’s and that couple were the ancestors of Kevin. This house wasn’t always a museum, it was a home where real people lived and loved and raised their family. As the world changed around the generations of those who lived here the ideals of love, and home and family remained the same as did the promise of marriage. For marriage is a gift and a blessing that takes a conscious act of will to maintain. This is done over and over as a couple reach for one another in spirit so often that it becomes natural for them to do so before taking action or making decisions.

This interweaving of spirit has the aspect of strength that two joined together brings, as well as the vulnerability that comes with trusting one another with all the intimacies of self that make you each unique and wonderful in one another’s eyes. Marriage is a promise that says “You will always come first in my life.” This is an ideal that Lilli and Kevin already live by. Yet there is something about making their promises of love and faithfulness publicly that truly makes their marriage real, and brings them more joy than words can express.”

Declaration of Intent

“Today we speak in terms of ideals. However this ceremony also needs to have a practical side that speaks of how as the years pass Lilli and Kevin shall remain close to one another in spirit. It is with this in mind that I will begin by asking you to make your promises together….

Do you pledge to one another your openness and honesty, That your love for one another shall be in the foreground of your thoughts always, guiding your actions, and that you will leave no parts of self unknowable to one another?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Do you pledge to continue to love one another wholly and fearlessly, that you will share in each other’s laughter, and work together to spark creativity and inspire passion in all aspects of your life together?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Do you pledge that you will always be there to comfort, soothe, and heal one another, that you will stand together when the future is unclear, proving that times may change but your love is constant?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Do you pledge that your home will always be a place of warmth and welcome, a safe haven and sanctuary to body, mind, and spirit, that shall sustain and nourish your roots as you grow into all that is and shall continue to be your life together?”

Lilli and Kevin: “We do.”

“Living by these promises that you make today, may your lives together be blessed with love and laughter, wisdom and wonder”

Welcoming of the Guests

“Lilli and Kevin would like to thank you all for taking the time, and making the journey, and for all the preparations that were made on their behalf to ensure that they were surrounded by the love of family and friends as they made their marriage vows. It is also their wish that we remember Kevin’s parents Clifford and Marie Geiger, and all those who although they could not be here physically, we know are here in spirit, wishing Lilli and Kevin a lifetime of happiness.

Tonight’s gathering was planned to be a particularly intimate one, with each one of you invited because of the special place that you hold in Lilli and Kevin’s hearts and lives. For Lilli and Kevin this ceremony isn’t about all the pomp and circumstance that a wedding traditionally inspires. It is about being married and marriage in the larger sense has always spoken about family and community. It is with you that they have shared the most important moments and relationships of their lives. Born or chosen you are those they call family, and those whom they love most in the world. That you have chosen to come here and make sure that you were the ones, who would be able to hold the memory of this most special of all days in your hearts for them… this means the world to Lilli and Kevin. They thank you for your presence here today, and through all the days that it has taken to make this one a reality.”

Lilli and Kevin

“As many of you know Lilli and Kevin have been together for seven years. Actually it was Nikki, Cody and Woofie that brought them together. There really is something about the way that a person cares for their animals that reveals the quality of their character. Lilli had caught glimpses of Kevin on the street before they met, and had felt an instant attraction to him. As they got to know one another her fondness grew into love. For Kevin, he saw Lilli’s huge heart with it’s generosity of spirit and ability to love being so great that it was almost as though he could see it with his very eyes. He knew she would be kind and caring as he knew that she was someone that he wanted in his life. Although neither of them were expecting to fall in love, there was a connection so strong that it was as though they had been made for one another. It is said that “like attracts like” and there is no doubt that Lilli and Kevin were both ready to give and receive the unselfish and unconditional love they were offering to one another.

They have come a long way since those early days and one of the things they appreciate most in their relationship is the way they have of complementing and balancing one another. Where Lilli is possessed of a passionate and fiery spirit, Kevin’s Nordic ancestry gives him a sense of calm and cool, which when they are together makes for the perfect temperature for good judgment. They know when to be serious and when to have fun and have found that together they are both better than either was alone.

For Lilli and Kevin marriage is the next step in the natural progression of their relationship. It shows their desire to care for one another in all ways and their commitment to continuing to evolve together spiritually and emotionally through the seasons of life. Marriage is a promise that joyously and publicly affirms what Lilli and Kevin have known in their hearts for some time… that they are of one spirit and today they accept personal responsibility for making all the right decisions to ensure that it will stay that way.”

An Excerpt From:“Elonora”

by Edgar Allen Poe

“Being fans of Edgar Allen Poe, Lilli and Kevin have chosen to share with us a reading from “Eleonora“, first published in 1842. They liked that the time period was consistent with our surroundings, that it is “somewhat autobiographical” and has a “relatively” happy ending for Poe!”

“Hand in hand about this valley, for fifteen years, roamed I with Eleonora before Love entered within our hearts. It was one evening at the close of the third lustrum of her life, and of the fourth of my own, that we sat, locked in each other’s embrace, beneath the serpent-like trees, and looked down within the water of the River of Silence at our images therein. We spoke no words during the rest of that sweet day, and our words even upon the morrow were tremulous and few. We had drawn the God Eros from that wave, and now we felt that he had enkindled within us the fiery souls of our forefathers. The passions which had for centuries distinguished our race, came thronging with the fancies for which they had been equally noted, and together breathed a delirious bliss over the Valley of the Many-Colored Grass. A change fell upon all things. Strange, brilliant flowers, star-shaped, burn out upon the trees where no flowers had been known before. The tints of the green carpet deepened; and when, one by one, the white daisies shrank away, there sprang up in place of them, ten by ten of the ruby-red asphodel. And life arose in our paths; for the tall flamingo, hitherto unseen, with all gay glowing birds, flaunted his scarlet plumage before us. The golden and silver fish haunted the river, out of the bosom of which issued, little by little, a murmur that swelled, at length, into a lulling melody more divine than that of the harp of Aeolus-sweeter than all save the voice of Eleonora. And now, too, a voluminous cloud, which we had long watched in the regions of Hesper, floated out thence, all gorgeous in crimson and gold, and settling in peace above us, sank, day by day, lower and lower, until its edges rested upon the tops of the mountains, turning all their dimness into magnificence, and shutting us up, as if forever, within a magic prison-house of grandeur and of glory.”

Presentation of the Rings

“May I have the rings please?

Officiant is given the rings

These beautiful bands are unbroken circles, symbols of eternity, with neither end, nor beginning. They are to remind you not only of the endless love you profess for one another this day, but of the precious gift of trust, honesty and commitment that you place in one another for all of your tomorrows. Lilli and Kevin, from this day forward you will wear these rings as a sign that no matter where you go and what ever you do, there is someone in this world who loves you more than anything else, who whether near or far is always by your side. May these rings forever shine as a symbol of enduring strength and beauty in a sometimes fragile world.”

Ring Vows

“Kevin do you give yourself to Lilli in marriage to love as your wife and best friend from this day forward? Do you promise to encourage and inspire her, and to comfort her in times of sorrow and struggle? Do you promise to love her in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when your love is simple, and when it is an effort? Do you promise to cherish her and to always hold her in highest regard, today and for all the days of your life?”

Kevin: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

Kevin places the ring half way on to Lilli’s finger

“This ring I give you in token of my love and devotion, and with my heart I pledge to you all that I am. With this ring, I marry you and join my life to yours.”

Kevin places the ring the rest of the way on to Lilli’s finger

“Lilli, do you give yourself to Kevin in marriage to love as your husband and best friend from this day forward? Do you promise to encourage and inspire him,
and to comfort him in times of sorrow and struggle? Do you promise to love him in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when your love is simple, and when it is an effort? Do you promise to cherish him, and to always hold him in highest regard, today and for all the days of your life?”

Lilli: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”

Lilli places the ring half way onto Kevin’s finger

“This ring I give you in token of my love and devotion, and with my heart I pledge to you all that I am. With this ring, I marry you and join my life to yours.”

Lilli places the ring the rest of the way onto Kevin’s finger

Pronouncement

“And now that you’ve made your vows and promises of love and faithfulness before these witnesses, and exchanged rings of commitment as a testimony to that love, it is my honor and privilege to pronounce you husband and wife. You may now seal your promises with a kiss.”

Bride and Groom kiss and exit to greet their guests