First Officiating Experience

As some of you may be aware, recently I had the distinct pleasure of “officiating” (read: asian officiating, as in the bride and groom already signed papers, I’m not religious, and basically I got asked to go up and tell jokes about love) the wedding of a good friend and co-worker. I was extremely honored with the opportunity to be such an integral part of such a beautiful day and, in some regards, want to share some of that moment with you here.

Now, overall this is going to read a lot better than it sounded, since you don’t have me getting all nervous (yes, I still get nervous in public occasions – I probably shouldn’t have been so polite with the champagne) and rapping through the speech like a madman. In any case, prepare yourself for some bad math jokes (in two languages!):

Ladies and gentleman, please get seated. The captain has turned on the fasten the seat belt sign. At this time, we request that all mobile phones and pagers be put on silent for the remainder of the ceremony. Should you need assistance, if you have a mobile phone, your neighbor should be able to aid you. If you have a pager, please come see us and we will find you the nearest time machine to the 1980s. Thank you.

We are gathered here today celebrate the marriage of Prizilla and Neville. If you are not here for that reason, you probably missed the first turn to the golf course down the road. In any case, for all of those who have come to witness (and for all those who don’t want to admit they are lost), on behalf of the bride and the groom, I would like to thank you for joining us at such a momentous day. As French author Marcel Proust once said, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, for they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” You are the people who make Prizilla and Neville’s souls blossom. They are extremely happy to have you here to be a part of this enchanted evening.

As many of you may be aware, the Supreme Court recently has helped us further define the concept of marriage. However, regardless of our opinions on that, I think we can all agree that the concept of love is not ambiguous. Take a look at the person you came with, take a look at your kids (and if you don’t have kids or came alone, take a good look at all the money in your wallet). Love is the mutual understanding, just from that short glimpse, that the best thing to hold onto in life is each other. That’s why you both are standing here. That’s why you all are here to watch them stand up here. It is precisely moments like this that we are reminded that our love is the very best part of our humanity.

And marriage, well, marriage it the sum of that love. That love which one plus one is everything and two minus one is nothing. That love in which you cherish each other today more than yesterday and less than, well, less than or equal to, tomorrow. And that love in which you realize that what lies behind you and what lies before you is significantly smaller than what lies within you. Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb; it’s not just this moment, it’s every moment; and it’s not simply falling in love, it’s as the limit of falling in love approaches infinity, all with the same person. 

今天我们来到此地,参加 Prizilla 和 Neville 的婚礼,是为了见证他们温馨奇妙的爱情,终于修成正果。 假如这不是你来的目的,那你有可能错过了去高尔夫球场的第一个转弯。 无论如何,我要代表新郎和新娘谢谢所有的嘉宾(包括哪些不想承认自己走错路的)能跟他们一起,度过他们一生中最具特别意义的美好时刻。 正如法国作家普鲁斯特说过的那样:“我们要感谢那些让我们快乐的人。 他们是培育我们心灵花朵的园丁。” 你们就是新郎、新娘的心目中的那个园丁和花匠。 很高兴有你们与我们共同度过如此美妙的夜晚。谢谢大家。

众所周知,最近联邦法院帮我们重新定义了婚姻这个概念。但是,不管你对此有何看法,我觉得我们都可以确定,爱情这个东西在我们心中不是模糊的。 看看跟你来的那个人,看看你的孩子(假如你没孩子或者是自己来的,好好看看你的钱包), 爱情就是在那一瞬间让我们决定相拥彼此一生的感觉。这就是他们俩今天站在这儿的理由,也是大家这么关注他们俩站在这儿的原因。 也正是因为这些时刻,我们反复的被提醒 : 爱情是我们一生中最美丽的信仰。

那婚姻呢,婚姻是爱情的美好归宿。那个爱情是一加一等于一切,而二减一意味着什么都没有。那个爱情也是那个让我们今天的互相珍惜大于以往而也小于(呃,小于等于)将来。那个爱情让我们明白昨天的毅力跟面对明天的勇气,永远会远远小于我们自己心中的华丽。 婚姻其实不是一个名词,而是一个动词; 它不是这一刻,而是每一刻; 它不是简简单单的爱上某个人,而是时时刻刻跟那个人坠入情网。

Neville and Prizilla, you fell in love by chance but you are here today by choice. You are about to make promises to each other to sanctify that choice. Neville, please repeat after me.

“I choose you, Prizilla, to be my wife, as my friend and love. On this day I affirm the relationship we have enjoyed, looking to the future and to keep and strengthen it. I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and in triumph. Together, we will dream, and live as one while respecting one another, we will stumble but restore each other, we will share all things. I will cherish, comfort, and encourage you, be open with you, and stay with you as long as I shall live.”

 “I choose you, Neville, to be my husband, as my friend and love. On this day I affirm the relationship we have enjoyed, looking to the future and to keep and strengthen it. I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and in triumph. Together, we will dream, and live as one while respecting one another, we will stumble but restore each other, we will share all things. I will cherish, comfort, and encourage you, be open with you, and stay with you as long as I shall live.”

Neville, as you place the ring on Prizilla’s finger, please repeat after me:

Prizilla, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. As it encircles your finger, may it remind you always that you are surrounded by my enduring love.

Prizilla, as you place the ring on Neville’s finger, please repeat after me:

Neville, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love. As it encircles your finger, may it remind you always that you are surrounded by my enduring love.

And now by the power vested in me by the laws of California and the greater laws of mathematics, I pronounce you husband and wife! You may now kiss the bride!

Also, bonus picture of the bride and groom + me + obligatory double chin that comes out with all suits I wear.

Prizilla & Neville's Wedding

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