After officiating at something like two dozen funerals and memorial services over the years, today I officiated my very first wedding ceremony. What great energy and Jeff and Rei are a great, now legally married couple. See the photos here.
September 15, 2010
Welcome. We gather today to celebrate the wedding of Jeff Folmsbee and Rei Hayashi. We are here to witness the joining together of two people’s lives and of two families.
Groucho Marx joked, “Marriage is a wonderful institution…but who wants to live in an institution?”
Frankly, in the twenty-first century in New York, this is still a good question, but I think there are many really good answers.
When I asked Jeff why they want to get married and he shared with me a letter he wrote to Rei’s father. Let me share some of that with you all today…
Jeff wrote “We are entering into this union with eyes wide open, to the challenges, but more importantly, to the opportunities, for love, stability, happiness, and personal growth for both of us, each made stronger through the bond we have made with each other.
We know each others’ strengths and weaknesses very well. We are both strong-willed and independent people…
Our commitment to each other is strong. Our lives are deeply intertwined, in our personal and professional lives, because we share so many passions, especially for doing good work and living a life we can both be proud of.
I think that this is a wonderful foundation for a great marriage.
Jeff and Rei have exchanged rings as an enduring token of their love. When I asked if they wanted to do this today, Jeff said “we did that already” and I think that this is a particularly appropriate symbol that marriages happen over time, and that they are not just made in one hour on one day.
In reaffirming the relationship you have been building together, do you, Jeff Folmsbee, now take Rei Hayashi in marriage? Together in love; To work and to share; To grow and to understand; To discover a deeper and more full life; To share whatever joy and fulfillment life may hold in store? (I do)
In reaffirming the relationship you have been building together, do you, Rei Hayashi, now take Jeff Folmsbee in marriage? Together in love; To work and to share; To grow and to understand; To discover a deeper and more full life; To share whatever joy and fulfillment life may hold in store? (I do)
Jeff, if you would please sign the marriage license (Jeff signs) and now Rei (Rei signs). And now I sign it (Mark signs).
A “B-F-F” is one’s “best friend forever.” A word that you might not know if you’re not someone whose thumbs are drawn toward your mobile phone in TEXTing position I would now like to ask Jeff’s B-F-F, with “forever” being a third of a century and counting, David Kendall and Rei’s twin sister, soul mate and B-F-F, Mai Hayashi, to come forward and sign as the witnesses to the marriage certificate. (David and Mai sign).
With the love, stewardship and good wishes of all those assembled; as an interfaith minister and with the authority granted to me by the people of the City of New York, I now pronounce you to be legally married.
You may now kiss your spouse.