Sometime late last year I received a message on Facebook that completely and happily tripped me out: my friend Kait was getting married, and she wanted to know if I’d officiate her wedding. I realize that having a friend as your officiant is pretty popular these days, but there are a few extra layers to the relationship I have with Kait. For starters, up until her wedding this May, we had only known each other online. I first “met” Kait when she submitted an article for a parenting website I worked for, and I was immediately hooked by her story. We ended up connecting on Facebook and eventually Instagram. She always seemed really cool, and she has a wild wonder of a daughter who is a year older than my son.
Kait and her then-fiancé-now-husband (woo!), Bobby, planned to road trip from Oklahoma to Seattle for their wedding. They hired the ever-fab, always delightful Jonas Seaman (and his fantastic second shooter slash girlfriend, Mary) to shoot their wedding, and according to Kait, it just made sense for me to officiate. They didn’t know another soul on the West Coast, and I’m way into weddings. I’m also great friends with Jonas and Mary, so it all fell together nicely. Well, until my initial excitement wore off and it quickly dawned on me that I had to, you know, put together a ceremony.
I learned a whole lot about putting together a ceremony by putting together Kait and Bobby’s, and I’ll be sharing some of that with you guys later, but for now, here is what I came up with for this modern family:
Kait & Bobby’s Wedding Ceremony
“Love heals. When we are wounded in the place where we would know love, it is difficult to imagine that love really has the power to change everything. No matter what has happened in our past, when we open our hearts to love we can live as if born again, not forgetting the past but seeing it in a new way, letting it live inside us in a new way. We go forward with the fresh insight that the past can no longer hurt us. … Mindful remembering lets us put the broken bits and pieces of our hearts together again. This is the way healing begins.”–bell hooks
I really, really like love. I really, really like that you two are in love. Getting to know the two of you and hearing each of your versions of how and why you’re here, right now, has been fantastic, actually.
Something that Kait said to me that really stood out is that you, Bobby, were her family. In fact, she said you were so immediately her family—you were family for her and family for Scarlet before you were ever in love. Likewise, Bobby emphasized how very platonic your relationship was—how you two could sit and listen to one another and tell each other everything.
I think this, more than anything, is what matters. I think this security, this level of trust that is at the heart of what makes you two you everything.
I believe you guys both have a few words for each other. Kait, would you like to share your vows first?
One thing I will always remember about meeting you is how I just always wanted you around. I wanted to invite you places because you were fun and you made me feel comfortable at a time when nothing else did. You were the only person who felt better than solitude. You still are. You broke the silence. For me, rooms are better when you’re in them. And all of this, it’s all one big promise to keep staying in the room. I love you. Be in rooms with me.
It’s a surreal to think, today is our wedding day. That after today, I’ll spend the rest of my life with the person I want to spend it with the most. And it’s safe to say that it wasn’t love at first sight between us. And I love that. I love that it took us time to possess what we have today. That I’d wake up, wondering what your day would be like. A slow, strong bond had been built without either of us even realizing it. To one day, knowing that I could never lose you. That I would always keep you and Scarlet in my life. Nothing in my life has felt more meaningful and more of a family than you two in it. That with the three of us, I’m confident that anything is possible. No matter where the three of us are in life, through the good or bad, everything will work out. Because together, we are a strong, unbreakable bond. I love you Kait, and I love you Scarlet.
Obviously you guys aren’t just two—you are three. In fact, you guys happen to live with a pretty awesome Gryffindor. Did you guys want to speak with Scarlet?
Kait to Scarlet:
I wanted to give you this pin. It says “Constant” because you have always been and will always be mine. You’ve been here with me for all of it. I appreciate your patience with me and your contiguous joy throughout everything we’ve been through together. You will always be my number one. I’m so happy that you’re here right now to be a part of this day. You were pretty much our cupid and I am so grateful for that. Thank you for being my ride or die. I love you. Way way more than you know.
Bobby to Scarlet:
I have a ring for you. It has a V shape for Villegas, I know you are still going to have a different last name than me, but you will always be my family. This ring is to show you that no matter what, you will always be a part of our lives. I promise to always take care of you and your mom. I promise that whatever happens, I will always be here for you. I’ll help you as much as I can with anything you may ask of me. I got you. I love you sweetie, very very much.
I think gifts are a fun part of any wedding or celebration, and I believe you guys have gifts to bestow.
Kait, please pick up Bobby’s left hand, look him in the eye, and repeat after me:
With this ring, I thee wed
Bobby, please pick up Kait’s left hand, look her in the eye, and repeat after me:
With this ring, I thee wed
Before we finish, I want to remind you of a quote that you might be familiar with. The context is different—no one is vanquishing a Dark Lord here—but the intent still rings true: “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love.”
I think that says a lot. The ability to love and be loved is an incredible one, and seeing the two of you rise to this commitment is beautiful.
And now we’re here: I am beyond honored to announce you two as wife and husband, and the three of you as family.
You can definitely kiss right now.