Our ceremony, in entirety. Yes, it was a long ‘un.


What greater thing is there for two people than to feel that they are joined together? They share with each other all gladness, comfort each other in all sorrow, strengthen each other in all labour and are one with each other in silent contemplation and in mountaintop exultation.

This love – as we call it – is a most marvelous thing: it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

Steve & Lorien, you have found this kind of love. We are here today to share with you your celebration of that love and witness your commitment to joining your lives together.

My name is Helen *** and as a Marriage Commissioner I am authorized by the province to solemnize this marriage. It is a privilege for me to be here today.

Marriage in the eyes of the law is a binding contract, a voluntary union between two people to the exclusion of all others. It is a very serious commitment and should not be entered into lightly or irresponsibly, but reverently and with serious understanding and appreciation of what is involved.

Clay Hepburn reads:

“Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like D.C.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breaths
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Steve and Lorien, this day marks the beginning of a new chapter in your lives – a day when you each will be making a solemn commitment to go forward together as husband and wife, sharing whatever the future may hold for you.

Steve and Lorien have asked me to read from a medieval Persian poet, Rumi. This is his ode 2667, “This Marriage” translated by Kabir Helminski

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcome
as the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

Before Steve & Lorien make their vows, I must ask if any person can show just cause why these two persons may not be joined in marriage. Let them now declare their reasons or else from this time forward keep their peace.

And I must ask you both in the presence of these witnesses, that if either of you know of any legal reason why you should not be married, you do now reveal the same.

GROOM: I solemnly swear that I do not know of any lawful reason why I, Stephen Patrick Quattrocchi, may not be joined in marriage to Lorien Islay Heather Dunnett Wallace.

BRIDE: I solemnly swear that I do not know of any lawful reason why I, Lorien Islay Heather Dunnett Wallace, may not be joined in marriage to Stephen Patrick Quattrocchi.

There having been no reason declared, I will ask you to answer these questions:

Do you, Steve, promise to give Lorien
all the love of your heart,
your wit and your wisdom;
to be her star and compass,
her faithful champion,
her husband and her best friend?

Answer: I Do.

Do you, Lorien, promise to give Steve
all the love of your heart,
your wit and your wisdom;
to be his star and compass,
his faithful champion,
his wife and his best friend?

Answer: I Do.

Susann Richter reads:

“Union” by Robert Fulghum

You have known each other for years, through the first glance of acquaintance to this moment of commitment. At some moment, you decided to marry.

From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. Just two people working out what they want, what they believe, what they hope for each other.

All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. You have learned that good company and friendship count for more than wealth, good looks or position. And you’ve learned that marriage is a maze into which we wander – a maze that is best got through with a great companion.

Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this – is my husband, this – is my wife.

The vows through which you accept each other as husband and wife have no hidden power within themselves, but only to the extent they express your intention and commitment do they have meaning.

Jody Garnett reads:

Pavanne for the Nursery

Now touch the air softly, step gently, one, two…
I’ll love you ’til roses are robin’s egg blue;
I’ll love you ’til gravel is eaten for bread,
And lemons are orange, and lavender’s red.

Now touch the air softly, swing gently the broom.
I’ll love you ’til windows are all of a room;
And the table is laid, And the table is bare,
And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air.

I’ll love you ’til heaven rips the stars from his coat,
And the moon rows away in a glass-bottomed boat;
And Orion steps down like a river below,
And earth is ablaze, and oceans aglow.

So touch the air softly, and swing the broom high.
We will dust the grey mountains, and sweep the blue sky:
And I’ll love you as long as the furrow the plough,
As however is ever, and ever is now.

I will ask you now to join hands and face each other as you say your vows.

STEVE: (repeat after me)

I, Steve, take you, Lorien, to be my wedded wife,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better and for worse,
For richer and for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
In rainforest and in boreal,
To love and to cherish
‘Till death do us part;
This is my solemn vow.

LORIEN: (repeat after me)

I, Lorien, take you, Steve, to be my wedded husband,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better and for worse,
For richer and for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
In rainforest and in boreal,
To love and to cherish
‘Till death do us part;
This is my solemn vow.

Your vows, once said, are as much a part of you as your breath, your blood and your passion for each other. Even though the words themselves are dispersed to the breeze, look always to your rings as the pure and powerful symbol of these promises.

Here are more words from Rumi:

I am here, this moment, inside the beauty,
the gift God has given,
our love:
this gold and circular sign
means we are free of any duty:
out of eternity
I turn my face to you, and into
we have been in
love that long.

STEVE: Please place the ring on the third finger of Lorien’s left hand and repeat after me:

You are my best beloved and my best friend. I give you this ring as a complete and perfect symbol of my love for you.

LORIEN: Please place the ring on the third finger of Steve’s left hand and repeat after me:

You are my best beloved and my best friend. I give you this ring as a complete and perfect symbol of my love for you.

Jeff Boothroyd reads:

“Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

Marriage is a serious business, as well as a joyful one. In your lives together, just as in your lives individually, there will be moments of profound bliss, as well as those moments of deepest sorrow. Whatever comes, you will weather it together.

A marriage is a lifelong adventure, made most splendid by being shared.

May the love that has brought you together continue to grow and enrich your lives.

May you always respect this love, remembering it is not a possession but a special gift. It should serve as a source of common energy in which you find the strength to live your lives with courage. From this day onward you have the opportunity to come closer together than ever before, and at the same time, your love can give you the strength to stand apart, to seek out your own unique destinies, to make your own special contribution to the world. The most important thing to remember as you venture through life, together and individually, is to always be each others best and truest friend.

And since you, Steve, and you, Lorien, have joined yourselves in marriage, and have signified your commitment to each other by the making of vows and the giving and receiving of rings, I now pronounce you to be Husband and Wife.

Begin your marriage with a kiss.


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