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Sean and Crissy
Hakone Gardens

Ceremony

Our wedding took place at Hakone Gardens on May 21, 2005.

Guests were encouraged to arrive early, to enjoy the gardens.

6:00 pm - A warm evening with a very light breeze (a plain-text edition is also available)

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here today1 to celebrate.

And celebrations are about joy, and laughter.

When Sean and Crissy traveled to Australia, they brought back a very
important lesson from the indigenous aboriginal people.

During a presentation of their ancient rituals, one of the men stepped
forward and reminded the onlookers that it is ok to laugh.2


Marriage ... is what brings us ... together ... today.3

Now listen up, friends and family, because there's a lot of nonsense
being said about marriage these days.

For Sean and Crissy,
It's not about compromise, or sacrifice.
It shouldn't demand frequent effort.
It's like dancing the waltz; you know you're doing it correctly
if both people think they're only doing 10% of the work.4

It's not about starting over,
or new journeys,
or losing themselves in a new oneness.
Marriage is neither absorption nor displacement, but rather a common
source of nourishment for two individuals.5

It is not a Procrustean shackle that demands obedience.

The way some people talk, you'd think marriage was a lifelong curse!
Well, maybe for some people it is, but all these well-intentioned
misconceptions actually made Sean and Crissy shy away from marriage,
for a long time. A really long time!


However, Sean and Crissy think differently.

An elder wise man named Shel Silverstein once wrote:
Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON'TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me -
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.6


Over time, Sean and Crissy have formed a few opinions about what an ideal marriage IS.

It's an internal bond that no state or church can create; they can only recognize it.7

It is unquestionable faith in the good intentions of the other.
Whatever slings and arrows of outrageous fortune are suffered,8
it is flatly impossible for either of them to have been the archer.

It's about knowing yourself better, through reflection in your partner.
Mountain climbers like to say things like "I know the Sierra" or "I
know Point Reyes". But of course they don't -- what they know
better is their own strengths and weaknesses, and Point Reyes and
the Sierra have helped them discover this.9

Marriage is about relishing joy in the world, as is everything we do.
Honestly, can you imagine any other reason for being here?10

And if life is about being happy, then marriage is like a light saber.
Think about it; whatever you're doing, no matter how cool it is, if
you add in a light saber it would always make it better.11 Imagine
you're having a quiet lakeside picnic, eating food you made
yourself, serenading your lover with a song you wrote yourself. ...
Now imagine you had a light saber, too. See? It's better! So it is
with marriage. The proper kind of marriage, according to Sean and
Crissy.


After all, to paraphrase singer Chris Isaak:
It's easy to find someone to date. But it's real hard to find
somebody who'll let you say, 'Look, I got a cardboard box and a
carpeted floor. Here's my plan. You get in the box and hold this
flashlight and I'll push you around like you're in a car.'12


Life is often envisioned as a road. But rather than a plodding
journey along a rocky path through deserts and mountains, Sean and
Crissy see it as running down a dark, cluttered alley in the middle of
the night. Wearing gigantic, ill-fitting flippers. And a blindfold.
And carrying a cream pie in each hand.13

And it was a huge relief for them both to discover someone else with
similar viewpoints; someone who would actually enjoy the prospect of
living in a grown-up's version of a kid's clubhouse.14


Today we are marking their realization, about three years ago,
of how happy they are just being together,
as best friends who happen also to be in love.
It was then they understood that they were already married.
It was only a question of when to throw the party.15



So that's where you come in.

As the people who have helped shape who they have become,
you are chosen to witness and celebrate these declarations.

With our continued help, and each other, Sean and Crissy
hope to continue being the people they want to be.16

Besides, happiness shared is happiness multiplied.
THAT'S what we're celebrating.
THAT'S what this party is about.


*** HAND FASTING

They've chosen to demonstrate their bonds with
tangible ones, in a ceremony known as hand fasting.17

Having no fixed interpretation, hand fasting is most suitable for
today's purpose. Typically, it accompanies a pledge to be together
for a renewable length of time, often only a year and a day.

Crissy and Sean have chosen the term for today's fasting to be
"so long as love shall last."18

By joining right hands,
they share their strengths.

By joining left hands,
they share their weaknesses.
Can't be helped, might as well acknowledge it.

Notice, with both hands joined, their arms form an infinity symbol.



They're being wrapped with three cords today.19

First and foremost is pink, representing of course love and happiness.
While these are clearly the main ingredients of a marriage, they are
not the only ones, so we continue with

Gold, which represents prosperity, but also both unity and longevity,
that the binding of pink's joy may endure.

Now, continuing in this scheme, red represents passion, while light
blue is patience and understanding. But they couldn't figure out how
to put one before the other; after all, how long could passion last
without understanding? So the only solution was to fuse the two
colors completely, making our final cord lavender.


Now that you can't go anywhere, let me offer you this blessing:

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not smother one another.
May you have happiness, and find it in making one another happy.20


*** VOWS

The vows you are about to recite are a distillation of all the things
you've ever promised and hoped and dreamed, and an affirmation that
you meant it all, every word.21

The tradition of the man going first symbolizes his taking greater
responsibility for the relationship.22
Therefore, Sean and Crissy have elected to recite their vows together.

Do you promise
To live with and laugh with each other?
[Response] "I certainly do"

To be supportive in all that you do?
[Response] "I certainly do"

To remember to play, as much as you can?
[Response] "I certainly do"

To grow old together, but not to grow up?
[Response] "I certainly do"

So long as love shall last?
[Response] "I certainly do"


Please repeat after me:23

I say, with clear understanding and delight
yours is the love I wish to keep

And so I bring to you
my body and will
my mind and spirit
my love and friendship
and I do here solemnly promise
to be your devoted partner

And always, above all else,
I promise I shall do my best
and remember how blessed I am to call you mine.


At this time, please remove the ropes.
[pause]
We will now present the rings.


** RINGS


These wedding rings carry the potent message, "we are individuals and
yet we belong to each other."24 They are the outward and visible sign
of all that has been said here today.25

Please place the ring on each other's fingers, and repeat after me:

"I now seal the promises I have made. With this ring, I choose you."

You may now kiss.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honored privilege to present to you,
for the first time as a legally recognized married couple,

Sean and Crissy Gugler



Footnotes

1. Traditional wedding ceremony opening, also heard at the beginning of the song "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince.

2. Tjapukai By Night, near Cairns.

3. The Impressive Clergyman [source], from the 1987 movie The Princess Bride.

4. Dance instructor at Ye Gaskell Occasional Dance Society (Ye G.O.D.S.) You know, the loud guy.

5. One of the many wedding books we borrowed.

6. Shel Silverstein, "Listen to the MUSTN'TS", Where the Sidewalk Ends, 1974

7. Ceremony posted to indiebride.com message #321990

8. William Shakespeare, "To be or not to be" monologue, Hamlet, Act III Scene 1.

9. Terry and Renny Russell, "On the Loose", 1963. Seen on indiebride.com message #43147

10. Christopher Pike, Sati, p. 42.

11. Conversations with Dan Meltz.

12. Chris Isaak, published in Mademoiselle magazine circa May 1997, presumably in an interview. First spotted on "Quote of the day" mailing list, May 23, 1997. Possibly introduced to the Internet by Jonathan Levine.

13. Dan Piraro, Bizarro Among the Savages, 1997, p. 257.

14. Piraro, p. 64.

15. Robert Fulghum, Uh-Oh, Ivy Books: New York, 1991. pages 68-70. Spotted on indiebride.com message #41979

16. One of the many wedding books we borrowed.

17. Lots of good information available at www.handfasting.info.

18. "PookLaRoux's Handfasting FAQ"

19. "Symbols and Correspondences" at www.handfasting.info

20. James Dillet Freeman, "Blessing For A Marriage"

21. Robert Fulghum, "Union".

22. Possibly from The Bible.

23. Partly borrowed from and partly inspired by indiebride.com message #43147

24. One of the many wedding books we borrowed.

25. indiebride.com message #321990