Hartland, Vermont; July 9, 2011
Welcome to this splendid occasion. Thank you to all who made it possible.
The mother of the bride reads a poem.
The mother of the bridegroom reads a poem.
I am deeply honored to be officiating here today. It is enormously gratifying that Sally and Jeff trust me to say some appropriate words, as well as to sign their wedding license, which I have just done.
One of the many things I admire about this couple is their resolve to follow their calling. In Sally’s case, this involved a change of direction. She worked for Victoria’s secret, and for a time it seemed that she was going to be a Serious Business woman. But her love of children altered that. Without any hesitation (that I know of) she enrolled at Bank Street for a graduate degree in Education. She has just survived her first year on the job.
As for Jeff, he has known for a long time that his calling was food: not just eating it, but cooking it as well. As any of you who have been to one of the restaurants where he has been a notable success are aware, he is extremely good at this. His sophistication is remarkable for someone whose boyhood treat was (over and over again) chicken with broccoli.
You may not know exactly how Sally and Jeff met. It was at Clark University, where Sally had just started and which Jeff was about to leave to embark upon his culinary career. They passed each other in a hallway. Jeff turned his head to look. I could tell you why he did so, but it is just too romantic to be believed.
They had their first date at the Pepperkorn Restaurant, since declared a historic site in their honor.
It was a clear sign of their seriousness that they continued their relationship after Jeff had left Clark. This required 5-hour bus trips between Worcester and New York. These sometimes began at 3:30 in the morning.
The happy couple have described this occasion as “long awaited,” which shows that they retain their sense of humor. It has been eagerly awaited as well. Sally and Jeff have been together nearly ten years. They have every right to claim that they have proved their point. Already they have had the joys of finding rental apartments and paying utility bills. Some of you know that their first NYC place was the size of a modest kitchen. And they shared it with a third tenant. They have since moved to a Brooklyn apartment where, as Jeff notes, for once you can’t sit in the bathroom and watch television at the same time. They have also practiced for parenthood, as the presence today of Pepper attests.
As I said at another ceremony two years ago, this is not a solemn occasion, but it is a serious one. In a world full of confusion and ambiguity, it is heartening to find two young people who know what they are doing and what their commitments mean. We are all proud to have the opportunity to celebrate with them.
The couple now exchange vows.
--Do you, Sally, take Jeffrey as your wedded husband?
--Do you, Jeffrey, take Sally as your wedded wife?
You may now exchange rings. They do.
I now pronounce you wife and husband.
You may now kiss. They do.
Our ceremony is now ended.
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