Hello everyone. For some reason I was given the pleasure and privilege to perform this ceremony, so shut your butts up up and let me to that.

I’d like to ask everyone to take your places. Seating is limited, so if we catch any healthy young people sitting down, a trained empath will take you aside privately until you realize what a total buffoon you’re being. It is also possible and likely that your parents will receive a postcard scolding them for their complete failure in raising you.

On behalf of the bride and groom, I want to welcome you to their wedding and express how happy they are that you are joining them today. Obviously only a limited number of people can fit here, so congratulations on making the cut. And I don’t know about you, but I was quite pleased with the invitations – cordially is by far my favourite way to be invited to anything.

They told me they wanted to marry each and every one of you because you’re all so great, but apparently the government has certain restrictions about that. However, you’re all encouraged to share their marriage bed tonight, or at least watch through one of several peepholes set up in their hotel room. I’m not usually a polyglot, but I’m very excited to get to marry two of my favourite people aujourd’hui.

Please turn your phones off until after we’re done here. Your blurry photos are not artistic, and even the people who might like them on Instagram don’t actually care about them or you – their only hope is for reciprocation at some point. A real photographer was hired so that you can work on experiencing a moment fully as it happens, if any of you are still capable of this. I’d like to speak for everyone else here in thanking the wedding party for taking their photos before the ceremony so that none of you had that four-hour period in the middle of the day where you weren’t sure what to be at.

Following the ceremony, the married couple will be waiting inside to sign any souvenirs and so you can tell them how great the look. And the bar will be open as soon as I stop talking. Well, it’s not an open bar – you’ll still have to pay – but at least you’ll be able to drink while barely listening to barely audible speeches from people who are all mildly terrified of public speaking. However, glasses of champagne will be provided at no charge. Actually, it’s only called champagne if it’s from the eponymous region in southern France. Otherwise it’s just called potatoes. So each table has this nice bottle of potatoes, to spray each other with, pretending we’re all rich and whatnot.

Alright, let’s do dis.

(Music plays as woman in white dress slowly walks towards us.)

Oh, hi there, you two. It’s so great that you were both able to join me up here. A lot of time and planning and maybe even a little bit of money went into this day. But it’s all worth it, so that there’s an official document outlining why it will now be a lot more difficult for you to break up.

Marriage is an institution that is in absolutely no way a refuge for the emotionally destitute. It is a bond that makes even the simple act of slicing tomatoes for a sandwich cause for the synchronous eruption of laughter.

I bet you guys have a story of when you met that involves drunken stumbly sex, but since there’s quite a few old people here and for some reason we try to protect the elderly from such talk even though they’ve heard it all by now, I’ll mention a relatively innocent variation with only a mild entendre to make this palatable for all.

(Insert relatively innocuous variation of story of how they got together.)

The marriage itself starts with a little cheese we call vows, and they’re going to try to pretend there aren’t a couple of hundred people watching them say things to each other they wouldn’t even saw if they were alone.

(Listen intently as they go back and forth to determine that “His sun rises as her eyes open. He is the wind beneath her wings. She is the sugar in his tea. He lifts her up where she belongs.”)

There’s a couple of steps that need to be done to make the ceremony valid, so I’ll need each of you to announce, with some formality, that:

  • There’s no reason why you can’t be at it.
  • That you each want to be at it.
  • Then I make sure you both know that you’re fully into it and there’s no going back. You b’ys good with all that?

(Both parties nod.)

It is now time to exchange rings. Since this is not a tired trope on a sitcom, both rings are here and we don’t anticipate any issues with getting them on their respective fingers. While the exchange is a symbol of the unbroken circle of love or something, they are to be worn primarily to let the creeps and non-creeps alike know to keep their grubby paws off.

(Rings put on each other’s ring fingers.)

Well, she said yes to the dress. So let’s all now sing to the ring, read a menu for the venue, and take showers for the flowers, as they prepare to kiss to eternal bliss.

By the authority vested in me by the Marriage Act, I pronounce you to be whatever and whatever.
Oh yeah, and remember – in private he can be your hubby or your baby or whatever. But in public he’s your husband, and nobody else gives a shit about him.
You may now kiss the groom, with his consent.

(I smile and pretend to cry while watching two of my friends make out in front of way too many people.)

[Author’s note: Last month I was the officiant for a wedding. It was honestly amazing and I’m so happy and even honoured that I got to be such a big part of their day. Above is a slight deviation from how the ceremony went.]

[Editor’s note: The author neglected to mention that he’d been previously ordained and has the proof to prove it, shown below.]

September 12 – Paul F. Tompkins gets commissioned for marriage
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