Today i did a very unexpected thing...i married a couple.
Last week i met a new neighbor, and we had made plans to get together this week for lunch. This morning she called and said, "I have a really crazy favor to ask of you...". In the state of Alaska, the municipal court will appoint a friend or relative to become a Marriage Commissioner for a day at your request. So, with court decree in hand, i officially bound two people together in marriage.
! ! ! ! !
Wow. Not how i expected my day to go! :D
As i only had about half an hour before they arrived, i wasn't able to put together anything elaborate to say...but i kinda like what i did add to the 'state required' bit:
The best advice that i can give you is this:
Hold love as the highest attitude towards each other,
and favor acts of love above all others.
Work together to keep the tenets of your marriage intact: respect, courtesy, honesty, compassion, and faithfulness.
Take refuge in each other, in both good times and bad. Together, may your troubles be less and your blessings be more; may your love for each other continue to grow so that years from now when you look back on this day, you find that it was the day you loved each other the least.
Maggio il vostro amore vive cent'anni.
They aren't necessarily my original thoughts; rather, bits of wishes that i have received from others that rang true to my heart, pieces of buddhist beliefs, irish blessings, and italian wishes.
One day, they will have a 'real' wedding surrounded by their families, formally planned and executed, celebrated with all due pomp and circumstance. i only hope that i was able to make this 'legality' the slightest bit memorable and special for them. Not too long ago i was in the exact same spot.
It's made me wonder...so many of us here (in this Alaskan military 'exile'!) end up in this same position...needing to deal with the legal aspects of marriage (i have my own opinion on that topic, which i might share another day) far from friends and family, knowing next to no one locally, doing what we are required to do until we can do what we want to do. In the not-so-back-of-my-mind, i think that it would be comforting to other military families to have someone available who gets that. There are several regular Marriage Commissioners in the area, but i know from experience that they can't always be as flexible as military folks like Scott & Shelly need them to be. Perhaps...just perhaps...it's something worth looking into.