Brooke and David’s Wedding Ceremony

Gathering words

I’d like to start with a quote from George Eliot:
“What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together
to strengthen each other in all labor,
to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?”
Brooke and David have each recognized in the other
a person with whom they can strengthen, minister, share, and be one.
They have asked us, their friends and family,
to celebrate with them the loving relationship they have developed
over the past two and a half years,
and to celebrate the commitment to each other
that they have chosen to make.

Marriage Address

The core of committing to each other in marriage
is the openness to another person in his or her entirety.
By simply giving ourselves to each other, honestly and without hesitation,
each partner is infinitely enhanced.
When we give of ourselves into a loving partnership,
we do not abandon ourselves; we do not shed our individuality;
for that is what brought us together in the first place.

In “The Irrational Season”,
Madeleine L’Engle speaks of the decision to commit to another in marriage this way:
“Ultimately two people who love each other
must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens,
and how much risk they are willing to take.
It is indeed a fearful gamble.
Because it is the nature of love to create,
a marriage itself is something which has to be created.

To marry is the biggest risk that a person can take.
If we commit ourselves to one person for life it is not a rejection of freedom;
rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom,
and the risk of which is permanent;
into that love which is not possession, but participation.”
John Welwood: “Intimate relationship can provide a sanctuary,
a sacred space where we can be ourselves, as we are.
Speaking our truth, sharing our inner struggles, and revealing our raw edges
allows two souls to meet and touch more deeply.”

Bell hooks, All About Love:
“The word love is most often defined as a noun,
yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb.”
She cites Scott Peck and Erich Fromm (frohm)
who talk about love as the will to extend one’s self
for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.
Love is as love does.  Love is an act of will.
To love somebody is not just a strong feeling –
it is a decision, it is a judgment,
it is a promise.
Will implies choice.  We do not have to love; we choose to love.
To truly love we must learn to mix these ingredients:
care, affection, recognition, respect, commitment, and trust,
as well as honest and open communication.

June 1st is going to be an important day for the rest of your lives.
Not because now you have new labels for each other
and you’ll check a different status box on your tax forms,
or that after this day you’ll be somehow more in love,
or even because you’ll finally have an anniversary date you can agree on.
June 1st is the day you chose to acknowledge and celebrate the love you already have for each other,
and the day you promise to continue your loving relationship.
It’s a love you’ve both put a lot of work into.
A love based on shared values,
a love of learning,
a love of laughing,
a deep comfort with each other based on the security in knowing that the other one “gets” you, and not least or most important,
plain old attraction to one another.
It’s a love you’ve been developing for two and a half years,
and I know a lot of people here will agree that from day-one there’s been a betting pool as to when this happy day would take place.

Thinking about how to tell you all about the beginning of Brooke and David’s relationship, I checked with someone who knew them both before they knew each other, the maid of honor, Bobbie.
I asked her how soon she could tell that Brooke and David liked each other. 
She told me that it was immediate.
And I could have guessed that,
based on the number of sentences that contained the word “David” starting right after a trip to the King Tut exhibit at LACMA.
It was the first time they met, purely by chance,
and Bobbie says that right away they were in their own little world,
intently discussing each piece,
lagging behind the rest of the group.
Bobbie also pointed out that their first dates were nothing as simple as dinner and a movie.
No, Brooke and David went on educational dates.
After King Tut was an exhibit on the costumes from Star Wars,
and then a lecture at the Huntington,
though Bobbie suggested that it maybe wasn’t so much Star Wars that
David wanted to learn more about.

When Brooke, David, and I were discussing what they wanted in a wedding ceremony, the theme that came up over and over was that
love isn’t something that happens to you,
and suddenly you’re a different person, and all is right with the world.
You have to work at love.

And it’s so clear that you both take great joy in that work.
Brooke said that when she and David first started talking about moving in together, everyone kept telling them what a huge decision they were making.
And Brooke’s response was that living together was the easiest, most natural decision she’d ever made.

Carry that attitude with you always.
Keep making that big, easy, natural decision to be together.
It’ll make the good times better, and the hard times easier.

So: on with the vows.


“Love doesn’t sit there like a stone.  It has to be made like bread; remade all the time.”  Those are Ursula Leguin’s (luh-GWIN’s) words,
and the vows Brooke and David are about to agree to
are based on knowing that while there is great joy in love, it also takes a lot of work.

Do you, David Alfonso Cruz, take Brooke to be your wife?
Do you promise to continue to care for and show Brooke affection,
to listen to her, and share fully and honestly your thoughts and feelings with her?
Do you promise to respect Brooke,
and trust her to be the person with whom you can share every part of your life?
Do you promise to have fun with Brooke,
to play, laugh, and joke together?
And do you commit to all of these promises not just today, but everyday, always?

Do you, Brooke Melisa Black, take David to be your husband?
Do you promise to continue to care for and show David affection,
to listen to him, and share fully and honestly your thoughts and feelings with him?
Do you promise to respect David,
and trust him to be the person with whom you can share every part of your life?
Do you promise to have fun with David,
to play, laugh, and joke together?
And do you commit to all of these promises not just today, but everyday, always?


A wedding ring is a symbol of a promise.

Brooke, David gives you this ring as a sign that he chooses you.
Today and Every day, Always.

David, Brooke gives you this ring as a sign that she chooses you.
Today and Every day, Always.

Now that you have exchanged your vows in front of family and friends,
it is my great honor to pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you for the first time as a married couple,
Brooke Black and David Cruz

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