~ JAY & STEPHAN’S ~

 

COMMITMENT CEREMONY

May 10th, 2003

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Celebrant:

It is one of life’s richest surprises when the fateful meeting of two individuals leads them to proceed together along a common path. It is indeed one of life’s finest experiences when a chance relationship grows into a permanent bond of love. This meeting and this growing are what bring us together today.

 

The uniting in a marriage of these two friends to establish a new family is an important and memorable event. It brings together two separate families and backgrounds and creates a union that is a sign of hope in the midst of a sometimes intolerant society.

 

In their love for each other, which they publicly express in this ceremony, Jay and Stephan demonstrate not only their joy in the present but their commitment to share the future together. This is a time of celebration for all of us who know and love them.

 

Jay and Stephan celebrate their union and express it in there own words.  When asked what do you love about one another?” Tim tells us…”I love us as a couple and how very much we love each other.”

 

Stephan celebrates Jay by saying “ I love his great looks and personality, he is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. Jay always supports my choices, no matter how crazy they are! and of course,  Jay’s most charming feature is his laugh…I love his laugh. “We are a fun couple” Stephan expresses,  Jay is so good at planning trips and events even if the plans change suddenly it makes no difference. The main thing is that we are together. This past September 15th was their ten-year anniversary. It’s been a joyful and loving relationship that will last a lifetime…as their hearts grow ever fonder.

 

Jay is inspired by Stephan in every way; he says “I love Stephan’s energy, spirit and his desire to make other people happy. He likes to entertain and make people feel special and important. He makes me feel loved and needed and he always does his best to make me feel pampered and happy.” Jay also reveals, “I love Stephan’s blue eyes and French good looks!


Together they see a beautiful future ahead. And, we are all witnesses of this here and now at their lovely, new home at Goldens’s Landing. You might not have known it but Stephan and Jay tell us that, Golden’s plays a significant part in our American history. This was the very place, in Upstate New York, in the early part of the century, where bricks where made by old world European craftsman, and sent down the Hudson river to build our glorious city…Manhattan. And those bricks are here today. Jay excavated them, by chance, while tending the garden. Their golden legacy is present again under our feet. This ain’t Kansas buy it’s Jay and Stephan’s “Yellow Brick Road that represents hearth,  home and love. It’s so very special. Wiggle your toes and feel it. There hopes for the years ahead are clear and simple - they wish for things to remain as wonderful as they are right now. To live long happy life together - always expanding their horizons and continuing their adventures together and in their heart of hearts to have each other to share the joys and pains of life with.

 

Stephan and Jay “Love one Another and you will be happy. It is as simple and difficult as that. There is no other way.” – in the words of the great Australian poet,  Michael Leunig.

 

What fills Jay and Stephan with pride and joy for one another? Stephan says, with total conviction  Jay constantly amazes me with his brilliant thoughts and ideas! I am so happy to know such a smart person, and to have that person as my partner is unreal!”. Jay tells us - “it means so much to me that Stephan makes a special occasion out of just an ordinary day.”

 

It is heartwarming to hear what personal gifts they both bring to this their marriage.

Jay brings…A grounding, a stability and the perseverance to see things through. The ability to set goals and do the things that are necessary to achieve them in order to attain more adventure and get different and fulfilling experiences from life.  Stephan says, with sincerity along with a  twinkle in his eye…“I would love to bring as much happiness to Jay as possible, and my stellar backrubs.”


Many of their values are in harmony with one another.  They value their loyal family and friends - people who have stuck by them through the ups and downs.  It is very important to them that they continue to grow and evolve together, expanding their lives without becoming stagnant or afraid of change.  Jay and Stephan think of the world and society as part of what is important to them personally as well. Tim tell us, “We both believe in letting people with thoughts and ideas different that our live in peace.”

 

Differences are the spice of life so let’s get to know what they say about one another…Jay admits, and is happy that Stephan is more out going and entertaining than he is - and, that Stephan pays special attention to other people and really knows how to live and appreciate every moment life offers up.” “We are at the total opposite ends of the spectrum in many ways” Stephan says, “this keeps us together and balanced. I knew it was going to be a lifetime together with I saw the name of his boat, The Oscar Madison! “And yet” Stephan exudes, “ we are both major fun seekers and laugh together on all our crazy adventures. Every adventure is special because Jay is with me.”

 

Jay and Stephan tell us with sincerity that rings true (heart and soul)…“We are two gay people that are not afraid of living and experiencing much of the “real world” and all that it has to offer. We are very proud to say that the people that we socialize with and are our friends come from all walks of life straight and gay and really represent the world at large. It’s a blessing.

 

And how did Jay and Stephan magically discover each other? Stephan recounts the story… “We met on a lovely day in Fire Island. I was with friends there and I kept seeing these three fun people. I had to meet the man with the amazing laugh! He was the first person I ever bought a drink for. He started calling me in the city and I was sure I was being stalked. Jay tells it a little differently “Yes, we met on Fire Island. I went down with my dear friends, Tom and Susanne, and Stephan was there with his friend. While at a restaurant, he bought me a drink and I went over and talked to him. He was the first “out” gay person I ever felt a bond to.  In the weeks that followed, I called him, and called him. At first, he was not interested but, eventually, my charm won him over.”

 

 All that glitters on their golden path to meeting each other became love realized. They came from completely different places, Jay was busy building his business and Stephan was enjoying his life at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. So, eventually, their love grew ever stronger and they merged their two worlds together reflected here today in this their commitment ceremony. Stephan and Jay you are the architects of the “Art of Love and Happiness” in your incredible life’s journey together.

 

Jay and Stephan would like their family and friends to know that it means everything to…(in their own words) …announce, share and be proud of, our love for each other and be able to share this special day with people who have been supportive of our relationship. It is so is extremely important to have all of you, their family and friends at their ceremony. Stephan and Jay especially want to thank their parents, Jay’s mother Jane, his father Paul and his wife Lilly; Stephan’s mother Charlotte and we pay tribute to and honor the memory of  Stephan’s beloved father Pierre who is so very much missed - especially today. Jay and Stephan feel that each of you, are truly unique and bring your own very special love to their relationship. Stephan says from the bottom of his heart… “I am always blown away by Jay’s families love and support. Both of our families truly are as happy as we are!” Here today we're proud that we're making a commitment to our lives together expressing our love and deep devotion - publicly.”

 

They are honored to have such true family and friends that respect, love and bless this union. Through this their marriage, Stephan and Jay unite all of us together as one in this glorious  - permanent bond of love.

 

 

MOTHER’S PRESENTATION

 

Celebrant:

If there is ever a truer measure of person than by what they do it must be by what they give. With that, we must declare that “Mother’s” epitomize this ideal and have throughout our civilization, for Mom’s sure do give of themselves – completely! 

 

Here this afternoon, Jay’s mother Jane and Stephan’s mother Charlotte, presents their beloved sons at this commitment ceremony. Jane and Charlotte represent all Moms today.  They symbolize the hearth, the home, the generation of family members that were and will be.  Couple and their Moms have a bond of love that’s ever-strong, neither time or miles can diminish their relationship of mother, son, and friend.

 

This is the time and the day that both Charlotte and Jane wish their sons a wonderful and blessed married life of peace and joy.

 

 

GUEST SUPPORT VOWS

 

Celebrant:

Stephan and Jay have asked all of you, who have been so important in their relationship and their individual lives, to now pledge to support their marriage in the same way as you have supported them before this day. Jay and Stephan ask you as a group now and into the future to support their union of marriage and honor the two individuals that now become one.

 

Please show your support by responding to the following vows with the word ‘We Will. Here we go…Will everyone present today pledge to support Jay and Stephan as a couple in their marriage rather than as individuals?

 

All:

We will.

 

Celebrant:

Will you support them in their new life together, rejoicing in their happiness and sustaining them in their struggles?

 

All:

We Will

 

Celebrant:

Will you be patient and forgiving when they make mistakes or cause pain?

 

All:

We Will

 

Celebrant:

Will you participate in the Lavender planting after the ceremony that represents this momentous day in Jay and Stephan’s life -  so that this garden will always be a joyous reminder of all the love that will be taking root today and will blossom for evermore?

 

All: We Will

 

MONITUM

 

Celebrant:

Now I, Charlotte Eulette, a Civil Ordained Celebrant,

am duly authorized to solemnize this,

your commitment to marriage.

 

Before you, Jay and you, Stephan,

are joined together in marriage in my presence

and in the presence of these, your family, friends and community,

I am bound, as you know, to remind you publicly

of the solemn, the serious and the nature

of the relationship into which you are now about

to enter.

 

Marriage, as most of us understand it,

is a voluntary and full commitment

of one person to another,

it is made in the deepest sense

to the exclusion of all others,

and is entered into with the desire,

the hope and the firm intention

that it will last for life.

 

 

READING I

 

Celebrant:

Connie and her husband George have been dear friends for many years. And now, Connie, with love in her heart will read the poem “My friend” as a dedication to both of you on this very special day.

My Friend

 

I Love you

not only for what you are

but for what I am

when I am with you.

 

I love you

not only for what

you have make of yourself

but for what you are making of me. 

 

I love you

because you have done more

than any creed could have done

to make me good, and more

than any fate could have done

to make me happy.

You have done it without a touch,

without a word

Without a sign.

You have done it

by being yourself.

 

 

THE ASKING

 

Celebrant:

Jay and Stephan,

Do you come here freely, and without reservation,

to enter a relationship as companions

living together as one, enjoying equality?

 

Do you promise to love, respect,

assist and look after each other

for the rest of your lives?

Are you prepared to live in harmony,

and jointly strive for the welfare of your family,

and for a just and equal society?

 

Jay and Stephan:  

 We do.

 

 

VOWS 

 

Celebrant to Jay:

Jay  and Stephan  face each other and hold hands. Jayt please repeat these vows phrase by phrase after me.

 

I, Jay, offer myself to you, Stephan

As your spouse,

Your friend, your lover and your lifelong companion;

I will share my life with yours;

Build our dreams together,

Support you through times of trouble,

And rejoice with you in times of happiness;

I will treat you with respect, love and loyalty

Through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together.

This commitment is made in love,

Kept in faith, lived in hope,

And eternally made new.

 

Celebrant to Stephan:

Tim please repeat these vows phrase by phrase after me.

 

Stephan:

I, Stephan, offer myself to you, Jay, as your spouse,

your friend, your lover and your lifelong companion;

I will share my life with yours;

Build our dreams together;

Support you through times of trouble,

And rejoice with you in times of happiness;

I will treat you with respect, love and loyalty

Through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together.

This commitment is made in love,

Kept in faith, lived in hope,

And eternally made new.

 

 

RING CEREMONY

 

Jay to Stephan:

Stephan, this golden ring I give you once again on this day

it is my personal gift,

My personal promise of love and trust,

And pride that you are my spouse.

 

Stephan to Jay:

Jay, this golden ring I give you once again on this day

it is my personal gift,

My personal promise of love and trust,

And pride that you are my spouse.

 

 

READING II

 

Celebrant:

Stephan’s loving sister-in-law Monique will share with us a very special reading ~ adapted from Corinthians verse 13.

 

Love is always patient and kind;

It is never jealous;

Love is never boastful or conceited;

It is never rude or selfish;

It does not take offense,

And it is not resentful.

Love takes no pleasure

In other people’s faults

But delights in the truth;

It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope.

It is always ready to endure whatever comes.

                                                Finally, true love does not come to

                                                an end.

 

 

SIGNING OF THE CERTIFICATE

 

Celebrant:

Friends and family,

I will ask the Happy Couple and the Four Witnesses: Monique, Warren, Thomas and Diedra to come up to the table for the signing of the Wedding Commitment Certificate.

 

I will ask you all to stay exactly where you are. The ancient Egyptian custom of signing is part of the ceremony ~ and during this time I will also ask you to give your attention to this piece of music Jay and Stephan have selected just for this occasion.

 

When the signing is completed I will bring them back to this position.

 

 

DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE

 

Celebrant:

Everyone, in a moment we will finish with the Declaration of Marriage but first Stephan and Jay would like me to make this announcement:

 

Immediately after the ceremony please allow the Couple to recesses out to the porch where you can express your joy and congratulations to them and the family.

 

After the ceremony, your are invited to please come up and sign this beautiful Wedding Certificate that the couple had designed to include all of their friends and family here today. They will be framing this certificate and it will be a part of their new lives here at their Golden’s Landing home. Thank you all.

 

Get your seed of love ready!

 

Celebrant:

And now, Jay and Stephan have declared before all of us that they will live together in marriage. They have made special promises to each other. They have symbolized it by joining hands, taking vows, exchanging rings and by signing their wedding certificate.

 

So, therefore, on your behalf and on the behalf of the community, I introduce to the newly weds…Stephan & Jay!

 

You may kiss each other!

 

 

~ Here Ends the Ceremony and Here Begins a Marriage of Love and Joy ~