Laura and Joe Are Married
The Wedding of Laura Krifka & Joe Michael
July 14th 2012 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Who gives this woman to be married? Brent and her mother did.
This… is basically how happily ever after starts.
|Photo by Ashley Wertheimer|
Welcome to the wedding of my dear friends Laura and Joe.
I am Patrick Melroy, I have been asked here as their officiant and they have asked you all to be here as witness to this matrimonial. I will shower them with praise and blessings. I will speak to them on behalf of you and the rest of the world. I will attempt to mark this occasion humbly and graciously because that is how they have chosen to live their lives.
They have created this great day in this amazing place, it is important to acknowledge the monumental efforts of you, their family and friends, all of you being here is a reflection on the quality and strength of this couple, thank you all for being here.
This next part will be the end of who the two of you arrived here as, after I finish speaking today, you will no longer be the two people who walked into this clearing, beneath these trees you will be changed, we are all here to be a part of that change, you will never again be the same person you saw in the mirror this morning. This is the point of this day, the reason for all of the effort this past few months, quite literally to change forever. Are you ready?
Are they still writing fairy tales? This couple may be definitive proof that the world of better-than-fiction is alive and well.
These are the two people we all aspire to be, not just in style and technique but literally we all go out everyday to the mailbox hoping that this kind of greatness will run us over in the street.
They have achieved the near impossible feat of finding the right person at the right time and knowing it.
Joe and Laura are deciding today to be married, they needed to do this, and they needed to be married. They have chosen each other, but it seems to most of us like choice had nothing to do with it. This is the kind of couple you meet and you just know, you just know on every level of knowing that they belong to each other, in a way few people have ever truly belonged to each other.
When I met them it seemed silly that Laura would have to explain that Joe was her boyfriend, based on how her entire face gets covered with a smile anytime he is with in sight, And though Joe plays the “aw shucks just passing through Miss Krifka,” you can see behind his eyes the child like delight he gets from her looking In his direction. I knew they were going to be married the day I met them, whether they did or not.
|Photo By Steph Christensen|
They were never going to be apart…
Laura describes Joe as unbelievably cool without even trying, he just is that cool. And Joe in a typically cool fashion just grins at that stuff and melts her with a smile. That’s how cool works, you can’t explain it like a formula, these two are not a formula, they did not get here in the formulaic fashion but they got here together, they have told me in that cool way they have, that they never really get very concerned about where they will be, just knowing that the other person will be there is the primary criteria for making them like it. Place is not nearly as important to them as the person that makes that place worth being. They have made lots of moves, and they will make many more, because they are completely unconcerned with being anywhere more specific than simply a place called “together.” Not knowing where you will end up is a decidedly scary place for most people, but not these two, the future will be made within their relationship, the world holds little sway over them. It was earth shaking to me, for them to declare, “the only thing that matters is I get to be with him, to be with her?” …they sat there and looked me straight in the eye and both said, “we are not afraid, because we found each other.” I mean the audacity of it, the arrogance to believe that they could, that they should even try, that they should even entertain the idea of being happy forever more. I mean really… yes really. This is how I knew they were serious, because only two people who are truly in love could say something so brave out loud. Only two people who know that they will in fact be fine no matter what, could ever have the courage to imagine living a life that loud that bold, that beautiful. They both sat there not knowing what a dangerous thing they had said. They had proclaimed to the entire universe that they were ready, that they were willing, able, anxious even, for the test, they really do believe they are invincible. And I believed them completely… I still do. They are unquestionably invincible.
You will know each other better than any other thing in the world. Better than your favorite towel or best coffee mug. You will know this person by the tiniest freckle, you will enter a room they just left and know it in your soul. You will miss them and be confused as to why they are in a different space. You will hurt for them harder than they hurt for themselves you will try to wrestle their pain away from them to spare them going through it, you will cringe at the stupid things you say to each other, and you will run to each other when forgiven. This person will forgive you with the force of tidal waves, if and only if you are willing to be forgiven, you will know love by their willingness to ignore completely every flaw you wrongfully think you posses.
Your spouse will create a special place in their heart. This man will make for you a shelter inside his soul in which you will be safe from every storm. And you will create a point on your heart which he will tether all of his hopes and ambitions. You will anchor his every dream. His bravery, her courage, both of you will exist fearlessly because of the others stable strength and passionate spurring. Give like your life depends on it, because it does.
|Photo by Elaine Lee Photography|
We have waited far too long to have a couple of your magnitude walk the earth, exploring every adventure together, meeting victory and dancing on the tops of mountains. Your footsteps will shake the lonely ground, you will shine a light on every dark place and cast sadness out into the abyss with no more effort than you use to pick an apple. We will all sing songs about your triumphs, and your praises will be on our lips constantly and loudly. We are awed by you, we are thrilled by you, we are all in love with the idea of the both of you as a duet. There has never been a match like this, and I will grow old waiting to see another which comes half as close to the greatness you both are right now, let alone the magnificence you will be one year from now.
One year from now, from this day, you will remember standing here, you will remember how nervous you were to get it right. You will remember how important it was to make this happen. You will cherish this spot, this time and these people, because all of it came together, to make this your wedding. There will never be another day like today for you, but every day from this forward will be a tribute to this moment. You are a marriage, you will be a man and wife, and that is one of the single most perfect forms of being we have ever imagined as a people. This life is ridiculous, it is silly and violent and full of uncertainty. But you have found the wild secret of how to live it free of all that strife. You have found a powerful tool of happiness, your “other.” The other everything. The other half of your bed, the other half of your pride, the other half of you successes, and the other person who will share everything with you. We are drawn to people, not because of need but out of a deep sustained desire to share and be shared.
You will not be lost in this person, you will not be hidden amongst their life, or obscured by their brightness, you will be the reason for their glowing shiny spots. You already know how good it is to come home with news of success, news of your world working out better than you hoped, that moment in the driveway before you tell them how good it was, that moment before they take you in their arms and kiss you and welcome you back into your safe place. You already know that the world can wait to hear, but this person, this precious person will not just listen to you, not just express their pride, but instead they will take the news as their own, because they will know you have included them in every big thing, that you are including them in your life totally. This is a partner, this is a lover, this is a spouse, this is the goal, this is a marriage.
So that should be easy, pretty much the hard stuff is over. In fact I doubt you will ever have anything else hard to do… except all of it. Jobs will come and go, houses will come and go, friends will come and go, but he and her will always be present. Please focus on that, when you forget, that you are perfect, and when he forgets he is perfect, you must dig up the memory of this day, and know that at this moment on this day in this place you are perfect. And that means you can be again. When you doubt whether you are doing it right, just know that sooner or later you will, sooner or later your own natural inclination to do it right will kick back in and you will get out of your own way and let your perfection out. You will get it right. You will get it better than right, you will redefine what right means, and the rest of us will play catch up and come marching behind you to learn what the new right is.
Please understand my complete sincerity in everything I have told you, I can say anything up here right now and you would just have to smile and listen. But when I thought about the two of you and I thought about the chance you both have, well it seemed impossible to tell you anything else except, thank god someone gets to have this kind of happiness. I have been witness to some truly great love stories, not the movie kind, not the book kind, but the seventy-five years of dancing at sunset, singing in the hospital room, battle till the end, die two minutes apart, bring flowers for no reason, tear down the walls to get her back, drive all night, knock a guy out for rudeness about her, hold his hand even when he doesn’t recognize your face, take the grandkids swimming every day of summer, never leave, no matter what, no matter anything kind of love story. So please trust me when I say as an expert… this is what you have right here, what the two of you are is hands down the kind of love story that they invented love stories to describe. You are what they meant when they invented love.
You are perfect, you are both perfect, and all of us here won’t tolerate anyone who says different. You are a gift to know, so thank you for knowing all of us.
Brent, Luara's stepfather lead all the parents and siblings in a laying on of hands.
|This photo was taken by the very talented|
Elaine Lee her professional services
can be located here Elaine Lee Photography
I need all of you here to perform a larger task than just wedding guests. You have responsibilities to up hold, after today it will become your never-ending mission, to protect and guide this marriage. They will need you as friends, as mentors, and advisors, as confidants, as compatriots, and as protectors, I am asking you to be there when they need you and to need them in return, give them kindness and join together around them when they are under attack, watch over them like the precious union they are, Please answer this next question together in one voice with one loud “WE DO” Will you the people most important to this couple, watch over them, guide them, and keep them safe…..?
The Rings, Kevin has them. It is always nice being the last person to hold the rings before they become heirlooms.
At this point in the service Joe and laura exchanged vows. The couple wrote these together and are proof of their amazing love.
I promise to love you unconditionally. To always look for the best in you, and to try and find the best in myself to give to you.
Before looking at the world or you to change I promise to look inward first when dealing with adversity.
I promise to always let you know what is in my heart.
Above all I vow to be a witness to your life and to walk through this world with you.
Place the ring on his/her finger.
Turn and face me. Do you Joseph Raymond Michael take this woman to be your wife from this day forward? He Did.
Do you Laura Elizabeth Krifka take this man to be your husband from this day forward? She did.
On behalf of, your families, your community, and the great state of California I pronounce you Husband and Wife.
Joe, for the first time ever, kiss your wife.
Ladies and gentlemen please rise and welcome with me a very new thing
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Raymond Michael
Presided over by the Reverend Patrick D Melroy in Santa Barbara California on July 14th 2012.