Family and friends of Kristina and Brian, Good afternoon, and thank you all for being here today-
We begin this wedding by asking: What is Marriage? What changes today in the relationship of Kristina and Brian? And why are we all gathered to witness this change?
I propose that the distilled essence of Marriage is two people deciding and agreeing to elevate their relationship to the level and status of Family.
So what is Family? As near as I can tell, Family is found when the core aspect of a relationship - the foundation upon which it is built - is fundamental and unchanging.
Unchanging: now there's a tricky word! Change is the nature of time, and all our relationships - family or otherwise - exist in time. And as such, they clearly evolve, grow, bend, sometimes stumble, hopefully flourish; but undeniably are subject to the flux of time and change.
And I don't mean to imply that marriage - or any other family relationship - is static, incapable of growth, or somehow insulated from the trials and opportunities of time: Surely our relationships with our parents are different now than they were when we were children; dropping your child off at preschool is clearly different than watching your child raise children of their own; the sibling that you might have once tormented may now be your closest confidant. But despite the day-to-day details changing, your Mom and Dad will always be your Mom and Dad; your sons and daughters will always be your sons and daughters; and your brothers and sisters will always be your brothers and sisters.
At the core; your relationship with family is timeless.
So when Brian and Kristina decide and agree to become Married, to become Family, they are recognizing that there is a fundamental, unchanging, timeless bond that they share, and that this bond is worthy of declaration and celebration; today and hereafter.
That they choose to wed in this place - with this assembly speaks well to the nature of their marriage and the value they place in all of you.
What Brian and Kristina have done is look to their family and close friends - those who actually care about their decision to become married - and asked them to be here today to bear witness to their union and share their joy. They have welcomed you into their home - the land and structures and gardens of their shared effort - the place in which they will plan and live the upcoming years of their joined lives - they have invited you to this home to celebrate and be a part of their familial fusion.
They honor you by asking you to be with them today.
And you honor them with your presence.
By being here, you recognize and support their decision. You declare your faith that the timeless bond of family is created between them, and you endorse their plans to live this day forth joined in marriage. And in doing so, you strengthen their already strong union, and you add joy to their already joyous day.
That those of us assembled have a stake in the success of Kristina and Brian, both as individuals and as joined in marriage, we have an obligation to examine and confirm our belief that these two should indeed be married. As the guy with the microphone, I take this opportunity to distill what I see in them, and what I see their potential to be.
I've known you for over 10 years now.
We met as co-workers; stagehands at the theater.
I was new to the business, coming into it to learn the details of how a theater worked, with ambitions of applying that knowledge to theatrical fireworks. I knew how to send up an outdoor display, but I didn't know my Stage Left from my Stage Right. You were already established in the stagehand role, quietly competent across the disciplines. As I fumbled my way around, quite literally learning the ropes, you were always available to support, assist, and guide my efforts and learning. You did so calmly and matter-of-factly, with an even keel so rarely found in the high-stress, high drama world of putting on live shows.
Later, as the 4th of July was coming up and I needed hands to put on a display, you were at the top of my list of people I could trust with my life, as well as the lives of the rest of the crew and audience. Being able to hand someone a highway flare and say "go blow that thing up", then turning your attentions elsewhere, secure in the faith that only the correct things would go "woosh!" - that takes a level of trust that I've rarely found elsewhere.
Later still, when the grass caught fire at the training out east near Riverside, you were the first one grabbing the extinguisher off the truck and running into the field to pull the reins on an emerging emergency. Even when the gopher hole reached up and pulled you down, causing no small injury, your focus was on getting the fire out first and washing out your wound with antifreeze second.
The point of all this, Brian, is that for all the time I've known you, you've had the ability to see the big picture and act accordingly, and at the same time you've recognized the need - and have had the competency - to get the details right. And you've done this with consistently even temper, even when the sparks are flying and all around you are going mad.
You bring competency and serenity to you endeavors, and these are qualities we all need more of.
Though the pyro world is not the only one in which I deal with you two, it is the context in which I got to know you, and thus bears a bit more recollection.
When Brian first brought you along for one of the big Tahoe shows, there was the standard wariness that always occurs when a crew member brings someone they're dating. More often than not, the tag-along partner isn't really that into blowing things up in the first place, let alone all the hard, dirty, dangerous work that goes into it, so they spend most of their time sitting in the shade, drinking the good sodas out of the crew cooler, and splitting the attention of the person who brought them along in the first place. You've seen this happen with others in subsequent years, so hopefully you'll forgive our initial skepticism.
You showed us, though! You dove in headfirst, showing up early, staying late, learning fast, and putting in much more than your fair share of effort. Year after year, you came back, turning into one of those rare pyro partners who actually surpass the original crew member in enthusiasm.
As was the case with Brian, your competence and work ethic marked you as someone worth getting to know beyond the "lets put on a show" context. In the years since, I've found your dedication and enthusiasm, in whatever fields of endeavor you pursue, to be infectious and inspiring. You collaborate well, your initiative is stellar, and - from what I've seen - you brighten the day of all you encounter.
Brian and Kristina-
I have faith in your partnership because I've seen how you work together, and I've seen how you play together. I've seen you collaborate, developing, refining, and executing plans. I've seen you relaxed, hanging out, having a good time. I've seen you dealing effectively with the chaos and nonsense that life throws at us from time to time. I've seen how you resonate with each other, and I believe that this resonance will serve you well in times of opportunity and prosperity, and in times of trial and turmoil.
I believe you have what it takes to successfully be family
And so I say, let's get you married!
I assume the rings are present?
Do you believe, to the core of your being, that Kristina is the person with whom to forge the bond of family?
Will you continue to collaborate with her, according her all the respect and regard that is due a member of your family?
Will you stand by and support her, not just when the living is easy, but when times are tough and the going is hard?
Then place the ring on her finger and offer yourself as her husband.
Do you believe, to the core of your being, that Brian is the person with whom to forge the bond of family?
Will you continue to collaborate with him, according him all the respect and regard that is due a member of your family?
Will you stand by and support him, not just when the living is easy, but when times are tough and the going is hard?
Then place the ring on his finger and offer yourself as his wife.
Brian and Kristina-
Do you accept this offer of marriage?
Than so be it.
You are married.
Celebrate, and live, as you see fit.