As of August 17, 2003 – 12:20 PM
Raoul, Jill and Matt (with modifications and the blessing addition
by Don Berman)
Strangers from distant lands, friends of old, you have been summoned here to
witness the marriage of Jill and Raoul. I’m pleased to greet you and
whether the word is welcome, bienvenue, zdrazwete, shalom, vilkommen, yokoso,
salve or as our klingon friends say, “chan’to ko’pla,” it
is wonderful to have you join us.
I’m Matt Lawrence and I like these guys so much, I want to
marry them… To each other, that is. [audience
laughter] I’ve worked with both of them for many
years now, and we’ve become very dear friends. I’m honored
to be here to perform the ceremony.
We first want to acknowledge the family and friends that have come from such
a great distance to join us for this event. Why would they travel so long for
such a short ceremony? For the joy of airplane cuisine? I don’t think
so. For the free trial size shampoo from the motel? No. For a summer barbecue
at Jill and Raoul’s? Maybe... NO, it’s because no one believed
that Jill and Raoul would finally get married!
They’ve been together 12 years and until this day everyone
concerned with such formalities had pretty much given up hope. Even
Raoul’s mom, Edie, said – (often), “forget the
wedding, just hurry up with the grandchildren already!” [audience
The family – Raoul’s parents, Jill’s mom and grandparents,
have been so patient and now their patience is being rewarded. They are “tickled
pink” as the saying goes.
So we are gathered here today to witness Jill and Raoul’s official commitment
to each other. Jill and Raoul’s success as a couple has come not just
from their strong friendship, but also from their happiness and sense of fulfillment
from life-in-general. Part of that happiness comes from the incredibly rich
community of friends and family (this is you all) that they are blessed to
be part of. Friends and family who support them through good times and bad,
and who enrich their lives with diversity, friendship and potatoes. At this
time I would like the community of friends to share in Jill and Raoul’s
commitment to each other by agreeing to continue to be a supportive, fun-loving,
scrabble-playing, food-cooking group who will carry on that support for each
other as well as for Jill and Raoul. So, friends of the happy couple, do you
agree to continue to laugh and cry, share the world and enjoy good food, good
drinks and life-in-general with Jill and Raoul so long as you are hanging around. [if
no response, DO YOU?]
This is far more than just a union of Jill and Raoul – it’s a joining
of their two families, and with it, East-meets-West to create a new FAMILY
SUPERPOWER! Coffee cake joined by Tastycake. Toast side-by-side with bagels.
Matzoh balls rolling around with yarn balls. On one side there’s heat
and humidity, on the other side, grey drizzle. They meet together to form a
rich, diverse, complimentary, mix of the two coasts and two cultures.
On this day, we ask whether Raoul’s family from Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, and that other Washington will accept not only Jill,
but her family and their free-wheeling, west-coast-based customs
and habits. ?? [if
no response, DO YOU?]
On this day, we ask whether Jill’s family from Oregon and
Washington will accept not only Raoul, but his strange family and
their East-coast-based, food-oriented customs and habits. ?? [if
no response, DO YOU?]
Good. I want to turn things over to Raoul’s dad, whose wisdom has produced
such important quotes as “The undocumented life is not worth living” and
an especially fitting one for today, “Featherless bipeds require rituals.” Here’s
I am going to say a blessing.
Now I can see from the furrowed brows and concerned looks that
you are wondering to yourselves, "just what is the difference
between a blessing and a prayer?" Well, the answer lies at the
heart of Judaism. There is a notion at the very core of Judaism which
looks at everything in the universe as a miracle. Everything that
happens to you in your life is an unexplainable, inexplicable miracle.
Think about it for a moment. When you move your hand, how does that happen?
Modern science tells us that an electro-chemical impulse in the
brain travels down long neurons, crosses synapses until it reaches
the necessary muscles and that makes your hand move. But does that
really explain how it happens? It still remains a mystery how a thought
translates to electro-chemical activity. And what is all that anyway?
Isn't it really a miracle?
In order to help people maintain an attitude of awe and wonderment,
the rabbis of old developed sayings or blessings. There are blessings
for everything. From the time you get up in the morning to the time
you go to sleep. There is a blessing for being allowed another day
of life, another for having lived another day, one for the bread
you are about to eat, another for the wine. And so it goes. Everything
is to be acknowledged with a blessing.
And now I see the furrowed brows again and the concerned looks.
You are worried, What happens if you forget the proper blessing when
you need it? Well, you need not worry. The great sages of ancient
times thought of this problem. And they came up with an answer, There
is a blessing, a mega-blessing which covers all events. And you will
understand when I translate it after I say it in hebrew.
Blessed is the lord, ruler of the universe, maker of all things,
who has created us and sustained us and brought us to this joyous
And let us all say amen.
Thank you. Here’s the part you’ve all been waiting
Raoul, will you continue to have Jill as your marinade-mistress,
to have and hold, love and cherish, through set redesigns and script
revisions? Through cranky faculty and late-night strikes? Through
roof replacements, car repairs and migraines? …to share LIFE,
the whip cream maker, and the hard drive space? [Raoul
Jill, will you continue to have Raoul as your grill master, to
have and hold, love and cherish through remodel and rewiring? Through
endless E.M. meetings and Super Saturdays? Through computer crashes,
server problems and food-phobias? …to share LIFE, the whip
cream maker, and the hard drive space? [Jill
And now, may I have the rings, you ring “bears.” Grrrrrrr.
I hope we have the keys to these handcuffs!! [audience
Thank you agent Jordan. Thank you agent Zachary.
Use these rings as symbols of your long-term commitment, your love
and your respect for each other - and please place them on each other’s
puts ring on Jill] [Jill puts ring on Raoul]
At this point in a traditional Klingon wedding, the groom’s
party attacks, and the new couple must join to defend themselves. [audience
laughter] In deference to the lovely garden, we’ll
skip that and go right into “you may now kiss each other.” [Jill
and Raoul smootch big time!]
At this point in a traditional Jewish wedding, it is customary
for the groom to break a glass. There are many explanations for this
tradition, but tradition really does not need any explanation. Ask
Don later if you’re really curious.
[Raoul stomps on
Friends, I present: Jill and Raoul, Sound and Lights, Designer
and Engineer, and now husband and wife!
At this point in a traditional Scottish wedding, we would go eat
and drink more. And that seems like an excellent idea! The receiving
line begins at the
BBQ. Please join Katy, our piper, in playing them out. I’m sure you’ll
know the tune.