Troths Have Been Plighted

Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollOct 9, 2007 6:49 PM


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We're back! Jennifer and I, that is, having successfully gotten married and then immediately swanning off for the honeymoon. Nobody got hurt, as far as I know, and all in all I highly recommend the experience. No pics of the actual event yet, sorry about that. The ceremony was beautiful. It was held at Marvimon, a reconstructed 1920's auto showroom north of Downtown LA, now owned by artist couple Sherry Walsh and Miguel Nelson, who rent it out for private parties. Let me just say that Sherry and Miguel were enormously useful in pointing us to good people to help with all of the stuff that goes into throwing a smashing wedding. Most of all they introduced us to our caterers, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, a/k/a the Food Dudes, who whipped up some of the best bacon-wrapped dates and corn chowder and mac-and-cheese you're ever likely to find. We hired them just in time, too -- next week they have a show debuting on the Food Network, Two Dudes Catering, and pretty soon we won't be able to afford them.

Our ceremony was performed by Rev. Mark Trodden, newly ordained by the Progressive Universal Life Church just for the occasion. (Although apparently you get a parking sticker, so there are benefits.) We wrote our own vows, based on the following algorithm: start with the Form for the Solemnization of Matrimony from the Book of Common Prayer, then remove from it all the references to God and anything too clunkily archaic (we crossed out the bit about "carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding"). You're left with not much text, but a nice outline. Then insert into that some nice secular meditations on the meaning of love and marriage; we used W.H. Auden,

Rejoice, dear love, in Love's peremptory word; All chance, all love, all logic, you and I, Exist by grace of the Absurd, And without conscious artifice we die: So, lest we manufacture in our flesh The lie of our divinity afresh, Describe round our chaotic malice now, The arbitrary circle of a vow.

and Rainer Maria Rilke,

We must trust in what is difficult. It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult. It is also good to love, because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is mere preparation.... Love consists in this: that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.

Season with some interpolating phrases featuring a bit of levity, and you're done. Not that I would know, but I suspect that getting married when you're 40-ish is a substantially different experience than when your 25-ish. Not that either is intrinsically better or worse, but it's helpful to have some experience with other parties and weddings, and a sufficiently matured sense of taste that you both know exactly what you want. And it's extremely nice to bring together people who have meant so much to you over various different phases of your life, and collect them in one place to celebrate the beginning of the next phase with the person you love. We now return you to your regularly scheduled bloodless-academic-sciencey blogging.

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