By half past the hour, once all guests are seated, the processional begins with Marry You
by Bruno Mars. Flower girl Polly and ring bearer Wembley come down the aisle first. Wembley is a large brown rat dressed in a specialized tiny tuxedo with a black ribbon tied in a bow around his neck. Two gold bands are secured to his tiny bow tie. The rat winds a zigzag path down the aisle with a giggling Polly delightedly chasing him between the rows. Few of her petals actually make it out of the basket she is carrying, insisting ‘No, my.’ when encouraged to scatter them about.
Once girl and rat arrive at the altar, Ed and Goshen enter from two side doors at the back of the chapel. They meet in the middle, their combined smiles illuminating the room. They link arms and proceed up the aisle to the altar where Abby, Fox, Polly, Wembley, and the officiant wait.
After they make it to the altar, Ed and Goshen each light individual candles. Th song ends. Ed and Goshen stand angled to face each other as much as the officiant. Guests are kindly asked to be seated and then the ceremony begins.
Officiant: “Welcome friends, families, and honored guests. We are here to celebrate love. Love organizes our large and sometimes unpredictable world. It is that which enshrines and ennobles our human experience. It is the basis for the peace of family, and the peace of the peoples of the world. The greatest gift bestowed upon people is the gift of love freely given between two persons. All of you are present today because you, in one way or another, have been part of Ed’s or Goshen’s life. On behalf of them, a hearty welcome to all.
“Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure on which a couple can embark. This ceremony does not create your marriage; only you can do that through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as lifemates and partners.
“And now we have come to the words Ed and Goshen want to hear the most today...the words that will take them across the threshold from being engaged to being married. A marriage, as most of us understand it, is a voluntary and full commitment. It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and it is entered into with the desire and hope that it will last for life. Are you ready?”
Ed giggles nervously before saying, “Yes.”
Goshen, who has never stopped smiling, also says, “Yes.”
Officiant: “Do you, Edgar Smith, freely and without reservation, give yourself to this man, Goshen Greene, in marriage, to cherish in friendship and love today, tomorrow, and for as long as the two of you live, to trust and honor him, to love him faithfully, through the best and the worst, whatever may come, and if you should ever doubt, to remember your love for each other and the reason why you came together with him this day?”
Ed: “I do.”
Officiant: “Do you, Goshen Greene, freely and without reservation, give yourself to this man, Edgar Smith, in marriage, to cherish in friendship and love today, tomorrow, and for as long as the two of you live, to trust and honor him, to love him faithfully, through the best and the worst, whatever may come, and if you should ever doubt, to remember your love for each other and the reason why you came together with him this day?”
Goshen: “I do.”
Officiant: “May we have the rings?”
Abby scoops up Wembley to untie two gold bands from his ribbon bow tie. She gives the rings to the officiant who then gives them to Ed and Goshen.
First Ed, and then Goshen, take turns placing a ring on the other’s appropriate finger on the left hand, with these words: “Today I offer you this ring and with it my love. Take this as a sign of my everlasting commitment, with all that I am, and all that I have, from this day forward as your husband.”
Officiant: “Love freely offered has no owner. You are each the giver and each the receiver. The wedding ring is a symbol, in visible form, of the unbroken circle of your love, so that wherever you go, you may always return to your shared life together. May these rings always call to mind the shared power of your love.
“And now Ed and Goshen will commemorate their marriage by lighting a Unity Candle. The two distinct candle flames represent your lives before this day, individual, unique, and special. Please take the candle symbolizing your life before today, and together light the center candle to symbolize the union of your individual lives. As this new flame burns undivided, so shall your lives now be one.
“It is in the spirit of this unity that Ed and Goshen have chosen to unite their names. From this day forward they will no longer be Edgar Smith and Goshen Greene, but together they will forever be Edgar and Goshen Greensmith.
“Entering into this future with them is their daughter, Polly, who as of today is also now officially a Greensmith.”
Polly shrieks, “Pa! Da!” Hushed laughter and touched murmurs of awe ripple through the small crowd.
Officiant: “And now, as we count down to the New Year, join us in celebrating love. Gather up your loved ones. Take hands and get ready. For Ed and Goshen, a new life starting in 2020.”
As the countdown begins from 5, the song This Will Be Our Year
by the Zombies begins its introductory chords., By the 4, 3, and 2 it begins in earnest and plays through the fireworks that start immediately at the stroke of midnight.
As the first firework pops, the officiant yells, “You may now all kiss!” The song plays through. Ed and Goshen do not hesitate in the least. They don’t even see the bright start of the delightful display through the windows on the right hand wall behind Ed, only each other. As their kiss winds down and certain individuals’ whistles and catcalls grow louder, Goshen twists Ed into a cliche dip that results in laughter as they both right themselves and manage to catch the last few fiery blooms in the nighttime sky.
The fireworks settle down a couple minutes after the hour as the one song comes to its end. Once everyone has had their opportunity to share a kiss and throw confetti, the officiant calls again for attention to introduce the newly united couple.
“Families and friends, it is my deep honor and great joy to present to you for the very first time the newly married couple Edgar and Goshen Greensmith. Let us give the newlyweds a heartfelt round of applause.”
Ed and Goshen turn to pose for the crowd, still smiling brilliantly side by side and Goshen’s hand on Ed’s lower back. As Queen’s version of of the classic Elvis Presley’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love
starts playing, they link arms and proceed down the aisle to the back of the chapel. More confetti is thrown along with applause. Followed by Polly and Wembley, then Fox and Abby, they exit into the lobby where they wait to greet guests and thank them for coming as they are ushered from their seats. The Howards are excused first, then Margot and Ginger. Guests are excused from front row to back. After handshakes and hugs to go with their thanks from the wedding party, guests are escorted to the reception hall to party the rest of the night away.