In small ways I try to make the ceremony as personal as time and opportunity allow including the use of personally written vows or affirmations. An injection
of a little humor can also help to keep things from becoming too route or even
sterile: I’ll remind a couple to gaze into each other’s eyes and not to fix on me as many are wont to do. I tell them, “You’re not getting married to me!”
My experience as a Deputy Commissioner, although relatively short, has been with a wide and varied range of couples. Recently after pronouncing married a barely-into-their-twenties pair in flip-flops and shorts, the new bride beamed, “Wow! I’m married and I’ve never even been to a wedding before!” With that they were off to the beach. This past Monday, after the familiar pronouncement, another new bride took some pride in announcing that she and her new hus-band had been together twenty-three years and already had three children together whose ages were twenty-one, nineteen and fourteen. I joked, “I hope he’s been paying child support all this time.”
My first County wedding is memorable in that it was transmitted some 17,000 miles away and with a 9-hour difference via Skype to Austria. After declaring the couple married it was the Austrian relatives who leapt from their fifteen-inch screen confines and were most boisterous with their applause and congratu-latory cheers. It is, however, the marriage of couple number thirty-three that stands out most to me at the time of this writing.