Mike & Andrea came to Akron (Andrea’s hometown) from Missoula, Montana for their ceremony this afternoon at the O’Neil House. The reason for the homecoming was so Andrea’s mother and father, 91 and 97 years old, respectively, could watch her marry the love of her life.
Mike & Andrea asked for a traditionally structured ceremony, but using nontraditional language. Before they recited the beautiful and heartfelt vows they had written, I asked them the questions of intent:
“Michael, will you take Andrea to be your wife, and will you love her with unrestrained excess, sooth her when she suffers, be present in every moment of celebration as well as crisis, and honor and adore her for all time?
“And Andrea, will you take Michael to be your husband, and will you love him with unrestrained excess, sooth him when he suffers, be present in every moment of celebration as well as crisis, and honor and adore him for all time?”
Before writing the ceremony, I asked Mike & Andrea why they wanted to marry one another. Their responses were too poignant and touching not to share:
“When I asked Mike and Andrea each why they wanted to marry the other, the answers were as profound as they were simple.”
Andrea said: “The more I got to know Mike, the more I realized I could be myself 100% of the time around him, I knew I did not want to lose that, ever.”
Mike said: “I realized that she was open to me being who I am, I could be the person I’ve always wanted to be; free to grow within the relationship. That’s when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.”
“This ease of being that you share is a thing that some people will never experience in their lifetimes. To another couple I might point out the rarity and beauty of what you have found in each other – but you already know, and this understanding will serve you well in the happy years ahead.”
Mike & Andrea: May your days on this earth be blessed, jubilant and prosperous!