Recently, I was asked to officiate the wedding of one of my closest friends and his fiancé. My brother will be the best man. Seven days prior, my friend will have been my brother’s best man. They’ve been friends since they were ten years old. And I’ve been their older brother for many years since. At some point in my twenties, my brother’s best friend became my best friend. So you can understand, this is quite the family affair. So when he asked that I officiate, I was quite honored, a telling sign of how close the two families are, but most especially how close my friend, my brother and I are. So with great powers, come great responsibility. And of course, when you are standing over the ceremony where two people in love profess their love to all the people in their lives they love, well that’s quite powerful and quite a big responsibility. And for me, my thoughts inevitably center around the notion of love and the idea of being in love.
In preparation, I asked the bride and groom the following questions to help me with what I planned to say.
- What is your definition of love? And how does the other embody that definition?
- What is your favourite quality in the other person, i.e. what do you admire the most? And why?
- What is the #1 thing in the other that surprised you the most? What did you do about it?
- What is your favourite quote and why?
- What movie do you see each other starring in? (Ok, this one just made me laugh. I also thought of asking, which superhero does the other remind you of and why?)
What questions would you ask? What questions have you asked?
“Love, actually”, is an amazing thing; and while it is all around us (and not just the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport), it’s an utter mystery. Why is it, that so many of us settle down with who’s available, rather than be ok with being alone, to live our lives becoming the best person we can be and, in the process, search and wait for the person we are supposed to be with? “She dreams in colors. She dreams in red. Can’t find a better man!” (Or woman) Eddie hit it on the head for so many of us out there.
Admittedly, I have a romanticized view of love. Still among my favourite people in the whole world is the person I loved when I was seventeen; and in many ways I still compare how I feel when I meet someone new, to how I felt all the way back then. While I acknowledge that love can be hard and messy and sometimes even ugly, I believe those things are also part of what make it beautiful, in addition to all the idealized notions we have of love. I’ve come to the conclusion that both persons need to want that love present and prevalent within their relationship – in the middle and in the end as much as they wanted each other in the beginning.
I do believe that Ringo had it right, “Do you believe in a love at first sight? Yes, I’m certain that it happens all the time!” Amen, brother.
- For those not currently in love, what do you look for in someone to love? What are you doing to put yourself in position to find it?
- For those in love, what’s your favourite part of being in love? Why? Is the person you love the type of person you always thought you would love?
- For those that fell out of love, what did you learn? What would you do again? What would you do without? Would you do it again?
The “in love” part I am far from figuring out and no doubt will continue to write volumes; but the “love” part I’ve got a handle on. In a way it’s easy; I’ve got a lot of love to give. I’m surrounded by incredibly wonderful people in my life. It’s easy to love them. Besides, I’ve got extremely long arms, and there is always room to include one more person to hug. Cos, much like bow ties and Stetsons, hugs are cool.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a couple weddings for which I need to prepare … but not without a shameless plug for the most precious person in my life, my adorable little niece. Now that is love!