This is the ceremony I wrote and conducted for the nuptials of dizzy and katyana. I appreciate their making me part of their day...

Friends and family, we are gathered here today to unite in marriage Anthony Clark and Dana McNabb.

It used to be that love was confined by geography. We met and married people in our towns and neighborhoods. People who went to our churches or schools. As most of us know, Dana and Anthony did not meet in this manner. They met through a virtual community, a nonphysical collection of souls. While some are naturally suspicious of this type of courtship, we should all be awestruck that two hearts can meet today without being bound by locality. That two people can come to know and love each other through their words first and foremost.

No one can doubt the power of the bonds these two formed over the Internet. We who have seen them together have affirmed the strength of their bonds, and today they make promises to spend their lives together. Marriage, however, is about more than two people. It ties together two families, two networks of friends, and two communities. The committed couple is the cornerstone of family and society, the source of strength from which all other things are possible. Just as Dana and Anthony are committing to add their strength to our lives, we must in turn agree to give our strength to them. So, of the people gathered here today, I ask for a promise. Do you agree to be a support for this married couple, to give them your love, your honesty and your strength to help guide them through the joy and heartache of marriage? Signify by saying "we do."

There is a tradition in some cultures to signify the nature of marriage through handfasting. Dana, Anthony, please give me your hands. This tie represents your marriage. It connects you, makes you dependent on each other, but does not hinder your own movement and growth. It binds you, meaning that if you want to go far, you need to bring your loved one with you. It supports you, making sure someone is always near to watch out for you. It is strong, and won't let you go, but is also soft and won't hurt you.

Do you understand the nature of this bond?

These rings have many important values. They are a visible reminder to yourself and others that you have made a commitment of this nature, the weight of them is a comfort in sorrow, the gold in them a reminder about the precious nature of what you have. Right now they are very shiny, but as your marriage gets longer, they will develop nicks, scratches and other signs of wear. Those nick and scratches are character, they represent survival, strength and the joy that comes from getting through life's troubles together.

Now is the time for you to express to each other the nature of your promises. Say your vows, and place the rings on each other's fingers.

You've just made a remarkable promise. Marriage is not something entered into lightly. It takes love and work to make it a happy union. More than anything else, you've promised just now to do that work, to not appreciate the garden without having pulled some weeds. We, your friends and families, support you.

In this place, at this time, I claim the honor of being the first person to call you man and wife. Dana, you may kiss your husband.

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