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Jim and Russell
May 15th, 2012

~ Opening Words  ~

“Dear family, friends and theater goers, welcome to the marriage of Jim and Russell. What a
wonderful sentence that is! They are here today because they have a dream that a generation
ago would have seemed outrageous. “Boy… You can’t marry a boy, boy!“ Here, tonight, on
the great white way, where “No you can’t” has so many times before become “Oh, yes I can!”
Jim and Russell will be legally married.

It has been said that marriage is falling in love over and over again with the same person. How
Jim and Russell will continue to accomplish this, that will be up to them, for every marriage is
as unique as the people that it joins. Yet the ideals of love, and home and family are as
universal as time itself, and the desire to spend a lifetime with the one we love transcends the
differences of language and gender, to speak to the very core of what makes us truly human.

Marriage is a promise that says “You will always come first in my life.” Jim and Russell, this is
an ideal that you have spent the last ten years living by. Yet there are a few insights from
tonight’s show that we hope you will keep with you on your journey. Always remember that
you have people in your life who love you and want to support you. They may not always have
all the answers, but go to them anyway, and let them help where they can. Try to always put on
your best face for one another! Yet also remember to always make it your truest face… the one
you each fell in love with. Sure the bus will break, and a gig or two will flop… But life is a
wonderful adventure, to be lived to it’s fullest without hesitation or fear of what might be,
instead trusting in the inherent goodness of the dream, that through the power of love will
become real.”

~ Presentation of the Rings  ~

“May I have the rings please?

Officiant is given the rings

Although you each wear only one of them, these rings essentially belong to you both. For they
are a symbol of the love you share and the promise that it will be a strong and lasting love.
Through out the years they will speak softly of your vow to grow along with one another, to
face the challenges life, to remain one another’s first priority and keep your relationship rich
and full. They will give you strength and comfort in times of uncertainty and heighten life’s
joys as you share them. Never again do you walk alone for your love will be with you always.”

~ Ring Vows  ~

“Russell, do you take Jim to be your husband,
Do you promise to continue to be loving, affectionate,
faithful, loyal, honest and trustworthy?
For better or worse, for richer or poorer,
in sickness and health,
for as long as you both shall live?”

Russell: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on Jim’s finger and repeat after me?”

Russell places the ring half way on to Jim’s finger

“I Russell take you Jim to be my husband.
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
For all the days of my life.”

Russell places the ring the rest of the way on to Jim’s finger

“Jim, do you take Russell to be your husband,
Do you promise to continue to be loving, affectionate,
faithful, loyal, honest and trustworthy?
For better or worse, for richer or poorer,
in sickness and health,
for as long as you both shall live?”

Jim: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your Russell’s finger and repeat after me?”

Jim places the ring half way onto Russell’s finger

“I Jim take you Russell to be my husband.
I will love you, and honor you,
respect and cherish you
For all the days of my life.”

Jim places the ring the rest of the way onto Russell’s finger

~  Pronouncement of Marriage  ~

“The two of you have been flying in for your theatre get a ways for may years
and I am overjoyed that New York, Broadway, and “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”
have this opportunity to embrace you in return.

It is my honor and privilege to now pronounce you
Legally Married Partners in Life, Love, and all things.

You may seal your promises with a kiss!”

Couple kiss and greet their guests as newlyweds!
Wahooooo! What a great year it has been so far! This page is a work in progress but I know
everyone is looking for wording so here it is! Husband, wife, spouse, lawfully wedded, these
are the words that make a marriage legal. Below are the beautiful ways my couples have chosen
to engayge them!
BEST NIGHT EVER!!!!

Jim and Russel were legally married on
stage at Broadway's The Palace Theatre with
the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

It was a magical night for these avid theatre
goers and now newly weds.

Russ's Mom: "Tonight I have a new son."

Love Love Love
this couple and their family
Marie and Barbara
May 10th, 2012


~ Opening Words  ~

“Marie and Barbara have been together for 30 wonderful years and consider this marriage
ceremony a reaffirmation of their lifetime commitment to one another.

They feel very blessed that each one of you are here to share in this history-making event with
them, as 30 years ago this was not an option for them to consider.  Yet, first with a foundation
of friendship, then trust, then great love, spiritual guidance and the support of their families,
they came together as a couple and have grown and function as one; each supporting the other
when necessary and each consoling the other when needed.

When asked of them - What they think makes for a 30 year successful relationship? They
replied: Never take one another for granted.  Be thoughtful and courteous to one another.

When asked what they love most about one another, and their relationship, Marie said how
fortunate she feels to have found Barbara, someone to look to for guidance and decision
making.  Barbara is her provider, protector, her rock and the anchor to Marie’s universe.
Barbara is logical, patient, gentle, generous, and non-judgmental.

And Barbara feels she is extremely lucky to have Marie in her life.  Marie is her foundation,
keeps Barbara grounded, organized and on track, she is a wonderful homemaker and brings
peace and serenity and offers comfort to the hectic world outside.  Marie is beautiful, loving,
caring, generous and kind.  She is the ultimate family nurturer.

From the earliest days of their relationship, Marie and Barbara have shared an undeniable
connection.  There has never been any hesitation, as the natural progression of their love kept
them strong and steadfast in life’s journey together.  

Their strengths and their differences complement each other so well that it has added a sense
of balance to their lives.  They know what is important to them and the well being of their
relationship.  They are committed not only to one another, but also to the quality of life that
they share.  

Dinners together, Sunday afternoon cocktails and playing backgammon, a loving, accepting
and supportive atmosphere in their home, communication that goes beyond words to
understand not only what is said but what is meant, all guided by loyalty, love, truth and trust.  
These are all to precious to ever let fall by the wayside.  

They both feel they have found their soul mate in one another, someone to rely on for all the
love, joy and sadness the world throws at them.  They are the forever love to each other.

Today is a public acknowledgement of all that you are to each other.  Seemingly your
relationship will be as it has always been, yet there is a power in the spoken word.  May that
power bring you all the warmth and closeness, security and comfort, joy and happiness that
this world has to offer.”

~ Hand Ceremony  ~

“A hand blessing is a ritual that is meant to draw you closer to one another. It has been said
that the hands are a connection to the heart, and a hand blessing symbolically brings two hearts
together.

Shakespeare said, “Now join your hands, and with your hand’s your hearts.” So please now
face each other. First join your right palms, and then your left palms. This forms an infinity
symbol with your hands, which symbolizes a love that will go on forever. Please look into one
another’s eyes.

These are the hands of your best friend.
They are holding yours on your wedding day as you
promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours
as together you continue to build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years,
and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear
or grief engulfs your heart.

These are the hands that will give you strength
when you need it.

May these hands always reach out with love,
tenderness and respect.

May these hands continue to build a loving relationship
that lasts a lifetime.

May these hands be blessed this day.  
May they always hold each other.  
May they have the strength to hang on during the
storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment.  
May they remain tender and gentle as they nurture
each other in their wondrous love.  
May they continue to build a relationship founded in love,
and rich in caring.  
May these hands be healer, protector, shelter and
guide for each other – always.

With eyes locked, and hands linked, this ritual is a beautiful symbol of the union of two hearts,
two lives, and two souls.”

~ Presentation of the Rings  ~

“The ring finger on the left hand, beside the side of the body that holds the heart, has long
been used for the wedding band, because for centuries people believe that there was a vein that
ran directly from that finger to the heart. And they believe that the words spoken during the
placing of the band was the symbol of perfection and completion and eternity, that those words
would resonate over and over again like the circumference of the band itself, into the heart and
soul, and would be the biggest promise that you could ever make, a promise to spend a
lifetime together.

May I have the rings please?

Officiant is given the rings

These wedding bands are a symbol of eternity, with no beginning and no end, they are a
visible and constant reminder of the vows you make to each other today to be together for as
long as you both shall live. You give each other these rings to wear with love and joy and
although you will each wear only one ring, these rings will essentially belong to you both.
They are meant to serve as a physical reminder of the feelings that you have in your hearts at
this very moment, and the promise that yours will be a long and lasting love. As these rings
have no end, neither shall your love for one another.”  

~ Ring Vows  ~

“No other human ties are more tender and no other vows more important
than those you are about to pledge.

Barbara, do you take Marie to be your lawfully wedded wife,
do you vow to love her and care for her,
for as long as you both shall live.
Do you accept her with all of her faults
and all of her strengths and offer yourself to her,
with all of your own faults and strengths.
Do you promise to love her faithfully through tears and laughter,
sickness and health, work and play, now and forever.
Do you promise to be a respectful and
loving companion and always put the vows
that you made this day above all else?”

Barbara: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger
and repeat after me?”

Barbara places the ring half way on to Marie’s finger

“With this ring, I thee wed.
And giving it,
I give you all my life,
All that I am,
All that I have,
And all that I will become;
From this day and forevermore,
I choose you to be my lifetime companion.”

Barbara places the ring fully on to Marie’s finger

“Marie, do you take Barbara to be your lawfully wedded spouse,
do you vow to love her and care for her,
for as long as you both shall live.
Do you accept her with all of her faults
and all of her strengths and offer yourself to her,
with all of your own faults and strengths.
Do you promise to love her faithfully through tears and laughter,
sickness and health, work and play, now and forever.
Do you promise to be a respectful and
loving companion and always put the vows
that you made this day above all else?”

Marie: “I do.”

“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger
and repeat after me?”

Marie places the ring half way on to Barbara’s finger

“With this ring, I thee wed.
And giving it,
I give you all my life,
All that I am,
All that I have,
And all that I will become;
From this day and forevermore,
I choose you to be my lifetime companion.”

Marie places the ring fully on to Barbara’s finger

“As you look to your hand and your wedding band throughout the years, it will speak softly of
the great gift you have been given in one another and may it be a reminder of this moment,
that you have someone to face the challenges of life with, who loves you more than anything
else in the whole world, never again do you walk alone, for your love shall be with you
always.  For you, Marie and Barbara, your rings specifically represent the resiliency of your
relationship with the brilliant stones, and the three round stones signify the three decades of
faithfulness, friendship and love that have flourished throughout your shared journey of life.”  

~ Pronouncement of Marriage  ~

“Having witnessed your marriage vows, with all who are assembled here today and by the
authority vested in me by the State of New York, it is with great joy, that I now pronounce you
united legally married, spouses for life.

You may now kiss your spouse.”

Couple kiss

~ Signing of The Marriage License ~

“Ginger and Jeanne, you have been asked to act as witnesses for Marie and Barbara. This is an
honor that they wished to bestow upon you. You have both shared with them the ups and
downs that life has brought, celebrated their joys and comforted them through their sorrows.
And yet in the signing of their marriage license a tangible piece of you shall be with them
always, to match the feelings they hold for you in their hearts. Will you please join us for the
signing of the license?”

Couple step to behind the table
where they are joined by Ginger and Jeanne
Marriage license is signed
After three decades of
Loving Caring
Committed
Relationship
Barbara and Marie
were married at the
Westbury Manor
Frank and Jesse
September 7th, 2011

~ Opening Words ~

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Frank and Jesse.
Marriage consists of entrusting our deepest selves into the loving care of another. It is an
emotional and spiritual act. The spiritual aspect of marriage should be embraced openly,
seriously, and completely, as marriage is a conscious act of will. The married couple must
continually renew their will to be joined and accept the challenges that living together in love
offer. They must decide that they will face the fears that are a necessary part of establishing
and nurturing an intimate relationship.  Frank and Jesse commit themselves today, to each
other, in sacred trust. They promise to embrace conflict, as well as peace; to work as well as
play; to struggle as well as bask; to give as well as receive; and to be with, stay with, and
move toward one another. They view marriage as a coming together at all levels of being –
mind, body, and spirit. This includes the willingness to be open and vulnerable; and the
courage to take risks.

Frank and Jesse, you have already made the commitment to create and recreate this conscious
partnership. Yet marriage is a journey not a destination. May the promises that you make this
day lead to a lifetime of love and happiness.

~ Welcoming of the Guests  ~

“Frank and Jesse would like to thank you for being here with them today, and for supporting
them through everything that it has taken to make this day a reality. They know that your
taking the time, and making the journey, took considerable effort and they want you to know
the deep appreciation and gratitude that they feel in their hearts for this. All of you are
important. All of the time and conversations that you have had with Frank and Jesse even
before they met have helped to make them who they needed to be to first find themselves and
then each other.  You have shared in their best and their worst days, and you are an
irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows. You are among
the greatest gifts that life has given them. You are those they can call Family.”

~ Frank and Jesse ~

“Today is a celebration of love and of life. It is a day to mark the continuation of a journey
that shall take a lifetime to complete. Frank and Jesse have so much in their lives for which
they are already thankful: good health, good friends, loving families, and happy years spent
with wonderful partners. Each knows the joy of spending years with someone he loves and is
loved by, and each knows the pain of losing that loved one.  Today as they affirm the love
they feel for each other they want to reaffirm their abiding love for those they have lost:
Frank’s late husband and partner Lee Vinocour and Jesse’s late partner Dick Reed.  They
wish to share with you the following song that beautifully expresses the abiding, even eternal
nature of love.  As you listen to this song, and read the words, we hope that you will
remember Lee and Dick, as will Frank and Jesse, and honor their memory as they do.

Play “Love Never Dies” by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Frank and Jesse were indeed both at the right time and right place, in more ways than one,
and from the day they met, over a good cup of coffee, they have been inseparable.   Their
lives had been very different before they met.  One, Jesse, knew he wanted to find again the
kind of joining of lives he had experienced before.  The other, Frank, having suffered the
pain of such a terrible loss, thought he would never be ready for another relationship.  But, as
I said, they met at the right time and right place.  On that warm winter day when they met for
coffee they were ready, and the bonds of love began to grow immediately.  
As with most couples, they have found the song that they consider theirs.
It is called “Walk with Me”.

Play “Walk With Me.” by Matt Alber

“For them it has been an easy and natural progression, as if they were made for one another.
They are very much themselves with one another and as cliché as that may sound to some, it
is a very important aspect of their relationship. Think of the gift that it is to be able to be
nothing more or less than one's self, with no pretense, no airs, no masks, and most
importantly without fear. It means that your heart has found home.
Together they share a love of home and their little fur family. Nothing is better to them than
the quiet times at home, with music and endless conversations about everything and nothing
at all. Their home is a welcoming place for those they consider family and friends. This and
helping those they love is important to them, because after all when you are as blessed as
they are, it is only right to give back.

When they are together there is a feeling of completeness and appreciation.  They revel in
together learning and expanding one another’s horizons so as to see the world in a broader
and deeper sense. They seek not only to hear one another, but also to understand the
unspoken glances and gestures that give a deeper meaning behind their words. For no subject
is ever worth harsh or angry words that might carelessly damage the spirit of their union
when their only desire is to know in total the deepest recesses of one another’s hearts.

~ Reading ~

“To further express the ideal of marriage, Frank and Jesse have chosen to share with you
these words, simply entitled;

“The Wedding Vow”

“You are not the air that I breathe,
You are the sweet scent that drifts upon it
You are not the sounds that I hear,
You are the music of my life
You are not the food that I need,
You are the nourishment of my soul
You are not my will to survive
You are my reason for living
It is with you that I experience
the wonders of the world
It is with you that I triumph
over the challenges in my path
It is your partnership that will lead me
to the fulfillment of my dreams
It is your friendship that guides me
as I learn and grow
It is your patience and wisdom
that calms my restless nature
It is through you that I know my true self
I do not take you for granted, I cherish you
I do not need you, I choose you
I choose you today in witness of all the people who love us
I choose you tomorrow in the privacy of our hearts
I choose you in strength and weakness
I choose you in health and in sickness
I choose you in joy and sorrow
I will choose you, over all others,
every day for all the days of my life”

~ Presentation of the Rings  ~

“Ariana and Erika will you now hold out the rings entrusted to you by Jesse and Frank?

Ariana and Erika hold out the wedding bands in the palm of their hands.

As you pass these rings to me, let your hands beneath serve as a symbol of how Frank and
Jesse and their marriage are supported upon this earth by the love of their friends and family.”

Officiant is given the rings

The ring, a circle, is one of nature’s simplest forms. The arc of the rainbow, the halo of the
moon and the smallest of raindrops simulate the circle. A circle is the symbol of the sun and
the earth and the universe. It is a symbol of perfection and of peace. In these rings is the
symbol of unity, in which your lives are now joined, so that wherever you go, you will
always return to one another and to your togetherness. As the circle turns again unto itself, so
does marriage seek itself for its refreshment and renewal.

Frank and Jesse’s rings are adorned with Celtic arches.  They chose the pattern on their rings
not simply because each of them has Irish heritage, but also for the symbolism of the pattern.  
The arches on these rings are interwoven: symbolic of the relationship between Frank and
Jesse, whose lives are interwoven.  The strands of the knots arch up to the heavens and down
to the earth, gathering energy and inspiration from both. The individual strands have broad
sweeps like ocean waves, cresting before they meet, and then gathering up from above and
below to do it again. In this process there is both joy and surrender to the great mystery of
life. May these rings remind you always of the vows you take here today.”

~ Ring Vows  ~

“Jesse will you now tell Frank what is in your heart?”

Jesse speaks his heart.

“Will you now place the ring on Frank’s finger and repeat after me?”

Jesse places the ring half way on to Frank’s finger.

“I Jesse, take you Frank,
To be my lawfully wedded partner in life love and all things
I promise to walk by your side,
I vow to love you and care for you
not only on this precious day, but for all time.
I take you, with all your faults and your strengths,
as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths.
I will help you when you need help,
and I will turn to you when I need help.
I choose you as the person with whom
I will spend my life.”

Jesse places the ring the rest of the way onto Frank’s finger.

“Frank will you now tell Jesse what is in your heart?”

Frank speaks his heart.

“Will you now place the ring on Jesse’s finger and repeat after me?”

Frank places the ring half way onto Jesse's finger.

“I Frank, take you Jesse,
To be my lawfully wedded partner in life love and all things
I promise to walk by your side,
I vow to love you and care for you
not only on this precious day, but for all time.
I take you, with all your faults and your strengths,
as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths.
I will help you when you need help,
and I will turn to you when I need help.
I choose you as the person with whom
I will spend my life.”

Frank places the ring the rest of the way onto Jesse’s finger.

“The vows you have just taken, pledging love,
mean far more than mere words ever can.
May their gentle spirit move in you.
May your years fulfill the beauty
of the feelings expressed today,
and may you always put these vows
above the things that make life smaller.”

~ “The Day of Your Wedding”  ~
Author Unknown

“Together you share the joy of a deep commitment
and the sacred trust.
You have given each other the most precious gift of love.
Treasure it, nurture it, and encourage it
with all the honesty you used in creating it.
You are sharing something rare and beautiful.
Always speak the truth, and listen attentively,
so that you may understand each other’s thoughts and intentions.
Inspire each other by sharing your accomplishments.
Say ‘I love you’ often to retain the warmth between you.
Remember to laugh a lot; even when you’re angry
After all, you’re each other’s best friend.
Stand together and for each other always:
be content in mind and spirit.
Make each day a blessing
and a fulfillment of your dreams.”

~ Pronouncement  ~

“You are now as your hearts have always known you to be,
Legally married, Husbands and Partners in Life, Love and all things!

You may now seal your commitment with a kiss!”

Couple kiss and exit to greet their guests!
Frank & Jesse
They came all the way
from California, rented a
beach house, gathered their
family and friends and
were legally married. The
out pouring of love and
support since New York
legalized same sex
marriage has been
amazingly beautiful.
Michelle & Janice
My Hamptons ladies!!!!
They came all the way from
the mid-west to be married
here on the beautiful beaches
of Long Island
photo thanks to
"As You Wish" Photography
Days after New York State
issued it's first Same Sex
Marriage License, I had the
honor of being with Richard
and Robert as they
celebrated 30 years of
loving and caring for one
another by becoming legally
married.

Congratulations to you both!

I can't wait to do it all over
again next year!
Rev. Marie April Gismondi,
I want to thank you so very much for the beautiful wedding ceremony you performed for
Bob & I. This bonding meant so much to us & the choice of the right person to perform our
wedding ceremony was every bit as important as our entering into this the beginning of this
chapter of our lives. We couldn’t possibly love each other more than we already did but
somehow the ceremony of marriage makes our lives and our love more complete. There will
always be those that will look down on us for our choice but we are finding there is more
acceptance & understanding than we expected. I am attaching the few photos that we took &
truly look forward to the renewing of our vows for our first anniversary next year. And we
look forward to you performing the renewal service. You made our very special day even
more special just by being the wonderful, caring person you are.  
Sincerely,  Richie & Bob
Click on the Church Banner to email me




or call
516-785-4191
Anytime!
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Copyright © 2000 - 2013 Marie April Gismondi
Same Sex couples and Taxes, Honey! This is all new to almost everyone and what's a
couple to do??? Best to get it from someone who knows. So I asked one of my
Accountant Brides, who wed her partner just before the New Year of the first year that
Same Sex Marriage became legal in New York to write me an article!

Same Sex Marriage and Your Finances
Stephanie and Corrine

“As many of you know Stephanie and
Corrine have been together for four and a
half years and have known one another for
almost twice that long. From the very
beginning of their friendship there was a
feeling that was more like remembering
than meeting one another. They were and
are best friends, who share a spiritual
connection so strong that falling in love
was inevitable. They knew, without
reservation, that together was the only right
and true way for them to proceed into their
future. Their romance came in a
“whirlwind” and brought with it a feeling
that everything was falling flawlessly into
place.  
Kelly and Jennifer

“As many of you know Kelly and Jennifer have been together for twelve and a half years.
They have spent their entire adult lives together, sharing so many of life’s firsts. In the years
when people change the most, it was simply natural for them to make all the decisions that
would keep them growing together into the life they share. By one another’s side has always
been the easiest place for them to be and the place that has always felt like home.

Theirs is an active life filled with family and friends, a love of snowboarding…. And of
course snowboarding that includes a marriage proposal is even better! In personality they
have the wonderful ability to complement and balance one another. Where Jennifer has been
described as “the straight-talk express”, Kelly is more like a scenic bus tour arriving slowly
and a bit more comfortably at her destination. Kelly is the one to get Jennifer out of her
comfort zone to explore the new and adventurous and Jennifer is the one whose simple
presence makes Kelly feel stronger and more herself in any and all situations. Kelly is
intellectual and conceptual, and Jennifer is an example of how to live all the ideals Kelly
reads about seemingly without effort. They know how and when to lead and follow, and
make an unbeatable team, who are better together than either could be alone.

When asked what they loved most about one another and their relationship Kelly began by
saying that Jennifer is honest, funny, caring, hard working, trustworthy and loving, with a
wonderfully dry sense of humor. She is also one of the most compassionate and empathetic
people that Kelly has ever met. Jennifer can always see all sides of a situation and always
tries to see people and their actions in the best possible light. Grateful and Lucky, are two
words that come to mind for the feelings that the thought of finally and forever having
Jennifer by her side as her wife inspire in Kelly.

Jennifer began her turn with “Although it sounds cliché” she loves that they are truly best
friends. They are the first person that they each want to go to with anything and everything
that the day brings and there is an appreciation for the spiritual intimacy of this connection.
Jennifer loves the sense of history they share, the way they have retained their individual
interests, as well as found new things to share. Kelly’s intelligence is something that Jennifer
has always found inspiring, and her example makes Jennifer want to learn and grow more as
a person. Kelly is a hands on kind of person who is always willing to go above and beyond to
make things better for herself and those she loves… Yet there is also a silly side that Jennifer
feels privileged to see, it is a private and unguarded side that is just for Jennifer to know, and
love, and cherish forever.

Marriage has always been the most intensely personal promise that two people can make. Yet
in the larger sense marriage has always been about family and community. To stand before all
those whom we love most in the world, and promise to love another person openly,
trustingly, without limit or precondition, and to do this for a lifetime… This is perhaps the
bravest thing two people will ever do. It is a promise that they have made over and over again
to one another in the privacy of their hearts, but it is also a promise to each and everyone of
you here… A promise that the person you love will be well cared for.”  
“Jim and Fernando wanted to include something in their ceremony that would be a
representation of how they see their joining together. Ecclesiastes tells us “A cord of three
strands is not quickly torn apart.” In marriage two people join together as individuals,
accepting that from this day forward they are joined by something larger than themselves.
Some call this God’s love that joins them, others call it their shared commitment to protect the
spiritual intimacy of their relationship. Either way it is a sacred trust and an interweaving of
spirit that is promised for a lifetime. Jim and Fernando have chosen to use three strands of cord
that they will now work together to braid into a single cord transforming them into something
better. Stronger and more beautiful than any of the cords alone.

Music begins
Jim and Fernando take the cords
Jim holds the loop while Fernando braids the cords
Fernando then fastens the cords together
Music concludes

May your marriage be blessed with patience, love and understanding, with a playful and lively
spirit that shows your joy in life and your love for one another and may you continue to be best
friends, better together than either of you are apart.”
I Love this picture!
Thomas and Anthony captioned it
"Doesn't my Husband have the cutest Husband!"

Ceremony by Pastor April Gismondi from CTM Highlight Reels on Vimeo.

Marie and Barbara's ceremony has been very popular this year. See how Brian and Steve, who
were also married at
Westbury Manor, used it as a base and then made it their own in the
video by
Capture the Moment Productions below
From Thomas & Anthony's ceremony

"This is such an exciting day and time that
we live in. Tom and Anthony consider
themselves very lucky that New York is a
place where we are able to celebrate
that love is love and a lifetime commitment
is the greatest promise that two people can
ever make. Knowing that someone will
always be there for you and that you will
be there for that person, that through the
power and strength of love both partners
will become better people… this has been
the ideal of marriage for every generation
that has ever lived."
photo thanks to
"As You Wish"
Photography
~ Leslie & Marie Opening Words  ~

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here this evening to celebrate the marriage of Marie and
Leslie. Tonight is a celebration of love and of life, a celebration not to create a bond or a
union, but rather to rejoice in the one that already exists. This marks the continuation of a
journey that began almost 38 years ago. It also celebrates Marie and Leslie’s commitment to
continue nurturing the love between them, and to maintain it as an integral part of their lives.
How Marie and Leslie will continue to accomplish this… that will be up to them, for every
marriage is as unique as the people that it joins. Yet a hallmark of Marie and Leslie‘s
relationship has always been the way they never forget that when they address one another,
they are each addressing the most important person in the world to them. The common
courtesy of saying "please" and "thank you" is not an effort but a natural response for them.
Marriage is a promise that says “You will always come first in my life.” This is an ideal that
Marie and Leslie already live by, and marriage is simply a way of giving them full and legal
recognition for the example they set as two human beings, joined in loving partnership.”

~ Welcoming of the Guests  ~

“Marie and Leslie want to thank Jude for opening her home to them and all of you for
coming. Tonight’s gathering was planned to be a particularly intimate one, because you are
those whom Marie and Leslie love most in the world and those whom they proudly call
family. The joy and sense of fulfillment that the title of "grandmother" has brought to their
lives is immeasurable. Family are the people with whom we share the story of our lives as it is
lived in real time. While they joked about getting married because they were bowing to peer
pressure to make honest women out of one another, there is something very special about
having you all here with them to witness a moment they never thought would happen in their
lifetime. They are so grateful for all of your love and support, for the place you have given
them in your hearts and the place you hold in theirs. And of course, as everyone will agree….
Their wedding just wouldn’t be the same without their fur child Wendy!”

~ Marie and Leslie  ~

“The years that Marie and Leslie have spent in a loving, committed relationship is quite an
accomplishment in today’s world. They first met in 1974. It was the heyday of the Women's
Movement, and Marie and Leslie each found herself drawn to the Gay Women's Alternative,
which met in the basement of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Central Park West in
Manhattan.  G.W.A.- or, as Marie called it, “Gwaaa” - was a place where women could meet,
listen to a broad range of speakers from the arts and public affairs, including, among others,
Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem, and then talk, nosh, and connect with one another on more
than the superficial level that the clubs offered.  Both they and the world have changed since
then. It has been quite a journey, but what hasn’t changed is the way they love and care for
one another. Although, like all couples they do disagree on occasion, their love and respect
for one another are ever present. Through wonderful and difficult times their support for one
another has never wavered. Marie and Leslie have two different approaches to life. They
describe it as being similar to the way they speak. Marie speaks like graffiti, bold and
colorful, right out there, and Leslie speaks clearly and concisely in fully formed paragraphs.
Together, they are simply better than either could be alone.

Marie wrote a little about what this day means to them and Leslie said “ditto” so I would like
to share those words with you now.  

For us, this ceremony is a way of acknowledging and celebrating our partnership of 37 plus
years. Tonight, it will be, to be precise, 37 years, 6 months, and 7 days.

It hasn’t always been easy for either of us. We come from different worlds. Leslie grew up in
the heart of America, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her family tended, most of the time, to be quiet,
polite, and they didn’t interrupt each other. I grew up in Queens, New York, as a member of a
large, loud and extended Italian family, in which it was normal for everyone to talk at the
same time - in two languages - and to interrupt each other as a matter of course. Often times
in an excitable and operatic manner.

Our unlikely partnership has enriched us both in many ways - literally and figuratively. But
what we most value in our years of living together is that they have enabled us, in our mixed
attempts, to become better human beings. And, we can’t think of anything that matters more
to us - God or no God - than that. It’s fair to say that we’ve helped each other grow.

And finally, for whatever time we have left, each of us wants to spend it with the other.
Which is another way of saying: “I do.”

~ Vows  ~

“Will Marie and Leslie and their Best Men, James and Patrick, please stand.

This is usually where I would ask for the rings. But Marie and Leslie have chosen not to take
them off in order to exchange them once again. Their rings were purchased at 'Wedding Rings
of Greenwich Village' in the late 1970’s and they have been wearing them ever since. Their
initials, which were originally engraved on the inside of the bands, have worn off with time.
Yet there is still wonderful symbolism there, because for centuries people believed that words
which were worn against the skin, would sink into the very fabric of the wearer’s being, and
become a part of who and what they are. May your rings remind you of how far you have
come and of how wondrous the journey ahead will be as you share it.

"Leslie, do you take Marie
to be your lawfully wedded partner,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better or for worse,
For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish
Until death do you part?”

Leslie: “I do.”


“Please take Marie’s hand and repeat after me…”

Leslie takes Marie’s hand

“Marie, I will continue to love you, and honor you,
put up with you, as you put up with me,
respect and cherish you,
For all the days of my life.”

“Marie, do you take Leslie
to be your lawfully wedded partner,
To have and to hold from this day forward,
For better or for worse,
For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish
Until death do you part?”

Marie: “I do.”

“Please take Leslie’s hand and repeat after me…”

Marie takes Leslie’s hand

“Leslie, I will continue to love you, and honor you,
put up with you, as you put up with me,
respect and cherish you,
For all the days of my life.”


~ Pronouncement of Marriage  ~

“As longevity runs in both families with both of your paternal grandmothers living past 100,
even after almost 38 years together, I think there is still room to wish you both a long and
happy marriage. And so, by the authority vested in me by the State of New York, it is my
honor and privilege to pronounce you Legally Married! You may seal your promises with a
kiss!”