|Anna and Ivan. Mazeltov.|
Today I'm going to marry my niece.
Allow me to rephrase that in a less alarming way.
Today I will perform the ceremony at my niece's wedding. This is the second wedding ceremony I have performed - the first was for my daughter Catherine and son-in-law Drew. They did not want to go the priest-and-sacrament route, so someone suggested I do the wedding. I got on the internet, and poof. I'm an ordained minister from the Holy Nondenominational Church of God dot com.
Anna and Ivan are the sort of people that you love individually but even more as a couple. Anna has a truly amazing laugh. This is not hyperbole. She has an amazing laugh. You'd have to hear it to understand. As for Ivan, he won my heart when he quoted an epigram of Marcus Aurelius one evening. I'm glad to know the nerd gene will be passed down to a new generation. They are wonderful and sweet. This is a special day.
Ivan is Jewish and they wanted traditional elements in the ceremony. They will be standing under a chuppa, which is a canopy representing the first home they will share as husband and wife. (I have to practice saying husband and wife. Anna does not want me saying man and wife.) Then they will sign a ketuba, which is a marriage contract. Normally, the ketuba is signed beforehand, but we wanted it part of the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, Ivan will smash a wine glass underfoot, which Anna says is the last time he'll get to put his foot down.
I admit it seems kind of unreal and silly to me that I would get this great honor of performing the ceremony, even though my pastoral credentials have been verified by nothing less than the Almighty Internet itself, but of course, the truth is, like everyone but Ivan and Anna themselves, I'm really just another witness to the wedding. The vows are solemnized by something even greater than the World Wide Web.