A few months ago two friends of mine asked me to do a reading at thier wedding, and after I offered to write it for them they said yes. I wanted to share the piece with you along with a recording of a portion I had to cut due to time constraints (and that it didn’t quite fit in with the broader piece).
Here is the final reading from the ceremony this weekend.
Alex and Mike: A Love Story
When two great readers get married it is only natural to tell the tale of their first meeting – acknowledging perhaps that the telling may take the form of their favorite genre of novels. For Alex it might be an England beset by World War II or for Mike a fantasy story of eight volumes that takes twelve years to write.
Seriously though –
What all the great love stories (think Elizabeth and Darcy-Alex’s favorite, Beatrice and Benedick – mine, or Mike’s favorite Steris and Wax) all have in common is that they began with a fated first meeting followed by a declaration – when each individual verbalized the intangible emotion pulsing through their racing heart – love – before ending with a walk down the aisle. Everyone lives happily ever after. The end – right?
Nope. We’re missing something. Ever After. That’s the important part.
There is a storytelling mechanism created by Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. It is an unending cycle of transformation when the hero or heroine is called to an adventure beyond their ordinary existence. What follows are tests, ordeals, moments of metamorphosis and change, followed by a return home where the cycle begins anew.
Ever After is the ultimate hero’s journey, with one critical difference. While the call to adventure may come to one individual – the journey is not undertaken alone. Rather it is two people working hand-in-hand to vanquish challenges – constantly breathing oxygen into the light of their love. Together. And each time they return the relationship is renewed, stronger, with more confidence, and yes with more love.
A true love story, like Alex and Mike’s, doesn’t end with this day – rather it strengthens, grows, and adapts with each passing year and experience. One that leads not just to happily ever after but a forever ever after that is real, romantic, and every bit as beautiful as those told by storytellers the world over.
Alex and Mike: Deleted Scenes
In drafting this I did have to make some cut’s to the reading. For one it made the reading a little bit more like a toast which was not my intention. It also almost doubled the time of the reading. Here’s a clip of me reading that section out loud to Alex and Mike.