Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wedding Day - Jackie and Barry

it was beyond a great joy to be able to help Wendy officiate in the wedding of her little sister. the day was beautiful, the couple was beautiful, i got a sunburn and then we had a blast at the reception.
you'll see below a full copy of the ceremony with some pics interspersed.


Friends, on behalf of Barry and Jackie we welcome you. Each of us have played an important role in the journey of one or both of them - some as family, others as friends. Many have come from quite near (even just a few blocks away). Others have come from across the country. We offer a special welcome to Barry’s family.
His mother Carol, (pause) and his father Jim have come all the way from Prince George, BC. We’re also delighted that Jackie’s dear friends: Charity from Medicine Hat and Julie, Uwe, Ben, & Tim from Germany can be here to celebrate with us.

Some may wonder why we gather like this today. Jackie & Barry decided quite a while ago that they wanted to spend their lives together. Their engagement did not come as a surprise. One could easily sense the love they had for one another and the commitment that was growing between them by the way they gazed into one another’s eyes.

So, why are we here? Well, we have certainly come to celebrate with you, but most of that will happen a little later. Right now the plan is to witness the vows you make to one another as you continue on your journey together – we do this, not only as observers, but as individuals who are committed to walking alongside you throughout the coming years. As such, there are some promises that we are going to make to you.

Our Promise to You

We promise to celebrate with you during the good times. To provide a listening ear or whatever other type of support you need when times are tough. On the many ordinary days in between, well, we want to be there too.

We will offer advice when you ask for it (and sometimes when you don’t). When you ask us (kindly) to butt out we will honour your request and respectfully hold our tongues.

As long as we have homes you will never be homeless.
As long as we have food you will never go hungry.
As long as we have life you will never be friendless.
As long as we have arms we’re going to keep hugging you (sorry Barry).
As long as we have breath – you will never be without our love.


It is customary at some point during a wedding ceremony to offer some words of wisdom and encouragement to the bride and groom. When we were trying to think of some guidance to provide for the voyage ahead we settled on an interesting idea. I believe we all know that the two of you love to watch movies. There is one movie genre in particular that tweaked our interest. It seemed fun and relevant for our purpose here today. You may think “ugh” they’re going to talk about Love Stories or “chick flicks.” By no means!!! We’re going to talk about SUPERHEROES!

So what is it about superhero movies that applies to the two of you and the journey that lies ahead? What wisdom can you gain from their stories? Well, let’s look at the superhero myth.

These stories generally involve an individual whose background has some type of tragic element. Through some twist of fate the character may develop superhuman powers. Although many superheroes work independently, there are also a number of superhero teams.

You have both come from very different backgrounds which have included both wonderful and tragic elements. Through some twist (or more likely many twists) of fate you ended up meeting each other. Not only did you meet, but over time you were drawn closer and closer to one another. Eventually you came to discover that the two of you are stronger together than either one of you is on your own. So, when you’re together, you’re “superhuman.”

Every superhero has a costume or symbol that makes them recognizable to the general public. Superman has the sign of the house of “el” or the “S” crest (if you’re curious what that looks like – ask Jackie to show you her tattoo). The Flash, whose alter ego coincidentally is named Barry Allen, has the lightning bolt.

Since I doubt that you’ll spend much time wearing your bridal gown and suit in the future I would suggest that we set aside the idea of costumes. The rings that you will soon be exchanging, however, can be a powerful symbol of your union and your superhuman identity as a couple. They are strong circles that have no beginning or end. Our desire is that your love for each other will also have no end.

Being a superhero, however, has its downside. Superheroes belong to the world. Their lives are not their own. Personal relationships always suffer horribly in the lives of superheroes. Although they are always there in the nick of time when it comes to death defying opportunities to save others, they inevitably seem to miss the important events in the lives of their loved ones.

So, the call for the two of you is to be more than superheroes. This may sound daunting, but what this really means is that sometimes you will need to leave the world behind and focus on the needs of the one you love no matter what the consequences are in other parts of your lives. This doesn’t mean that you’re always available at the drop of the hat for every little thing. It does however, mean not letting days, weeks, or months go by without spending any serious quality time together. That can mean something as simple as sitting and chatting over a coffee and a room temperature bottle of Dr. Pepper.

Superheroes have a willingness to risk their own safety, in the service of good, without the expectation of receiving a reward. In our lives we seldom have the chance to be superheroes. Very few of us have the opportunity to rescue others from certain death. We may venture out and investigate loud noises with a baseball bat or kill small creatures that invade our homes, but seldom does this require a superhero. We do, however, have occasions daily to be heroes to one another in small ways. We do this by being reliable, by truly listening, and by regularly affirming and encouraging one another.

Reliability means:
when you say you will do something, the other person knows that they no longer have to worry about it because it’s as good as done, or something as simple as
showing up on time when you say that you’ll pick them up.
This builds trust in a relationship.

Listening is not simply hearing. It refers to paying attention to what the other's needs truly are. That may mean:
just hearing what they have to say as they vent about their day and not trying to problem solve,
showing interest in their stories even when you’re not interested at all,
trying not to tell them too forcefully that this is the 12 millionth time that you’ve heard this story,
listening to their body language, seeing that they’re tired and doing something simple like the dishes even when it’s their turn, or
respecting their boundaries – giving them space when they need it and drawing them close when that is what they need.

Affirming or encouraging one another may mean:
saying nice things about them to their friends and yours,
taking interest in their hobbies,
sticking up for them (sometimes even when you may think that they’re wrong),
believing in them - in their dreams, desires, and talents, and
surprising them with small gestures of your love like sticking a little note in their daybook or showing up at work with their favourite lunch.

In being reliable, listening, and encouraging one another you are giving your partner the message that they are important to you & that you love them.

Each of these little things that you do is like a single shot in a game of pool. As you know, each shot is important, but it's just as important and perhaps even more important to have in your mind the bigger picture – how are you going to play out the rest of this game? Each shot you take sets you up for the next shot and the next and the next and so on. In the same way, each of the little things you do for each other serves to build a foundation of trust and affection so that the game, or in this case your life together gets better and better.

There are inevitably times when you will miss your shot; when you'll mess up; when you'll let each other down. You won't necessarily be able to make up for your mistake (I don't think there are any mulligans in pool – sometimes there are in marriage – in some ways, that's what forgiveness is). When you mess up, you will find ways to get back on track; to once again get things more or less lined up so you can take a decent shot and continue to have a good game.

Now, before we move on to the vows, I can't resist, I must say one more thing about superheroes and how I came to know that Barry & Jackie were meant to be together.

My little sister, Jackie, has gotten into the habit of watching all of the superman movies every year around Christmas time. Occasionally I've had the privilege of watching them with her. My absolute favourite thing about doing this happens right at the end of each movie. When we come to this point in the storyline I choose to watch Jackie instead of the movie. You see, at the end of these movies, superman comes flying around, looks directly into the camera, and smiles. You'd swear he was smiling right at my sister because Jackie's eyes will start to glisten as she gets this self-conscious little smile with an underlying giggle that she can barely contain.

I had never seen her look at any person that way until she met Barry. When I first saw that same look pass between the two of them I knew that they were meant to be together. I have seen that same look pass between the two of them many times since. There is a good chance that you'll see it now as they come to express their vows to one another.


Barry & Jackie, we have all come together today so that you may publicly declare your love for one another. Do you pledge to treat each other with kindness, respect, and compassion; to listen to each other, and to speak to each other with honesty always?


Barry, will you love, care for, encourage, and respect Jackie? Will you cherish her in honesty, tenderness, and faithfulness as long as you both shall live?


Jackie, will you love, care for, encourage, and respect Barry? Will you cherish him in honesty, tenderness, and faithfulness as long as you both shall live?


Please come forward, join hands, and look into each others eyes.


Barry, please repeat after me.

Jackie, I take you as my wife. *** I promise to love, cherish, and respect you; *** I promise to share my life openly with you; *** I promise to tenderly care for you. *** I promise to encourage you *** in the fulfilment of your dreams and your individuality, *** throughout the changes in our lives.

Jackie, please repeat after me.

Barry, I take you as my husband. *** I promise to love, cherish, and respect you; *** I promise to share my life openly with you; *** I promise to tenderly care for you. *** I promise to encourage you *** in the fulfilment of your dreams and your individuality, *** throughout the changes in our lives.


Griff brings the rings forward. (Wendy invites him).

Jackie, please repeat after me.

Barry, I give you this ring as a token of my love. *** It is an everlasting symbol *** of the vows we have made to each other.

Barry, please repeat after me.

Jackie, I give you this ring as a token of my love. *** It is an everlasting symbol *** of the vows we have made to each other.

Barry, you may kiss your bride!

Blessing (Ian places hand on Barry's shoulder & Wendy on Jackie's)

Barry & Jackie,
Through each of the coming years
On every hill, meadow, and stream,
Under cloud, under stars,
Through roaring, flashing thunder storms
and on bright sun-shiny days.
Through moments of sadness and pain,
Through times of laughter and joy,
Through challenges and frustration,
May you have the gentleness to work together.
May you have the eyes to see beauty in each other
and in all that is around you.
As your journey unfolds
and you come to places you may not yet have been:
May you have hope, courage, and kindness,
May you have patience, peace, and much, much joy.


Friends & family, we are thrilled to present to you the Dynamic Duo of Barry & Jackie Allen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Golly Gee Batman!

That was one impressive ceremony! I specially liked the support given by friends and family. The vows made me want to weep. I thought I was a pretty good husband, but I have lots to learn still. Thanks for sharing this. Barry and Jackie are fortunate to have you in their lives - as am I.