Is there an egg timer on the registry?
December 18, 2009 8:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to marry my friends! In record time! How do I make it meaningful with a five-minute limit?

A very close friend of many years and his longtime girlfriend whom I adore have just bought a house and decided to have a combination wedding/reception-housewarming-NYE* party. They asked me to officiate the wedding--and I'm honored--but they want the ceremony to be very quick, so I'm left wondering what I can actually do. They're nonreligious and aren't saying vows and have said it's basically up to me. I've read this (and I loved asavage's suggestions, especially the crowd affirmation) and this and this, but paring it down seems really tough.

*Yes, it's a short lead time, I know.
posted by kittyprecious to Human Relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
What makes it meaningful is that you're doing it for your close friends, and that their friends and family will be there to make it a special day.

My wife and I just married in May, and ours really was a 5-minute ceremony, short and sweet. I just looked at our vows again, and I realized that I barely remembered the actual words at all. What did I remember? My wife failing to fit the ring over my bony knuckle, and cracking up. The cheers of our friends and family. How goddamn happy I was.

Make it sweet, and work with them to make sure they're happy with it, but people will be so overwhelmed with their emotions and the visuals that they just won't really be paying close attention to your words.

MeMail me if you'd like the actual transcription of ours for inspiration. A five-minute speech/ceremony isn't that long, but it was a bit long for a Metafilter comment.
posted by explosion at 9:15 AM on December 18, 2009

Make a short announcement right before the ball drops. Something alone these lines that makes it more like an announcement: "As a long-time friend of Person A and Person B, I am so pleased to announce that as they start their lives together in this new decade and this new house, they will be doing so as husband and wife. I officially pronounce them Husband and Wife! Come on everyone and help me welcome the newly married couple into this this new year!" BALL DROPS AND THE CROWD GOES WIIIIIIIIILD
posted by banannafish at 9:17 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: (That would be cool, but they've advertised the ceremony happening at 9 in case any of the guests have other NYE obligations.)
posted by kittyprecious at 9:33 AM on December 18, 2009

I married two friends of mine. This is approximately what I said:

"Do you love her?"
"Do you love him?"
"Do you plan on doing this forever?"

It seemed to be just about all that was necessary.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:34 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

I had a 12 minute ceremony and loved the short, sweet simplicity of it all. I'll dig up the text and will send it over to you via MeFi Mail. Don't stress about the length. It's a great thing to get in, out and take no prisoners.
posted by cior at 9:39 AM on December 18, 2009

What time zone are you in? At 9pm, it'll be the New Year somewhere, and you could find an online broadcast of the celebration three time zones ahead of yours to do what banannafish suggests.

In a similar spirit, you could say a few words and then do a countdown. Something like:
Friends, George and Linda have asked you all to be with them today as they commit their lives to one another. So, in the spirit of the holiday, please count down with me to the moment they become man and wife. On the count of ten, we'll wish them a Happy Wedding, and they'll embark on their life together.












[The happy couple kisses and everyone cheers.]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:44 AM on December 18, 2009

I married some friends of mine in a very, very short ceremony a few years ago. We had this incredibly elaborate setup, with processionals and bridesmaids and groomsmen and me standing in the front with an ENORMOUS book (actually an unabridged dictionary) and looking lost and paging through it as though trying to find the right bit, and then standing up straight and saying "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. We come here today to join Bride and Groom in the most sacred and precious bond of wedlock. Marriage has a long and storied history within the human culture, with many different types of significance, ranging from a simple exchange of property to the apotheosis of romantic commitment. The shift from one to the other had its roots in the medieval concept of "Courtly Love," which. . . wait, this is stupid. Do you want to marry him?"

Bride: "Yes!"

Me: "Do you want to marry her?"

Groom: "Ayup."

Me: "Now kiss. . . "

*they smooch*

Me: "Great job, guys, you're married. Now let's eat!"

This, of course, had been carefully planned by the bride and groom and I, and we'd let NOBODY in on the joke. Apparently my initial monograph was so convincing that one of the wedding guests missed the actual wedding because he was out filling his flask, thinking he'd need strong drink to get through this BS.
posted by KathrynT at 10:59 AM on December 18, 2009

I have a script. It is a nice one and it always takes less than 5 minutes. Memail me and I'll send it to you (I have it in Word format.)
posted by bearwife at 11:37 AM on December 18, 2009

Response by poster: (and just to be clear w/r/t the countdown suggestion, I don't want to plow through the thing in under 30 seconds...I'd like to use the time allotted to make it sweet, as a little gift to them)
posted by kittyprecious at 12:24 PM on December 18, 2009

My sister in law and her husband wrote their own vows----non religious. All I remember is that at the end then each said, "..and I promise to be your friend and lover always."
I thought that was very lovely.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:38 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

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