Mary and Fred had just purchased their new home located in a charming suburb of NH, only 15 minutes from the seacoast, but 2 hours away from family. Of course they would have a house warming. Methodically, they created a guest list with a few carefully chosen invitees-- mother, brother, children, and grandchildren. No one was permitted to decline.
And indeed, no one did. On that day, a gentle buzzing of conversations hummed in the kitchen. Tall windows filled the space with soft spring light. Members of the two families, some who had never met, were catching up over a beer and shrimp cocktail. Grandchildren swarmed in and out of the house like bees among flowers in a garden. The intimate group was settling in for the Easter weekend event, the first warm day after an especially brutal winter.
“May I have your attention please?” My voice called out from the living room near the entryway. Confused and curious, people meandered to the fireplace where I was standing.
“Mary and Fred have asked me to make an announcement.” I spoke to the inquisitive faces. “This is not just a house warming,” I revealed, “it’s a wedding. I’m not a neighbor,” as I had been earlier introduced before the couple had snuck away to change, “I’m a Justice of the Peace. And you are all guests at the ceremony.”
The couple had met online 5 years before. Mary confesses she was not particularly interested in dating at the time. In fact, her coworker had created her profile and was vetting perspective dates without her knowledge. But Mary’s colleague knew that family was important to Mary and when she saw an attractive man holding his grandbaby in his arms, she enthusiastically called Mary over to see the perfect match she had found for her. And she was right.
In his vows, Fred described their meeting as having occurred through the magic of the internet. And magic was at the ceremony that day.
Through surprise and emotion, each member of this newly united family participated in a carefully choreographed Unity Candle Lighting ceremony. The magic of the ceremony filled their new home with warmth, a true house warming after-all, and established the first of many memories to be made there.
Blessings to Mary and Fred. May they live happily ever-after.