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    How to Write an Officiating Speech

    You gotta put your goddamn heart and soul into it. 

    Last month, I was honored to have officiated the wedding of one of my best friends, Bojan Kovac, and his wonderful wife Kimberly.  The wedding took place on a island in the Danube River in Serbia, and this is what I said: 


          We are gathered here today to celebrate the union of two exceptional human beings: Bojan Kovac and Kimberly Joseph. 

           Bojan and Kim are two of the finest people our species has ever produced, and their bond is a rare and beautiful thing.  This wedding marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, and is taking place as a result of countless forces and variables having manifested in such a way so as to allow for their existence and union.  So many factors were involved in bringing them together; so many things had to go precisely right in order for Bojan and Kim to find one another.  And once their paths crossed and they discovered in each other a soul mate, a void in their lives was filled.  The love which filled the void has brought them from the hectic streets of New York City to the wonderful and resilient town of Novi Sad.  Though the future is uncertain, there is no doubt that Bojan and Kim will move forward together on the same path for the rest of their lives, and we – your friends and family – are blessed to be a part of your lives, for you have brought so much happiness, beauty, and wisdom into ours.

           When Bojan and Kim first met in New York City three and a half years ago, they were both doing something they love: dancing.  And since that winter in 2010, they have danced hundreds of dances and attended numerous music festivals and concerts. Together they’ve explored rivers and mountains and islands. Their travels to Puerto Rico, England, Holland, Greece, and other destinations comprise a fraction of the places they’ll visit.  For many years to come they’ll do wonderful things, and probably some very naughty things, too.  Their future is truly promising, and they will continue to move forward with adventurous spirits and a passion to live life to its fullest.  With Bojan’s pragmatism and drive combined with Kim’s creativity and perseverance, they can achieve anything they set their minds to.  They should look forward to many more trips abroad and music festivals, jam sessions and artscape events, dances and songs and salashs.  Kim can look forward to many more of Bojan’s meatloaf dinners.  Bojan can look forward to Kim bringing home another pet.  And we can all look forward to the day Beli, Sanja, Harold, and Belinda become grandparents.    

           Inevitably, there will be times of loss and sorrow, but just as you have overcome numerous obstacles to arrive here today, you shall ultimately prevail over future challenges by virtue of continuing to value those things which are truly important in life: your family and friends, meaningful and hard work, learning, exploring, being kind and true to yourself and others; choosing good over evil, love over hate, life over death.  You will have each other for a long time to come, and you will have each other’s love forever.  This wedding is a physical expression of the commitment and eternal love you feel and vow toward one another, and with that said, you shall now exchange vows:

          Do you, Kimberly Joseph take Bojan Kovac to be your lawful wedded husband?  Do you swear to cherish him in time of sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse; trance, dance, drum and bass, reggae or house music; electric or acoustic guitar?  

         Do you promise to love and support him in times of good and bad haircuts, a rakija surplus or shortage, and if instead of meatloaf to eat all there is is moldy bread? Yum yum yum yum.

           Do you, Bojan Kovac, take Kimberly Joseph to be your lawful wedded wife?  Do you swear to cherish her in times of sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse; no matter how many faces she paints, friends she makes, or animals she tries to rescue?

           Do you promise to continue to support her in all her artistic endeavors, to protect her in times of war and peace, from falling into rivers and being bitten by horses, throughout blizzards and droughts, sadness and ecstasy, and at all bars and music festivals?

           You may now exchange rings.  Kim, please repeat after me and then give Bojan his ring.  

          Bojan, you are my soulmate and true love.  I pledge myself to you for the rest of my life, and I pledge my love to you forever.

           Now Bojan, please repeat after me and then give Kim her ring.

           Kim, you are my soulmate and true love.  I pledge myself to you for the rest of my life, and I pledge my love to you forever. 

         Before your dearest family and closest friends, with the incredible power of the Danube flowing behind me, and as one of your best friends who has the deepest respect, appreciation, and love for both of you – I now pronounce you man and wife! You may now kiss the bride!


    Bojan and Kim, dancing their lives away.

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