Jim and Ducky's Wedding Ceremony

Here is pseudo-transcript of our wedding ceremony. Note that the quotes are VERY loose paraphrases. We have a tape, but a lot of passages are unintelligible. We also edited some for length. Last names have been edited out for privacy reasons (except for vendors).

For more details about the wedding, e.g. who did the catering or what we wanted to accomplish, see the front page.


Prelude Music

Starting at 10:30 AM, Sara Jobin played selections of music that were important to us.



We had the guest chairs arranged in arcs, with two aisles cutting through them. Facing the audience were ten chairs for the officiant, bride, groom, and attendants.


  We delayed the start by ten minutes, as Charles and the nephews hadn't showed yet. But after ten minutes, we decided to go ahead. While Sara played _On the Road To Myoptica_, the wedding party entered. The music has high sentimental appeal to us, as we met when Ducky saw Jim perform in the musical Myoptica.
   First Spence came down the stage left aisle with flower girl niece Kaitlin stage right. Then came the two moms - Judith and Liz. The attendants followed, staggered because Ducky had four and Jim had three. Finally, Jim and Ducky came down the aisle in parallel, meeting at the ceremony circle. Spence remained standing, while everyone else sat down. (Katie, Liz, and Judith sat with the guests.)


Spence (softly): Good Morning! [clears throat] Good Morning!

Guests: Good Morning! [laughter]

Spence: We are here today to celebrate the marriage of James Andrew DeLaHunt and Kaitlin Duck Sherwood.

This is going to be a marriage, a real marriage, and I hope you will remember it for a long time because I know they will. [laughter]

We want to thank you for being here today because so many of you have come from so far away. If we look at the guest list, we've got people from Massachussets, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado, state of Washington - I think eleven from Bellingham - and I'm sure I've looked over a considerable number from here in California.

But Ducky and Jim, I think this shows the love and affection we have for you that we're all here today.

My name is Spencer, and I'm the uncle of Jim and friend of Jim and Ducky. They have invited me to perform this ceremony today, and I'm happy to do so, but I must tell you when they did ask me, I had two quick responses. The first of course was yes, I'd be privileged to do so, I'd feel humbled. But the second response was "Huh?" [laughter] I'm not a minister, priest, rabbi, judge, or magistrate. I'm not even an attorney! [laughter] So how can we make this stick? How can we make this a real wedding?"

They smiled and told me they'd take care of that. Well, they did. The County of Santa Clara sent me a letter authorizing me as a deputy commissioner of civil marriages. Now is that official, or what? [laughter] I have here in my hand a deputization from the County of Santa Clara that authorizes me to perform this marriage. [...Spence reads the deputization...]

I want to take this opportunity to talk for a moment about the order of ceremonies. First thing and most importantly, is that this program has been developed by Jim and Kate together. Every word of the vows you're about to hear, every word in the promises they make to each other, the music, the setting, the whole arrangement, every detail has been their work. They've done very carefully, with intensity and sincerity. So for them, it's for keeps. [laughter] It should be for keeps for us, too.

In order to help you just a bit, perhaps enhance your understanding of what's going to happen and help strengthen your memories, let me suggest you might consider a few things. The first is that you make full use of your physical senses: your vision, your hearing, your touch. You look around with your eyes and see the fortunate place we have for you. Your eyes will tell you today that these two people are in love with each other, and are making a union, and we are witnessing it. You're hearing lovely music from Sara, Brian, and Maureen. It's going to touch you too.

While this is a private ceremony, we are all part of a public world, and we need to recognize that. so we've arranged to have a little intrusion of the public world. There is going to be a train going by in a little while. [laughter] It will only take about eighteen seconds. We may pause, but we'll just go right on past it. Hopefully it won't come during the music, but it shouldn't.

There's another part of your physical senses - your voice. You will have an opportunity today - if you wish - to speak. There's going to be a quiet time and if you want to say something, some wish, some advice, some comment you want to make, you can stand up and do so. That's the "invitation to silence and speaking" that is later on here in the program.

Then we'll come to the solemnization of the vows, the recessional, and that will conclude the formal wedding ceremony, but that will give you an opportunity to touch as well - maybe a hug, a squeeze, maybe a little kiss on the cheek.

When it comes time to leave today, and you look back trying to recall what happened, here's what I think you'll remember: You'll remember the love and committment that Jim and Ducky have for each other. You'll remember the witness and the fact that you were here and a part of it. You'll remember the music, the tree, the lovely setting. You'll remember the friendship and the love that's shown all the way through. As you remember, perhaps it will help you remember and realize the significance and the joy of this event.


Our Love Is Here To Stay by Gershwin, sung by Brian Carter.

Invitation to Silence and Speaking

Spence: Let's take a little time to sit silently together. We've all seen Jim and Ducky's love and committment grow over the past two years. Let's think on that. We all have our own experiences with marriage - perhaps our own, perhaps others. Let's think on that. We may be wishing that someone who was absent was here. Let's think on that. It may be that someone is moved to stand and say something simple - a wish, a sharing, a hope. If you feel that way, please do so.

If noone speaks, just be patient. Being patient doesn't mean that you don't care, it means that you may have some silent wishes for Jim and Ducky.

One more thing: the DeLaHunt family has been asked to please exercise some restraint. [Much laughter]

[John makes Tibetan bowl "sing"]
[90 seconds of silence]

Liz: What do you mean, restraint?!? [laughter] The DeLaHunts are a big family, and there's been no restraint in the love and discipline and caring, and I want you both to know that it's all right there for the two of you.
John (Jim's brother): Jim and Kate, I'm really honored that you asked me to be in the wedding party. I appreciate that. This was sent to me by one of our older sisters, who naturally intended that it should go her way. Our older sister. I'd like to offer this on behalf of the siblings: These are the words of Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardoza, who was officiating at a wedding in 1931. This is not in exclusion of [unintelligible], but in addition to. 'Three great mysteries there are in the lives of mortal beings: The mystery of Birth, at the beginning. The mystery of Death, at the end. Greater that either is the mystery of love. Everything that is most precious in life comes from love: Art is a form of love; labor is a form of love; thought is a form of love."
ChrisT: I remember the first time we met Ducky.
JeffP?: Who doesn't? [laughter]
ChrisT: We'd been through a few of Jim's previous dates and wondered 'What is he thinking?'. Then we met on - what was I think Jim and Ducky's second - date when the four of us went to dinner and a show. Jim was out parking the car because well, he was late (surprise!). [laughter] Ducky ran into the restaurant and said, said, "Hi, I'm Ducky. We are here, we didn't forget you, excuse me, Jim's out parking the car, I have to meet him again", runs out the door - and Marvin (my husband) and I looked at each other and asked, "Is that his date or his sister?" [laughter] You're not his sister, and we're hard-pressed to think of a better match for each other than you two. We wish you all the best.
Ducky: I want to go on record as saying I do not look like Betsy. [laughter]

Pete: During the silence, I had one image of Jim that kept coming to mind. My wife and I and Jim went to school together and lived in the same dorm. During the silence, I was getting these constand flashbacks, and in fact every time I see Jim I get constant flashbacks, in fact every time I hear certain pieces of music I get flashbacks of Jim. One of my most beloved memories is singing "Pretty Women" from Sweeny Todd with Jim, and I just wanted to acknowledge that you've found your own pretty woman. (Not to be confused with Julia Roberts, nor you with Sweeny Todd.) [laughter]
JeffP: I wanted to say I just finished my 12th year of marriage with my lovely wife Anne - who is over there helping Sara turn the pages. I just hope that your marriage is as happy and successful as ours has been.
Joe (Ducky's uncle): I've watched with interest the activities of Ducky through the years, seemingly unencumbered by the normal bounds of society [laughter] and I think the things that they've done together since they've met have indicated that total is greater than the sum of the parts. I look forward to reports of all the things they'll do and wish you all the best.
Andrea: I just want to counter that by saying that as long as I've known Ducky, which is since I was four, she's always been the face of norm and joy and calmness
Joe?: Boy, where do you live? [laughter]
JeffP?: Are you talking about the same person? [laughter]
Andrea: Shows you how messed up my life is. [laughter] Joy is always in her voice and her writings whenever she talks about Jim. I wish you all the best of luck.

[Silence] George (with train going by): Jim and I go back about thirteen years and he is partly responsible for getting me through the first year of computer science at Stanford, and I want Ducky to know he's responsible - it's both good and bad that way. [laughter]

He introduced me to the joy of it. So he's very good at introducing news joys. He's also someone that I took a very stressful class with, and learned with him the gentle art of nose-typing at eight in the morning after being up all night. [laughter]

So he's very good at long hard work, and that's important too. And Ducky has managed to put up with some of the tales us and meet us under some interesting circumstances and enjoyed our wierd sense of fun and PDQ Bach - without Jim of course, who was I think in Japan at the time again, which is pretty much the norm of trying to cope with and without the other person there. They've seen us go through that too, because we've been married for now ten years. We're immensely proud and pleased to be here with you and wish you the joy of discovery, wish you the hard work of building a relationship and wish you the unexpected delights that you'll come across.

Ducky: That was the train. [laughter]
Spencer: They've done their part, they came through as we asked them to.

Jim: I wanted to pay tribute to some marriages that have made this one possible. Marriage appears to be kind of a contagious thing; you see some good marriages and that makes other good marriages possible. There's many marriages that have made ours possible, but three in particular that I wanted to call out, for three different reasons.

The first was that of my parents, which went for 34 wonderful years. It was my lesson on how a partnership can last a long time - going through great strains and great changes - and that both parties can grow through all of that.

The second is that of my brother Day and his wife Heather, who got married just shy of twenty years ago. They were a demonstration to me that my generation can do it too. [scattered laughter]
The third is that of Rich and ChrisB. Rich has been a friend of Ducky's for a long time. She watched them as they were just starting out together, then went away, then watched them as their partnership had matured over some more years. (They've just hit their eleventh anniversary, congratulations.) It was that partnership that showed Ducky how it is possible to survive stresses and strains and having two people fit together. I'm sure that if she didn't have that example to show her in her heart that it could be done, I don't think we would be marrying today. today. So thank you, you two gentlemen.
Tim: I'm very happy to be here. It's a very wonderful day. I know my sister a little bit [scattered laughter] it's hard to tell what -- she's a very colorful person, you can tell that by the way she dresses, [laughs] her style, her manner, definitely a thing of poetry I suppose. Jim I've met and I'm very proud that she's met another wonderful person. I'm very interested to see how this marriage grows [laughter] and how everything mixes together and what wonderful potions and psalms and odes come forth from this marraige. Good luck. Thank you.
Candace: I've known Ducky for many years - from her high school days. I know her to be a woman of great energy, of wide heart, with a great sense of fun. And my sense of The Guy is that he matches her [laughter] in those characteristics which are so important. my wish to both of you you is that the circle of your love continues to grow, to widen, to deepen, and encompass all of living. I love you.
Anton: For a long time, I had the vague impression that my sister wasn't interested in boys. I'm pleased to see that she's found and chosen someone so lively and so loyal.
Bruce [Ducky's dad]: It's a privilige to be here on such a wonderful occasion. I knew that Jim was getting somebody special, and I'd heard lots of second- and third-hand reports about Jim. In the past few months I've gotten to know Jim a little bit and he really is quite a wonderful person. I think he'll be very good for Ducky and I think Ducky will be good for Jim and I'm just delighted.
ChrisB: Over the years, it's seemed that Ducky would live with us for a while, then go off on some adventures, then come back... [laughter] Um. We're hopeful that, uh-- [great laughter and applause]
Ducky: I'm not going back. [more laughter]
[John rings bowl]


[Maureen's stand came apart, but she fixed it quickly] Maureen Magill sang Carmina Burana #21 and #23.

Preparation for vows

Spence: And now it is time for the marriage vows. Jim and Ducky, will you please come forward?

[Ducky and Jim stood, as did attendants. Ducky passed bouquet to Rich, who passed it to ChrisB (so Rich would have his hands free to get the ring). ChrisB did't know how to hold it, so Wendy took it away from him to some laughter.]

[Brian and Maureen sang a segment of "O Soave Fanciulla" from Puccini's opera La Boheme.]


Spencer: Jim and Ducky, do you both recognize the rights and responsibilites inherent in the marriage contract?

Ducky [to Spence]: I do. [To guests] I have come here freely [laughter] to take this man to be my husband. I promise to love him, comfort him, honor him, and keep him, above all others. [giggles]
Jim [to Spence]: I do. [To guests] I have come here freely to take this woman to be my wife. I promise to love her, comfort her, honor her, and keep her, above all others.
Spencer: Then make your vows to one another and before these witnesses.


Jim: I, James Andrew DeLaHunt, take you, Kaitlin Duck Sherwood, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.

Ducky: I, Kaitlin Duck Sherwood, take you, James Andrew DeLaHunt, to be my husband, from this day forward, to have and to hold, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live.

Ring Exchange

Spence: Let us now exchange rings. [Rich gave Jim's ring to Ducky; Diana gave Ducky's ring to Jim]

Spencer: Show us the rings.
[Ducky held up Jim's ring.]

Spencer: it is often said that the ring is a circle, a shape with no beginning and no end, to symbolize the unending love and committment pledged by the wedding vows. In fact, it's a circle because that's the shape that fits the finger best. [laughter]

However, there is something interesting about these rings. I hope you'll get a chance to see them later because they really are beautiful. They are made from an alloy of gold and titanium. Gold, by itself, is beautiful, but is also soft and weak. Titanium, by itself, is strong but looks unremarkable. But add just a little titanium to gold, and the result is an alloy that combines the best of both metals. In the same way, perhaps Jim and Ducky's marriage will combine both of their best qualities, so that they will be both optimistic and on time. [great laughter and applause].

Ducky: Jim, I give you this ring as a sign of my love and commitment. [Ducky placed ring on Jim's finger]
Jim: And I give you this ring as a sign of my love and commitment. [Jim placed ring on Ducky's finger]
Spencer: Ducky, you may now kiss the groom. [laughter, applause]
[Brian and Maureen sang the last snippet of "O Soave Fanciulla" while Jim and Ducky kissed.]

[ The attendants held up score cards - 6.0, 5.9, 5.9, 6.0, etc. Much laughter and applause.]

   Spencer: This is a day the Lord has made. Let us rejoyce in it and be glad. [Whoops and applause]


[Ducky and Jim exited, followed by the moms, to the strains of the Liberty Bell March by Sousa. (This piece is more commonly known as the theme to Monty Python.)]