Matt Maloney and I married in a spectacularly sunny ceremony at the Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming on September 14, 2019.
We had an unprogrammed Quaker-style ceremony, meaning there was no officiant. Quakers believe that no one person is more divine than any other; they believe that all people have God or divinity within them. For this reason, the only ones who can marry a couple in a Quaker ceremony are the couple themselves, before God.
Without a priest or leader to guide the ceremony, we instead invited our guests to share thoughts, poems, and excerpts from literature or spiritual texts to marry us. For those who were there to marry us, for those who couldn’t be, and for those just curious, I’ve collected everything given to us at the ceremony here in one blog post to share. I hope these readings bless you as much as they did us.
My sibling Will Indermaur read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (New International Version):
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Susannah Lodge-Rigal read from Alain Badiou’s In Praise of Love:
Love isn’t simply about two people meeting and their inward-looking relationship: it is a construction, a life that is being made, no longer from the perspective of One but from the perspective of Two. . . . We could say that love is a tenacious adventure. The adventurous side is necessary, but equally so is the need for tenacity. To give up at the first hurdle, the first serious disagreement, the first quarrel, is only to distort love. Real love is one that triumphs lastingly, sometimes painfully, over the hurdles erected by time, space and the world. . . . Happiness in love is the proof that time can accommodate eternity.
Kristin Macintyre read Jane Hirshfield’s “A Blessing for Wedding”:
Today when persimmons ripen
Today when fox-kits come out of their den into snow
Today when the spotted egg releases its wren song
Today when the maple sets down its red leaves
Today when windows keep their promise to open
Today when fire keeps its promise to warm
Today when someone you love has died
or someone you never met has died
Today when someone you love has been born
or someone you will not meet has been born
Today when rain leaps to the waiting of roots in their dryness
Today when starlight bends to the roofs of the hungry and tired
Today when someone sits long inside his last sorrow
Today when someone steps into the heat of her first embrace
Today, let this light bless you
With these friends let it bless you
With snow-scent and lavender bless you
Let the vow of this day keep itself wildly and wholly
Spoken and silent, surprise you inside your ears
Sleeping and waking, unfold itself inside your eyes
Let its fierceness and tenderness hold you
Let its vastness be undisguised in all your days
My grandma-in-law read “No Regrets” (author unknown):
Isn’t it good at the end of the day
To look up at God and be able to say
“Dear Lord, I helped someone today.”
But isn’t it sad if instead you must say
“Dear Lord, I hurt someone today.
I drove the nails a little bit deeper
And forgot that I am my brother’s keeper.”
Isn’t it better when the day is done
To know that you have injured no one.
From the time of your waking,
Til you lie down to sleep,
Remember the promises that we should keep,
To love one another as He loves us, too,
And you’ll never regret any good that you do.
Zach Yanowitz read Ada Limón’s “The Conditional”:
Say tomorrow doesn’t come.
Say the moon becomes an icy pit.
Say the sweet-gum tree is petrified.
Say the sun’s a foul black tire fire.
Say the owl’s eyes are pinpricks.
Say the raccoon’s a hot tar stain.
Say the shirt’s plastic ditch-litter.
Say the kitchen’s a cow’s corpse.
Say we never get to see it: bright
future, stuck like a bum star, never
coming close, never dazzling.
Say we never meet her. Never him.
Say we spend our last moments staring
at each other, hands knotted together,
clutching the dog, watching the sky burn.
Say, It doesn’t matter. Say, That would be
enough. Say you’d still want this: us alive,
right here, feeling lucky.
David Mucklow read an original poem he wrote just for our wedding ♥
for Katherine and Matt
together grass, together sage
to gather up rope and ridge and rock
and us, it must be so much
more than this, together hands,
to gather words, two voices
always in the same room
together the oceans we were, and
the buffalo grass we grow in our prairies,
and the coyotes, my god yes, the songs of coyotes, together the moon that gathers
on the still purple water of rivers
and if love is more than snow and
the sounds of legs warm in sheets,
then let it be too all the colors
of a paint pony, and each red of the rocks
that together oxygen and iron can give us,
give us the bark along with fire, the tall pines crowning gorgeous bright like
the heat of the sky at dusk like love,
what is love if not the wind that scrapes
across the land – the blades that bend,
the dust that tags along, together earth
sharing itself with more earth,
all of us together in this whole big room
of each other and standing in it, standing
in it forever
My dad adapted a letter that John Muir wrote to his wife, and read it aloud:
My mom read Rumi’s “This Marriage”:
May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.
Matt’s cousin Bridget Maloney-Krips said the following:
Matt and Katherine, both my brother Tom and I wanted to share with you.
We love the Maloneys. We love your father, Matt, and your aunts and uncles. We have loved and revered them for over sixty years. We love and appreciate your mother, and all of the partners your aunts and uncles chose. We love and enjoy everyone’s children–you, your brothers, and all of your cousins. You are part of a wonderful family. It is a good place to start a new family.
We loved your grandparents, Bobby and Virginia. They were a blessing to the Northern California Maloneys.
Bobby and Virginia were in love with each other. They complemented each other. They filled the other’s weaknesses with strength. There were each other’s staunchest ally. They were really cute together.
We wish the same for you–that you enjoy a marriage with an affection and devotion that Bobby and Virginia felt for each other.
Love and best wishes to you Katherine and Matt on you married journey together.
My mom-in-law read an Irish blessing:
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.
My dad-in-law also read an Irish blessing:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
Makaiya Bullitt-Rigsbee read Seamus Heaney’s “Scaffolding”:
Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.
After the readings, we exchanged rings and brief vows, and everyone present came forward to sign our marriage certificate.
After the ceremony, there was delicious dinner, then cupcakes…
…and–you know–a whole lifetime together ♥
A few more acknowledgements here, too. Thank you so much to my parents and my parents-in-law for all their help and support planning this wedding! Thank you to Katie Tommerup at the Flower Exchange in Worland, Wyoming, for our beautiful flowers. Thank you to Gossamer for my vintage wedding dress that I loved so much, I ordered it the day after Matt proposed 🙂 Thank you to Dana and Ian McCreary for harvesting aspen and building our lovely arch for the ceremony as well as the table number holders at the reception. Thank you to Jalan Crossland and Nate Moon for the perfect music. Thank you to Laurence and Bob Kaplan at the Red Reflet for an outstanding venue. And thank you to everyone who came, to our families, and all our friends who have loved and supported us over the years. We love you!