On September 27th my sister Alona tied the knot with her fiancé Dylan! They had a very nice ceremony followed by a reception at the Maple Grove Community Center. The ceremony was family and close friends standing in the gardens off of the reception area. Alona and Dylan had a Bahá'í marriage ceremony which does not have an officiant. They asked me to start things off with a few words.
Good evening and welcome to the marriage ceremony of Alona Thingelstad and Dylan Maas-Morgan.
Alona, my sister, and Dylan have asked me to greet you all today and welcome you to this wonderful ceremony of love and dedication. I am sure that you have all been to a many weddings, however this may be your first Bahá'í wedding. You will notice that no clergy is present, we are not in a church and everybody is enjoying a wonderful Minnesota fall evening.
A Baha'i wedding is a simple exchange of a single statement. Once both the groom and bride make this pledge in the presence of two witnesses, Dylan and Alona will be married. Today, Alona's mother Rosalin and I have agreed to serve as these witnesses.
While a Bahá'í marriage is a decidedly simple affair, Bahá'í's take the institution of marriage with the utmost seriousness. From the Kitáb-i-Aqdas:
"And when He desired to manifest grace and beneficence to men, and to set the world in order, He revealed observances and created laws; among them He established the law of marriage, made it as a fortress for well-being and salvation, and enjoined it upon us in that which was sent down out of the heaven of sanctity in His Most Holy Book."
That fortress is filled with that most important thing, love. From `Abdu'l-Bahá:
"...[I]n the world of humanity the greatest king and sovereign is love. If love were extinguished, the power of attraction dispelled, the affinity of human hearts destroyed, the phenomena of human life would disappear."
In a moment Dylan and Alona will exchange those blessed words. This will be followed with a Bahá'í prayer. Please listen closely. As with many great things in life, it all goes by much too quickly.
And now a reading from Dylan's mother, Cynthia...
Here are the photos I took. I also put them on Facebook for all the people that like that kind of thing, but I'm also putting them here so they are still around after Facebook (A.F.).
It was a great evening filled with family and fun. Congrats to my sister and her new husband and I wish them years of wedded bliss!