Julie and Bryon were married at reBar in DUMBO, Brooklyn, a really unique bar that has a movie theatre and this awesome funky meets vintage vibe. Their ceremony was really unique – the reading they chose was an excerpt from a written protest of marriage inequality that was written by philosopher John Stuart Mills a few weeks before his wedding to women’s rights advocate Harriet Taylor:
“Being about, if I am so happy as to obtain her consent, to enter into the marriage relation with the only woman I have ever known, with whom I would have entered into that state; and the whole character of the marriage relation as constituted by law being such as both she and I entirely and conscientiously disapprove
I feel it my duty to put on record a formal protest against the existing law of marriage, in so far as conferring such powers; and a solemn promise never in any case or under any circumstances to use them. I declare it to be my will and intention, and the condition of the engagement between us, that she retains in all respects whatever the same absolute freedom of action and freedom of disposal of herself and of all that does or may at any time belong to her, as if no such marriage had taken place; and I absolutely disclaim and repudiate all pretension to have acquired any rights whatever by virtue of such marriage.
March 6, 1851”
Later in the ceremony, I also used a quote from a tract that was published by Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell a few years later, inspired by Mills’ original pledge. It worked really well to begin the closing remarks of the ceremony:
They wrote: “We believe the personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, and that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership.”
And I added: Our couple, too, see their marriage as a true partnership, one that they will share forever, with equal footing and say in everything that they do.
And, of course, the all important fist bump. It was how Bryon and Julie’s first date ended, so, of course, it was how their wedding ceremony drew to a close, too!