the ceremony

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Marriages are like a huge family feast. Everyone gets together and looks at each other around a long table, and there's generally a sense of 'something weird is going to happen, or if not weird, then something not normal. And you oftentimes are forced to sit next to a strange uncle that tries too hard to make everyone laugh, and the food hits the table and then its a huge and crazy free for all, with hands flying towards the food and sticky rice and lumpia flying through the air, and adobo pork getting into people's eyes, truly, it's a mess. That's exactly what marriage is... well, not quite. Marriage, like a huge family feast, is actually about seeing eye to eye with the people that you love, with the people that brought you into and around this world, and sharing something beautiful and delicious and sweet and a little spicy with them. Marriage is taking that nourishment, taking that rich tangy dish of sisig and sharing it with your partner, because you will both come out stronger, and healthier and happier in the long run. And then, when your partner isn't looking, maybe taking some of that sisig and tossing it down his pants. Yes, because eating food with family is an adventure. And there is no greater adventure than the adventure of love. Welcome to the matrimonial ceremony of Ibarra delaRosa and Gibran Abdulla. Or, as they like to call themselves, Gibarra. 

Gibarra met each other the way the kids meet nowadays - at a mutual friend's house where both you Ibarra and you Gibran were busy texting away on your phones and neither of you were remotely interested in the other. Ahh, mutual disinterest at first sight! But as the hangouts continued, one night after another, one weekend after the next. And Ibarra, you found yourself interested and engaged by this big, doofy native Houstonian. As you told me, "I got to know how sweet and cuddly Gibran was. Even though I had an inkling that Gibran was interested in me, I didn't reciprocate. It was our mutual friend, Tarek, who encouraged me to give Gibran a chance. When I finally did, I couldn't let him go. Seriously, I’m stuck on him not unlike a baby monkey is stuck on its mom." 

Gibran, what did you think about this weird, Filipino woman latching onto your back not unlike a monkey? You told me, "the first time we met, I didn't really think much of her, and she didn't think much of me.  She thought I was getting into her conversation with another person there, when she wanted to have a conversation with the other person, like not me.  I just like meeting new people and talking to be involved and not be bored." How romantic! Actually it isn't, not at all. But this is great, this is good, this is proof that young people not even remotely interested in each other can turn out to be the best of friends and seriously, deeply in love with each other! To continue - Gibran, you said "I had a strong feeling early on with her. She was exactly what I was looking for so long early in our relationship and I had a feeling this would work.  SO much so that she tried to break it off multiple times early because she was afraid of commitments that I forced her to come back to me.  I went through some of my own struggles later on and she brought me back."

Ibarra? What did you eventually end up thinking about this man here who will shortly become your husband? "I knew he was the one when he ate all of the Filipino food I cook, learned how to cook my favorite Filipino dishes AND wasn’t weirded out when I eat with my hands Filipino-style." Spoken like a true Filipino! But honestly, you mention the following as well - "I love how generous he is with everyone. He grew up in a very giving and welcoming environment so he has a tendency to treat everyone he knows like family. I think what he likes about me is because he thinks I'm creative and artsy... or it's because I'm super sexy to the max. Who knows for sure?"

I foresee a long and fruitful and food filled life for the future of Gibarra. I see children, probably adopted, just like you Ibarra, to bring more light and love and fun into this world. I see a long and bizarre life for Dobby, the mini yorkie that the two of you share. 

And I see laughter and lumpia and all sorts of crazy eats. Man, marrying you guys is making me hungry! But before we get to the rings, I must first stress that being a couple and working hard towards a committed life of love and support isn't always easy. There are trials and tribulations and there are difficulties and frustrations. Gibran, you mentioned them, in brief, when you told me about your love for this woman here. But I know, as each obstacle comes as you, you can and will rise above and beyond them, using one another for strength and support. Gibran, as you told me, "I know that she will always have my back and be on my side.  She is very loyal to the people she loves.  I also love her smile, she can have trouble being happy, but when she is her smile and laugh are infectious.  When she laughs she opens her mouth much as she can and doesn't make a sound.  It is very silly.  I make fun of her about it all the time." And that's a delightful detail that I want to leave with you as we do the rings thing. And then I'm going to go and eat some Filipino food. Mmmm sisig.

first up, the vows.

ibarra: "in life, people come and then they go. i guess that's why before i met you, i had already decided to always be alone. but then you came and showed me something different. you held my hand. you hugged me. you kissed me. you became my best friend i can laugh with, my partner i can count on, my confidante i can tell my secrets to. because of you, i feel alive, awake...i feel loved. i have my life to look forward to because of you. you became my family. so when you came, you showed me something different. you loved me and you stayed. so today, i promise you that i will stay too.

i will love you when we are together and when we are apart. i will laugh with you through the good and comfort you through the bad. i will support you as you build yourself up and catch you when you fall. when it gets dark, i will be your lighthouse. when it gets cold, i will cover you. i will be your loudest cheerleader and your best friend. in this life, we'll be partners because i came into your life and i vow to stay."

gibran: "ibarra, i promise to put a smile on your face when no one else can. i promise to hug and kiss every tear away. i promise to energize you when the sun doesn't come up. i promise to keep your heart warm with all my heart. you are my best friend. you are my smile. you are my tears. you are my energy. you are my heart. i will be your pillar, your irony, your colossus to your storm, your hero, and anything you need me to be in the future to make our dreams come true. i love you."

And now, the rings.

{Rings}

Gibran, will you please take Ibarra's hand and place the wedding ring on her finger, while repeating after me:

This ring symbolizes the love that I have for you. As I place it on your finger, I give you all that I am and ever hope to be. 

Ibarra, will you please take Gibran's hand and place the wedding band on his finger, while repeating after me: 

This band symbolizes the love that I have for you. As I place it on your finger, I give you all that I am and ever hope to be.

Love freely given has no giver and no receiver. You are each the giver and each the receiver. Your giving and receiving of rings is indicative of an unbreakable vow; is a symbol of the unbroken circle of your love, so that wherever you go, you may always return to your shared life together. May you always remember the promise you keep in our heart to each other."  

"Gibran, do you take Ibarra to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, in Houston, Texas, here in New York City or wherever else your lives and loves may take you, until the end of your days?"

gibran: "i do."

Ibarra, do you take Gibran to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, in Houston, Texas, here in New York City or wherever else your lives and loves may take you, until the end of your days?

ibarra: "i do."

By the powers vested in me by the Internets and the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife! Please give each other a kiss!