private ceremonyWelcome to our wedding ceremony!

With the exception of Skanthan's touching remarks about us, we wrote the entire ceremony ourselves. It was a wonderful, joyful, tearful experience that brought us even closer together as a couple. Spending the time together to articulate exactly how we think and feel about friendship, love, relationships and marriage and how we wished to convey those feelings and ideas to each other and our loved ones on our wedding day was probably the best part of the wedding preparations. It was certainly the most important.

We chose to write our own ceremony because we wanted every aspect of our wedding to truly be personal and reflect our personalities as individuals and as a couple. We wanted it to reflect the seriousness and depth of our commitment to one another, but also convey the fun and joy with which we honor that commitment. It was wonderful to hear so much laughter and appreciation from our guests, and it meant so much to us to hear how much people enjoyed our personal touches.

Everything we wrote, we wrote for ourselves, but we were delighted by how much others were touched by our words. Whether you are someone we know or you are an Internet visitor, we hope that our ceremony will inspire you and make you smile.

Wedding Ceremony of
Stephen Mark Friedman and Elicia Robin Woerle


  1. The Twentieth Century Fox Fanfare plays
  2. The Candle Lighters light the candles at the arch, accompanied by the music THE LUCKIEST (INSTRUMENTAL) by Ben Folds Five. They are seated.
  3. Eddie Woerle walks Gloria Woerle down the aisle, accompanied by the music ASHOKAN FAREWELL (pre-recorded by Elicia on Flute). They are seated.
  4. JUPITER by Gustav Holst begins.
  5. The wedding party enters, in the following order.
    1. Skanthan Vivekananda
    2. Lindsay Hardman and Jonathan Kirzner
    3. Julie Klamon and Aaron Klamon
    4. Celine Thackston and Josh Horowitz
    5. Mike Shapiro and Scott Schneider
  6. CELEBRATE AND DISCOVER by John Williams begins.
  7. Sheila Friedman walks Stephen Friedman down the aisle. Sheila is seated. Stephen waits by her seat.
  9. Ed Woerle walks Elicia Woerle down the aisle. Ed is seated. Elicia and Steve walk together to the arch, probably giggling.

We're getting married!

Welcome and Introduction

Please be seated.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all on this joyful occasion to witness the marriage of Steve and Elicia.  \We are here to celebrate, honor, laugh, reflect, and share in the happiness of this union. However, this day does not mark the beginning of a relationship, but instead recognizes and publicly affirms a bond that already exists. Today Steve and Elicia will reflect on how much they love each other, an activity which they will repeat every day for the rest of their lives.

Marriage is a cooperative venture. It is a relationship based on love, respect, and a determination between partners to treat one another's happiness as their own. Steve and Elicia have already begun their journey together. They have found each other, found love, worked together through difficulties, and shared in triumphs. They are committed to sharing their lives and experiences, continuing to learn from one another, and caring for each other in exceptional ways.

It was important to Steve and Elicia that their wedding be performed not by a stranger, but by a close friend who truly cared about their lifetime of happiness. Unfortunately, that close friend canceled on them at the last minute so they asked me instead. I have been close friends with Steve since high school. I know Elicia through Steve and have known her, and them as a couple, since they started dating.They asked me to share a few thoughts about their relationship. I can think of two things?fidelity and laughter.

Let's start with the serious one shall we? First, a word on fidelity. Steve and Elicia, I would not be fulfilling my duty as the person presiding over this wedding if I didn't make sure that each of you knew that this a serious business you are embarking upon. As the old saying goes, marriage is a promise that takes a lifetime to fulfill. It is a difficult promise. However, I have great confidence in you. Anyone who knows Steve well knows that he is a person of great integrity, honesty and loyalty. I do mean this quite seriously. He has brought these personal qualities of integrity, honesty and loyalty to his friendship with me and all of our friends and he has brought these qualities to his relationship with Elicia. There are very few people in the world who I would trust completely with keeping a promise. I would trust Steve. Elicia too has brought this seriousness and dedication to our friends and to her relationship with Steve. She is always supportive and constantly looks out for the people around her, often at the times when they most need it. And she has never strayed from being a loyal friend and girlfriend to Steve. From everything that I know about each of you as individuals and the two of you as a couple, I believe you have the dedication to fulfill this promise.

Now, a word on laughter. Steve and Elicia both share a love of humor and laughter. When I first met Elicia, I made the mistake of making a joke about people from the South. I became very embarrassed and apologetic when she told me she was from Tennessee. To my surprise, she liked the joke. As I got to know Elicia better, I soon found out that she was quite a source of humor herself. As Steve and Elicia developed as a couple, I've got to say that the number of strange catchphrases, inside jokes and running gags seems to have multiplied faster than rabbits. Elicia also has done a great job of getting up to speed with a friend group with about fifteen years of these inside jokes themselves. Over the years, the couple have hosted lots of fun parties, have acquainted many of us with their appreciation for live comedy, and have helped bring together a circle of friends who all seem to share their sense of humor. And when Steve and Elicia first asked me to preside over their wedding, I can assure you, we considered every ridiculous scenario conceivable. So Steve and Elicia, I hope that as you continue this life you will build together, you never lose your sense of humor. I hope, as you grow older together, we can see all the wrinkle lines around your cheeks from your permanent smiles.

Essay on Love – "What Love Is Not"

It is often the custom at weddings to read an essay, poem, or song about the nature of love and, marriage, and occasionally their similarity to horses and carriages. However, no words by a stranger can truly capture the sentiments shared by two individuals in love. Because of this, Steve, being a writer, wrote his own essay for this occasion, entitled What Love Is Not.

Love is not causeless. It is not doled out by the cosmos. It does not spring fully formed from Zeus' brow. Love stems from the way individuals feel about each other. It is caused by who they are as people.

Love is not unconditional. As people grow and change, their love must grow and change with them. The qualities that made people fall in love in the first place must be maintained and built upon with new facets. Without this, love will wither away and die.

Love is not instant. It is based on truly knowing another person, a process which continues for life. The excitement and newness of a relationship will fade, but love will only grow over time.

Love is not roses and chocolate. It is not jewelry or fancy cars. It is using the understanding of a partner to bring them happiness to the depth of their being. This means more than any material gifts.

Love is not ownership. The object of your love is not yours. Love is something shared, freely and without obligation.

Love is not passive. It is something that is done. A verb, not a noun. Love takes continual action. Without that, love is meaningless.

What is love? It is the joining together of two complete and happy individuals in order to share a whole greater than the sum of its parts. It is a true caring, a true respect, a true interest, a true friendship, a true partnership. It is a magnification of happiness and a sharing of values. It is compounding your joy. It is the greatest bliss two people can know.

Declaration of Intent

Steve and Elicia, it is not the role of myself or any officiant to institute your marriage. You do that yourselves by freely declaring your intent to spend the rest of your lives together.

I do.

Stephen, do you come before this gathering of friends and family to take Elicia as your wife? Do you proclaim your love and devotion for her? Do you promise to support her, respect her, and care for her during times of joy and hardship? Do you commit yourself to share your feelings of happiness and sadness? Do you pledge to remain faithful to her?

I totally do.


Marriage is not, as is often thought, a loss of freedom. It does not restrict your choices but enhances them. It is not possession but participation. It is not a burden but an exultant partnership.

Part of love between two people is a deep and abiding friendship that serves as a foundation for an enduring relationship. This friendship is an oasis from the outside world in which two soul-mates can connect. It holds a mirror to our failings, helping us improve without hurting our sense of self efficacy. It nurtures our hopes, supports us during time of disappointment, and encourages us to grow to our potential. Steve and Elicia came together first as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth, and most importantly the fun of true friendship.

Steve and Elicia have committed to each other to share their innermost values, hopes, and desires. They have written their own vows to express this. Elicia, please share your vows with Stephen.

Steve – since the moment I met you, you've filled my life with joy and laughter. Being with you has taught me so much about myself and about love. Our partnership continually fills me with happiness and is such a source of strength and a refuge when things are tough. Thank you for these things. My vow to you today is to continually strive to meet this same standard. I promise to always listen to you and take care with your feelings as if they were my own. I promise to always support you, fight for you, be your biggest fan and strongest ally. I also promise a lifetime of silliness, terrible puns, fonude, kitties, snuggling, and a whole lot of awesome. I love you.

Stephen, please share your vows with Elicia.

Elicia. I love you. You are my sunshine. You're my best friend and my partner in life. I promise to always support you and encourage you. To trust, inspire, and respect you. I promise to be honest, kind, patient, and forgiving. I promise to laugh with you. To be silly when you need me to, and plenty of other times too. To come up with wacky nicknames for you. To always love kitties with you. I promise to smile at you and make every one of your days better than it would otherwise have been. I promise to make you happy. As we share the joyous adventure of our lives together, I promise to love you more each day than the one before.

Unity Ceremony

A married couple shares one life, but remains two separate people. They are not sacrificing their identity as individuals, but joining together in a partnership greater than the sum of its parts. They will share in this partnership, each giving and receiving equally.

One of Steve and Elicia's favorite drinks is an Arnold Palmer. While iced tea and lemonade both taste good on their own, combined together they make something new and unique. They complement each other to bring out their best elements individually, and build those elements into a greater whole.

Skan hands the decanter of iced tea to Elicia, and the decanter of lemonade to Steve.

Scott picks up the glass and holds it out to Steve and Elicia.

Steve and Elicia, please pour the iced tea and lemonade into the glass.

Steve and Elicia pour.
Scott hands the glass to Steve.

Just as you share this glass, you will share your lives and draw strength from one another. In the same way as you give each other a drink, you will support and care for one another. Try not to spill.

Steve gives a drink to Elicia, then hands her the glass.
Elicia gives a drink to Steve, then hands the glass to Scott, who puts it down.

Arnold Palmer

Please take each other's hands.

Steve and Elicia hold hands.

Stephen and Elicia, do you promise to cherish and affirm your differences, and always value each other? Although you may disagree, do you promise to respect each other's feelings, needs, and wants, and never lose your sense of humor? Do you promise to maintain your identities while sharing a new one? Do you promise to remain Stephen and Elicia, while continually building your partnership as Stelicia?

We do.

Steve and Elicia perform their secret handshake.

fist bump

Signing of Marriage Certificate

As part of the ceremony, Steve and Elicia would like you to witness as they become wed not just in their hearts, but in the eyes of the law.

Skan opens the folder to the Marriage License.

This is the official License and Certificate of Marriage issued by the County of Los Angeles. Elicia, please sign on the line marked "Bride."

Elicia signs the certificate.

Stephen, please sign on the line marked "Groom."

Steve signs the certificate.

Michael, as the Attendant of Honor, please sign on the line for the first witness.

Mike signs the certificate.

Scott, as the Best Man, please sign on the line for the second witness.

Scott signs the certificate.

And as the Officiant, I'll sign to make it official.

Exchange of Rings

It is traditional for a bride and groom to exchange wedding rings as an outward symbol of their love and commitment. Elicia and Stephen have chosen rings that have special meaning to them.

Stephen's ring is made of tungsten-carbide, a material that is unbreakable, like their love. Tungsten is also the metal used in light bulbs, symbolizing mankind's brilliance, ingenuity, and will to improve the world around us. Michael, please give the ring to Elicia.

Mike gives the ring to Elicia.

Will you take this ring as a symbol of our marriage and our love and promises to one another?

I will.

Elicia puts the ring on Steve's finger.

Elicia's ring is set with diamonds, the hardest substance on Earth, which are also as unbreakable as their love. Diamonds are also beautiful, reflecting and radiating light, reminding us to take joy and delight in the world. Scott, please give the ring to Stephen.

Scott gives the ring to Steve.

Will you take this ring as a symbol of our marriage and our love and promises to one another?

I will.

Steve puts the ring on Elicia's finger.

ring exchange


Your relationship has not culminated with this ceremony. You will continue find new ways to enhance each other's lives while finding greater happiness in your own. And while part of marriage is sharing each other's burdens, it is more important to be partners in fun and laughter. You have an exciting life of joy and happiness together ahead of you.

Stephen and Elicia, having witnessed your marriage vows with all who are assembled here with you, by the power vested in me by the State of California as a Deputy Commissioner of Civil Marriages, it is with great joy that I pronounce you are husband and wife.



Scott hands a camera to Steve.

Ladies and gentlemen, Stephen and Elicia Friedman!

THRONE ROOM MUSIC from Star Wars plays.
Steve takes a picture of Stelicia together.

Stelicia self-portrait


THRONE ROOM MUSIC from Star Wars plays. People walk up the aisle in the following order:
  1. Stelicia
  2. Sheila, Ed, and Gloria, all together
  3. Skanthan
  4. Scott and Mike
  5. Celine and Josh
  6. Julie and Aaron
  7. Lindsay and Jonathan