Our Wedding Ceremony

The Wedding: Brent & Tanya Oct 4, 2015

The Officiant: Dr. Sage Breslin

The Gathering

We are gathered here today in the presence of tribe and family to witness and support the marriage of Brent Mikel Kozlowski and Tanya Lynn Paluso.  We are so grateful for the presence of so many who join us here today and also acknowledge those who were not able to join us here today, whether in body or spirit.

The Invocation

In order to ensure that the process of blessing this union is a sacred one, we ask that our prayers be heard.

We ask that all that gather here, either incarnate or in spirit, are here in the best interest of Brent and Tanya.  Our prayer is that we manifest a sacred container for the blessed union we will create.  For those who are unable to support this union, we ask that you take your leave.  We ask this in the name of all that is High and Holy. We ask this in the name of all angels.

Speaking to the Tribe

Before we begin, Tanya and Brent would like to address their family and greater tribe.

Brent and Tanya address each other, family and friends to join hands and hear their commitments and requests for support and accountability.  Unlike traditional ceremonies in which the Best Man and Maid of Honor would be responsible for making sure that the couple stays on track, this couple has an entire tribe to do so.

Comments on the Union

The couple that stands before this tribe is no ordinary couple.  They are unique and special in so many ways, whether or not it was ever their intention.  Honestly, I’m not sure that either of them was ever really what we might consider ordinary, but in finding each other, it seems that they have become nothing less than extraordinary.

They could have met online and grabbed some sushi before they decided to move on to the next candidate.  They could have met for coffee a couple of times hoping feelings developed for one another.  They could have found one another interesting but were too nervous to speak their truth.

Instead Brent & Tanya dove into their relationship head first: from a spontaneous dinner date, to climbing a mountain and running on the beach, to a 10 mile backpacking trip a week later where they created a safe enough container to start a conversation about their future.

The future they discussed that weekend manifested itself a few months later with the conception of their beautiful daughter Kali.  For many couples, this last bit is what turns everything upside down and spins lovers away from one another.  But, not for Tanya and Brent: they dove in, embracing and strengthening their commitment with each other.

Tanya has been open and honest about the inherent challenge of it all, while Brent’s unwavering faith in their love has kept them on course.  With every hormone surge and emotional upheaval, they rode the roller coaster: TOGETHER.

In eighteen months, they have encountered and resolved a handful of 4 of the 5 most stressful life events a couple can go through, but during that time, they have remained in conscious partnership and leaned into their commitment, and as a result have fallen deeper and deeper in love with one another.  They have held space for one another in order to confront and resolve some of their deepest fears.  They have learned to trust their connection with one another and with Source, so that even when things are difficult, they remain steadfast.  They have learned how to parent their beautiful daughter, and they have created a tribe invested in their success and harmony.

Reading #1: On Marriage

Tanya and Brent have asked Karis and Blake to read a passage from The Prophet “on Marriage:”

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But, let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not to near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart

And the oak tree and the cypress grown not in each other’s shadow.

Witnesses to the Union

While in other unions, we ask, “Who gives this woman or this man to be married?” it is our request of you as a tribe to respond as a tribe in your support of this couple with a “We Have”.

Who has joined Tanya and Brent today for this transition into marriage?

Tribe responds with “We have!”

Promises of the Couple

With your tribe’s blessing you are now free to express your promises to one another.

Sage: Brent, do you promise to give Tanya the space to be herself and accept her for who she is and who she is not?

I do.

Sage: And how will you do so?

Tanya, I promise to support you in your choice to go big in the work you do in the world or stay at home with our children.

I promise to hold space for your full emotional spectrum. No matter how irrational, crazy and direct it may seem.

Who you are not, I accept you for being someone who would rather have deep and meaningful conversations instead of someone who would  “hang out and shoot the shit”.

 

Sage: Tanya, do you promise to give Brent the space to be himself and accept him for who he is and who he is not?

I do.

Sage: And how will you do so?

Brent, I promise to respect your process, no matter how long it takes, because I trust you and respect your need for perfection.

I promise to have your back so you can tinker and do what you are passionate about, even when you go for broke.

I promise to support your goals and dreams as simple as being a stay-at-home dad and as grand as giving you the five months it takes to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Who you are not, I accept you for being someone who does not want nor need to process and be emotional with me on a daily basis.

 

Sage: Brent, do you promise to show up and support Tanya to be her best self?

I Do.

Sage: And how will you do so?

Tanya, your best self is when you are in your feminine. I promise to always make you laugh when you are in your masculine so you’re able to soften.

You make things happen when you are Tazmanian Tanya. I promise to support your whirlwind of creativity no matter how unsustainable you may be and help you organize and build the foundation once you land.

 

Sage: Tanya, do you promise to show up and support Brent to be his best self?

I Do.

Sage: And how will you do so?

Brent, your best self is when you are in the intersection between your creativity and your focused intention. I promise to give you distraction-free time so you can be in that zone of genius.

Your best self is when you are the calm in the eye of the storm and let things roll off your back when I’m emotional. I promise to breathe, laugh and take responsibility for myself and my actions.

 

Sage: Brent, do you promise to be Tanya’s partner to create your family’s health, wealth and happiness?

Brent: I do.

Sage: And how will you do so?

Tanya, In order to create our family’s health, wealth and happiness, I promise to put our relationship first and foremost above all else.

I promise to be your rock, to provide for you, and protect you in times of crisis.

I promise to hold you accountable to be your word.

 

Sage: Tanya, do you promise to be Brent’s partner to create your family’s health, wealth and happiness?

Tanya: I do.

Sage: And how will you do so?

Brent, In order to create our family’s health, wealth and happiness, I promise to put our relationship first and foremost above all else.

I promise to be your rock, to provide for you, and protect you in times of crisis.

I promise to hold you accountable to be your word.

The Blessing of the Rings

rings

It is traditional to exchange an object that reflects your pledge to one another.  Rings represent the eternal circle of your love for one another, but also represent the strength and Power of Father Sun and the rich nurture of Mother Earth.

Michelle, please bring us the rings so that they might be blessed and exchanged.

We ask that our prayers be heard.

Let these symbols of your eternal love and affection for one another contain nothing less than the eternal love and light inherent in all Source energy. Let these rings remind you of your connection to one another and your faith in the Divine.  Let these rings pull you back from anger when you have conflict, and let these rings remind you of the sanctuary you find in one another when life is hard.

Exchange of Rings

Brent, please place the ring on Tanya’s finger and repeat after me.

Brent, while he places ring on Tanya’s finger, repeats after me: I am so proud to be standing here before you, to call you my wife and to place on your finger this ring, the eternal circle, the symbol of my love and commitment.

Tanya, please place the ring on Tanya’s finger and repeat after me.

Tanya, while she places ring on Brent’s finger, repeats after me: I am so proud to be standing here before you, to call you my husband and to place on your finger this ring, the eternal circle, the symbol of my love and commitment.

Blending of the Sands

Tanya and Brent, today you are making a life-long commitment to one another.  To symbolize your union, we will have you blend your sands together.  But, as with your own lives, a foundation has been laid- by your families, your friends, your communities, and by your faith.

We ask that Jules and Anat bring forth the containers of sand which represent each of you in this relationship.

Jules and Anat bring the six containers of sand and hand one to Brent and one to Tanya and place the remaining four containers on the table.  Jules and Anat return to seats.

You have placed some very special stones in this container to represent your core values: unconditional love, well-being, adventure, and growth.

I pour this scoop of sand from Ponto Beach, to represent the foundation of community and faith, and to provide a reminder of the place where you made these special promises to one another.

Sage pours first sand into container.

Your union is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand which each represent all that you have been, all that you are, and all that you are becoming.

Each holds its own unique beauty, strength, and character. They can stand on their own and be whole, without the need of anything else. When the two are blended together they represent an entirely new and extraordinary relationship. Each grain of sand brings to the mixture a lasting beauty that forever enriches the combination.

Brent and Tanya pour sands into the shared vessel at the same time.

As you now blend the sand together, let us recognize that the lives that each of you have experienced until now, individually, will hereafter be inseparably united, for the two shall become one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and returned again into their individual containers, so will your marriage be.

Bringing up Kali

Now that this couple has made their commitment to one another and created a foundation for family, we ask that their daughter Kali join them.   Additionally, we ask that the couple be joined by their parents.

Pam, Linda, Steve, Gary, and Kali join the couple.

Representing Kali

Because Kali is not only your daughter but a very special representation of the life you create together, we ask that your parents sprinkle a final layer of sand into the vessel to represent her in your life together.

Steve, Gary, Linda and Pam pour sand for Kali, then return to their seats.

Reading #2: On Children

Because Brent and Tanya want to adequately recognize not only the bond they have made to one another, but the life they have created in Kali, we want to incorporate two more pieces; the first is a reading from The Prophet on Children.

Raj and Kristina, can you join us here please?

Your children are not your children

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you, but not from you.

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Family Ties Ceremony

Pam, would you bring Kali up again please?

To represent their commitments to one another as husband, wife, mother, father and daughter, Brent and Tanya will honor those family ties with a special yarn for each.

Brent ties yarn around Tanya’s wrist, Tanya ties yarn around Brent’s wrist, then they tie yarn around Kali’s wrist.

Pam returns with Kali to her seat.

Celebration of the Union

What we have joined together in the presence of friends, family and God, let no man, woman or child, set asunder.

By the power vested in me by God and the State of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife!

You may kiss your spouse!

Presentation of the Kozlowski Family

May I now present the Kozlowski Family!

Invitation to Reception

Brent and Tanya will be taking some formal photos but invite you to enjoy drinks and snacks down at the beach.  They will join you in about an hour for a fantastic reception! If all family members (aunts, uncles, cousins) please stay here for a family shot.

MUSIC FOR COUPLE’S CELEBRATION & DEPARTURE UP THE STAIRS (Good Feeling by Flo Rida)