Mark and Ariane are married. They exchanged their vows shaded by ancient live oaks on July 3. Even at 7pm the Texas sun kept the temperature hovering in the high nineties. In a touch of thoughtful creativity, the order of service was printed on fans.
A guitarist played Bach's Air on the G String. Parents read Letters to a Young Poet and Pathways by Rainer Maria Rilke; two Celtic prayers by David Adam; Blessing for a Marriage by James Dillet Freeman; the Prayer of St Francis; and Litany by Billy Collins.
Susan and I now have a second daughter-in-law and we are thrilled beyond words to welcome Ari to the Corcoran clan. As the mother of three sons, Susan appreciates the increased female presence in the family.
The day before the ceremony, seventy family members and friends gathered for a rehearsal lunch at Torchy's Tacos at the Trailer Park Eatery, one of Mark and Ari's favorite Austin haunts. It was a joyous multicultural, multigenerational celebration.
Despite the odds, marriage and faithful relationships based on mutual trust are still the ideal to which most of our sons' friends aspire. Mark and Ari’s promise and commitment to each other:
“Loving what I know of you,
Trusting what I don’t yet know,
With respect for your integrity
And faith in your abiding love for me.”
The day after the wedding I came across a column by Ross Douthat in the New York Times entitled More Perfect Unions “Institutions tend to be strongest when they make significant moral demands, and weaker when they pre-emptively accommodate themselves to human nature,” he writes.
"A successful marital culture depends not only on a general ideal of love and commitment, but on specific promises, exclusions and taboos….The hardest promises to keep are often the ones that keep people together."
During the wedding festivities Andrew, Mark's brother and best man, warned Ari of certain genetic Corcoran traits: selective hearing, endless capacity for argument, and obsession with sports (watching, that is). "Don't blame them, it’s not their fault; they were made that way." But he concluded with one important Corcoran quality: "We find the greatest women in the world and we never let them go."
I say amen to that.