Fathers know best about kids' wedding

Ron Kasoff, left, and Rick Bodamer, right, preside

Ron Kasoff, left, and Rick Bodamer, right, preside over the wedding of their children Victor Jason Kasoff and Stevie Lynn Bodamer in an upstate ceremony. (Aug. 10, 2013) (Credit: Handout)

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I married my daughter last month.

Whoa. That sounds a little creepy. Let me rephrase: I presided over my daughter's wedding ceremony last month.

Yes, me. I'm not a pastor or priest, rabbi or even justice of the peace.

Still, I conducted the ceremony, and it turned out just fine. Maybe better, if the glowing reviews from family and friends after the "I dos" are any indication.

Although my daughter grew up attending a church in Bayport and her fiance, a synagogue in Richmond, Va., they decided to get married on neutral ground -- a public gazebo in Sackets Harbor, a quaint little village in upstate New York, where our family vacationed for many years. The fact that the ceremony was taking place at a "nondenominational" venue made the wedding even more "nontraditional" in their eyes.

So they asked me and the groom's father, Ron Kasoff, to jointly officiate at the ceremony. Originally, we both thought they were crazy. Who were we to marry our kids?

OK, Ron is a lay leader in his synagogue, and I've taught Sunday school for the past 15 years, but that hardly qualifies us as men of the cloth.

Then, we shared an epiphany: Who better than us to marry our children?

After all, we are both "fathers" in the purest sense of the word -- we helped give our kids life and no one in the world loved them more, or wished them better, in their new life together.

Plus, it was an interfaith marriage (Methodist and Jewish), and by participating, we were sure both our spiritual home teams would be represented.

So we accepted the challenge and embraced it as an honor. We wrote the service together, making it as short, sweet and personal as possible.

Knowing the participants since they were in diapers eliminated any chance of generic homilies or awkward moments forgetting our kids' names. Most important, Ron and I both got ordained -- online that is. It was free and took all of five minutes. No tricky questions about how many disciples Jesus had or what was the Eighth Commandment. We didn't even have to know who Noah was. We simply filled out an electronic form.

I must admit, the whole process was easier than ordering a book on Amazon.

Ron sent away for his official ordination package, complete with certificate, suitable for framing, and wallet ID. I opted out of such accoutrements, knowing with all my heart that I was going to get out of the marriage business as soon as I completed this one.

The ceremony went off without a proverbial hitch (our kids got a legal New York State marriage license, just to make sure), and hopefully the bride and groom will live together happily ever after.

With all due respect to God and the law, I know two fathers who won't accept anything less.

--Rick Bodamer, Blue Point

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