If your theology of covenantal marriage begins with the meet cute, as mine does, you should like this one.

On the night before the New York City marathon in November 2017, entrant Dan O’Connor, son of Kathy Hannigan O’Connor, was sitting at the bar at Harry’s Italian on Gold St. in Manhattan, eating a big plate of lasagna. A woman named Ashley and some friends came in for a drink after a Crossfit class. This set the table.

Thinking she might take some home for her husband, Dave, Ashley asked Dan how the lasagna was. They talked for a while. Dan doesn’t need much time to reveal his heart, of the same substance as his mother’s and sister Meaghan Ellen’s. When Dave’s lasagna came, Ashley turned to leave — and then stopped, turned back, and said that she thought he and her friend Michelle Cummings would like one another.

Out of such stopping and turning back and taking risks comes much of what is good about the world. Because Ashley was right. Dan and Michelle loved each other. They were married last night in Simi Valley. They also love what is decent and just. They love their family and friends. And they love the unity, an anticipation of the unity of all things, that God has constructed out of their lives.

Meeting Dave last night, I asked how the lasagna was. He said it was cold by the time Ashley got home, but it was a sacrifice he had been willing to make for the sake of love.

Here’s my wedding scrapbook. Blessed to serve as officiant, in the spirit of generous hospitality that Dan and Michelle, who planned every detail and labeled every water bottle, evinced for their guests from all over the country, I offer the top tip from my officiant’s handbook: First thing, make friends with the wedding planner and sound engineer/DJ. They don’t teach that at seminary. You’re welcome.