by Ryan and Samantha (Massau) Ciriaco
There were no fairy godmothers, glass slippers, or mice that doubled as seamstresses, but this story certainly felt like a fairy tale. Once upon a time—two years ago in fact—two law students met and fell in love. On August 5, 2011, in front of family and friends, they got married. Ryan and Samantha Ciriaco are starting their final year at TJSL, and could not be more excited to conclude their amazing law school journey as husband and wife.
Professor William Slomanson presided over their wedding ceremony. For one beautiful evening, “ProSlo,” now “RevSlo,” traded in civil procedure for civil unions. He definitely added his personal touch to the wedding. Before the formalities of the ceremony began, Professor Slomanson began by ripping up two pink slips, signifying the fact that we were indeed “prepared” to enter into this union.
There are many phrases used to describe the act of getting married: “jumping the broom,” “getting hitched,” and “taking the plunge.” At Professor Slomanson’s suggestion, we literally “tied the knot,” in what is known as the “Handfasting Ritual.” During this part of the ceremony, members of the wedding party individually approached us, and then asked whether we would make specific commitments to one another. When we did so, then each ribbon, with its own distinctive color, was placed loosely over our adjoined hands. This colorful rite signified our personal promises, at a moment when there could not have been a dry eye on the terrace. RevSlo then grasped all the ribbons, tied a knot, and thus bound one very happy couple together in matrimony.
Overall, the ceremony could not have been more beautiful. Set atop the rooftop terrace of the Westgate Hotel, on a beautiful August evening at the cusp of sunset, we exchanged rings, our personally written vows, and one of the most romantic kisses of our lives. After we said our “I do’s,” we all danced the night away with 100 of our closest friends and relatives. The TJSL students in our wedding party, and others in attendance, included Eric Bernsen, Louise Dunn, Joshua Tallman, Heather Denaro, Janaye Martin, and Jeffrey Taggart. As the clock struck midnight, the party was over, but no one turned into a pumpkin. Majestic steeds did not turn into door mice, and none of the incredibly gorgeous wedding gowns turned into tattered rags. However, this story does end with the girl finding her prince. And if you ask anyone that has ever seen us together, they can attest that the two of us truly are a perfect fit. ... and they lived happily ever after.
------------------------------------------- Editor’s Note: Professor Slomanson has now officiated at the weddings of six TJSL students and graduates. Number Seven will be in November. Stay tuned!