I just put some finishing touches on the ceremony that Groom and I wrote together (with the help of cyberspace). Please let me know if there are any issues with making sense, flow, clarity, grammar, anything really!
Welcome to this special occasion, the day when Bride and Groom take each other’s hand and begin their life together as husband and wife.
It is one of life’s richest surprises when the meeting of two people leads them to proceed together along a common path. It is indeed one of life’s finest experiences when this chance relationship grows into a permanent bond of love. The love Bride and Groom feel for each other, the love that is expressed here today, demonstrates not only their joy in the present, but their commitment and excitement in sharing the future. This is a time of celebration for all those who know and love them.
Love often starts in little ways. It comes quietly with a smile, a glance, or a touch, but you know it’s there because suddenly you’re not alone. Finding love means finding a person in this world with whom you feel you have been forever and with whom you want to live, grow and learn. Being married is doing the living, growing, and learning together, and this wedding is the ceremony that celebrates your commitment to your marriage and to each other.
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world: This is my husband. This is my wife.
Each of you have been invited because you are important and loved by the bride and groom. It is in your company that they have learned the lessons of friendship, loyalty, and love. Your support has helped them to flourish as individuals so that they may find love in each other. There are many different types of love here today – romantic love, the love of parents and children, of brothers and sisters and family, and love among friends. All of this love, and this marriage between Bride and Groom, unites us all together as one family.
Will you welcome your new family members with warmth, kindness, and the joys of your friendship?
Will you support this couple as they embark upon this new path together?
Will you offer them the strength of your wisest counsel and the comfort of your thoughtful concern?
If yes, please answer, “We will.”
Everyone: “We will.”
The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is saying "I love you" at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values & common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is creating an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is now time for Bride and Groom to say their vows.
(Bride and Groom say the following in unison)
I choose you to be my partner in life and love. I will cherish our union. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward.
EXCHANGING OF THE RINGS
Traditionally rings are exchanged as a tangible symbol of the vows you have made here today.
(Officiant opens ring box)
(Groom takes out Bride’s ring and says the following)
Bride, I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.
(Bride takes out Groom’s ring and says the following)
Groom, I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.
Groom and Bride, in your journey of life together, remind yourselves often of the love that brought you together. Give the highest priority to your love. When challenges come, remember to focus on what is right between you. In this way, you can ride out the storms. And when clouds hide the sun in your lives - remember, even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is always there.
May you always be able to talk things over, to confide in each other, to laugh with each other, to enjoy life together, and to share moments of quiet and peace, when the day is done. May you be blessed with a lifetime of happiness and a home of warmth and understanding.
I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now seal this union with a kiss.