Good afternoon and welcome! The Bride and Groom have expressed their desire for you to be truly present with them at this special time. As we will be beginning shortly I would ask that you will please switch your phones to off or to airplane mode at this time. Please do feel free to take pictures… but do remain seated and refrain from stepping into or reaching your devices into the aisle. And now without further delay we will begin!
Welcome everyone! It is such a wonderful feeling to be here with Chun and Matthew to celebrate the beginnings of what we know will be an extraordinary marriage. Today is the day that they will formally and publicly make their promises to one another. Although this is indeed a high point, marriage is a journey not a destination. Marriage is more than any one single event or promise. It a way of life and a series of decisions that have been made, and will continue to be made over and over again, every day, that shows each of their care and concern for the one whom they each love most in the world.
Chun and Matthew, to choose marriage is to accept a challenge, the challenge that Love itself provides when it wants to grow. This means that things won’t always be easy. But you share a commitment to putting your best selves forward in both difficult and wonderful times, emerging stronger with each experience you share. It means that although either of you will always be perfect, you will never lose sight of the fact that you are perfect for one another.
Marriage means that you have achieved a certain level of success, that deserves new levels of recognition and commitment. Although you have felt yourselves married in your hearts for sometime now, marriage in the larger sense has always been about family and community. There is something very important about publicly making your promises to one another, in front of all of everyone here, who has a lifetime of emotional investment in the two of you and in your happiness. Marriage is a promise to ever one here, that the person they love will always be well cared for.
Welcoming of the Guests
It is not often enough in today’s world that we have the opportunity to gather all those who mean the most to us together in one place. Therefore, Chun and Matthew would like to thank you all for taking the time and making the journey and for all the preparations that were made on their behalf to ensure that they were surrounded by the love of family and friends as they made their marriage vows. There are no words of appreciation and gratitude great enough to match the feelings that this inspires in them as they stand here now and see all of you gathered here for no other reason than to show them how much you love them. You are their friends and family, the people who are ever present in all of their favorite memories, and those whom they love most in this world.
Chun and Matthew, when everyone took their place here, they began on one side or the other. But after your vows, those words have done something that fundamentally changes the relationship of everyone here. After this ceremony is over and your guests join together… which ever one of you they were originally here to represent… those sides go away, and everyone here all belong to one another and to one family from that moment on. They become a singular community of family and friends who are joined by your love of them and by their love of you.
Reading: From “Union”
by Robert Fulghum
Chun and Matt have chosen to include a short reading today. It was written by Robert Fulghum, the man who wrote Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. This is an excerpt from his book on marriage, entitled Union.
‘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 promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will” – 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 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, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.’
Presentation of the Rings
May I have the rings please?
Officiant is given the rings
These beautiful bands are unbroken circles, symbols of eternity, with neither end, nor beginning. They are to remind you not only of the endless love you profess for one another this day, but of the precious gift of trust, honesty and commitment that you place in one another for all of your tomorrows. Chun and Matthew, from this day forward you will wear these rings as a sign that no matter where you go and what ever you do, there is someone in this world who loves you more than anything else, who whether near or far is always by your side. May these rings forever shine as a symbol of enduring strength and beauty in a sometimes fragile world.
Matthew, do you take Chun to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you vow to love her and care for her for as long as you both shall live? Do you accept her, with all of her faults and strengths, and offer yourself to her with all of your own faults and strengths? Do you promise to help her when she needs help, and to turn to her when you need help? Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion and to always put the promises you make this day above all else?
Matthew: I do.
Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?
Matthew places the ring half way on to Chun’s finger
I Matthew, take you Chun, to be my wife. I will love you, and honor you, respect and cherish you, for all the days of my life.
Matthew places the ring the rest of the way on to Chun’s finger
Chun, do you take Matthew to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you vow to love him and care for him For as long as you both shall live? Do you accept him, with all of his faults and strengths, and offer yourself to him with all of your own faults and strengths? Do you promise to help him when he needs help, and to turn to him when you need help? Do you promise to be a faithful and loving companion and to always put the promises you make this day above all else?
Chun: I do.
Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?
Chun places the ring half way onto Matthew’s finger
I Chun, take you Matthew, to be my husband. I will love you, and honor you, respect and cherish you, for all the days of my life.
Chun places the ring the rest of the way onto Matthew’s finger
Pronouncement of Marriage
Chun and Matthew have chosen to conclude their ceremony with a short reading entitled All I Want.
‘All I want is to love you for the rest of my life…. To wake up every morning with you by my side, knowing that no matter what happens I’ll be able to come home to your loving arms. All I want is to share everything with you…. To talk to you about our ideas, our dreams, the little everyday things that make us laugh, and the not-so-little things that we can’t help worrying about. All I want is to give you my love…. As a place you can always come to for acceptance, or the simple comfort that silence brings when things left unspoken can still be understood. All I want is to grow old with you… To watch our life unfold, Our dreams, one by one, come true. All I want is to love you forever.’
Having witnessed your marriage vows with all who are assembled here, it is with great joy, that I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may seal your promises with a kiss!