Moment of Remembrance
“It has long been asked: “How can we know where we are going in life if we don’t remember where we come from?” With this in mind, Gracie and George would like to begin this ceremony with a moment to honor and remember all those who, although they could not be here physically… all the people who we know are here in spirit, and are wishing Gracie and George a lifetime of happiness. May they know that they are loved and remembered always.”
“Welcome everyone! It is such a wonderful feeling to be here with Gracie and George… two people very much in love, ready and appreciative, to celebrate the beginnings of what will be an extraordinary marriage.
Today we are here to see, experience, and celebrate, all kinds of Love. The love of parents for their children, the love between brothers and sisters, the love of family and friends, and the Love of Gracie and George…. a Love that is being taken to new levels of commitment as today they make the biggest promises that two people can ever make, and join their families as one.
Today we speak in terms of ideals, Yet this ceremony must also have a practical side, that shows how as the years pass you will continue to grow ever closer to one another in spirit. With this in mind, that I will now ask you begin by making your promises together….
Do you pledge to one another your openness and honesty, that the love for one another shall be in the foreground of your thoughts always, guiding your actions, and that you shall leave no parts of self unknowable to one another?”
Gracie and George: “We do.”
“Do you pledge to continue to love one another wholly and fearlessly, that you will share each other’s laughter and work together to spark creativity and inspire passion in all aspects of your life together?”
Gracie and George: “We do.”
“Do you pledge that you will always be there to comfort, soothe, and heal one another, that you will stand together when the future is unclear, proving that times may change but your love is constant?”
Gracie and George: “We do.”
“Do you pledge that your home will always be a place of warmth and welcome, a safe haven and sanctuary to body, mind, and spirit, that shall sustain and nourish you as you grow into all that is and shall be your life together?”
Gracie and George: “We do.”
“Gracie and George, living by these promises that you make this day, may your lives be blessed with love and laughter, with wisdom and wonder.”
Welcoming of the Guests
“We live in a time where we are keenly aware of how important it is to be with the people we love, especially when celebrating life‘s milestones. Gracie and George know themselves to be truly blessed to both come from such large and wonderful families. That everyone has been so loving, supportive and emotionally invested in sharing their joy… by whatever means you could… it means so much to ba and George. With such an intimate gathering there can be no doubt of the place that all of you hold in Gracie in George’s hearts and lives. They described you as their “go to“ people, their “touchstones“, and from this day on, you will be the one big beautiful family that they share. For loving them, supporting them, for the yesterdays that have helped to make them who they are… and all the tomorrows yet to come… Gracie and George thank you from the bottom of their hearts… and love you more than words can express.”
Thoughts on Marriage
by Neil Gaiman
“Gracie and George have chosen to include a short reading today. These are a few words from Neil Gaiman when he was asked to speak at a friend’s wedding ceremony…
‘This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.
This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing.
Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness
and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.
It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses:
it’s what they mean.
Somebody’s got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self
and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.
It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse
bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together.
So this is everything I have to tell you about love
and marriage: nothing,
like a book without pages or a forest without trees.
Because there are things you cannot know
before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage,
is like yours,
and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.
And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.
And that’s all I know about love.’
Finding the person who will unveil these most beautiful aspects of life is difficult, but once you have there is no other way to proceed into all of your tomorrows except as husband and wife. Gracie and George, this is the wonderful place that you have come to. May the promises you make this day lead you through a lifetime of happiness.”
“Before we proceed to the ring exchange Gracie and George have chosen to write their own vows that they would like to share with one another at this time.
George, will you now tell Gracie what is in your heart?”
George speaks his heart
“Gracie, will you now tell George what is in your heart?”
Gracie speaks her heart
Presentation of the Rings
“May we have the rings please?
couple is given the rings
If you will, please take a moment to look at your rings before you exchange them. In these… your last moments before making your vows… this is the last time that these rings are ever going to be simply a piece of jewelry… While they are beautiful as they are now… they did not begin as bands. They came from raw materials, just as your marriage came from friendship, trust, respect, understanding and enjoyment of one another. The most beautiful thing about your rings won’t be something visible to the eye… It will be all the love and the trust, the honesty and integrity, the memories…. that you embody them with as you wear them every day as a faithful husband and wife.”
“George, do you take Gracie to be your lawfully wedded wife, To have and to hold from this day forward, For better or for worse, For richer or for poorer, In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish, Until death do you part?”
George: “I do.”
“Please place the ring on Gracie’s finger and repeat after me…”
George places the ring half way on to Gracie’s finger
“I George, take you Gracie, to be my wife. I will love you and honor you, respect and cherish you, For all the days of my life.”
George places the ring the rest of the way on to Gracie’s finger
“Gracie, do you take George to be your lawfully wedded husband, To have and to hold from this day forward, For better or for worse, For richer or for poorer, In sickness and in health, To love and to cherish, Until death do you part?”
Gracie: “I do.”
“Please place the ring on George’s finger and repeat after me…”
Gracie places the ring half way onto George’s finger
“I Gracie, take you George, to be my husband. I will love you and honor you, respect and cherish you, For all the days of my life.”
Gracie places the ring the rest of the way onto George’s finger
Pronouncement of Marriage
“Gracie and George, as unique and beautiful your love is and your marriage will be… it celebrates the realist and truest, oldest and most familiar story ever told… the only story that has ever really mattered since the beginning of time. Two people met, and fell in love… and came to see their love as the most important thing in their lives…. And with this understanding… the world itself became a better place. May your marriage bring you and those you love a lifetime of joys.
It is my honor and pleasure to say to you… having witnessed your marriage vows with all who are assembled here, it is my honor and privilege to now pronounce you Husband and wife! You may kiss your beautiful Bride!
Couple kiss and exit to greet their guests!