“Good afternoon and welcome! As we will be beginning shortly I would ask that you will please turn off your phones, put down your cameras and please refrain from taking photos until after cocktail hour has begun. Our bride and groom thank you in advance for the show of love and respect you give them in abiding by their request. And now without further delay we will begin!”
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Marisleidis and Richard. 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 is 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. Marriage is a promise that is renewed daily through a couples actions and a responsibility taken on in the spirit of faith, and hope, and love, that brings comfort in times of sadness and heightens our greatest joys. Marisleidis and Richard, may the promises you make this day live always in your hearts and in your home so that all which you share now deepen and grow through the years, leading you through a lifetime of happiness.”
Declaration of Intent
“A wedding is more than a celebration of the love which lives in our Bride and Groom’s hearts today. It reaches into the future and proclaims their intentions for all that which tomorrow shall hold. A couple who wed are joined not only by the mutual affection and love they share, but also by their hopes, dreams and by their promises of what will be… The promises and vows they make this day shall guide them into their common future. I will ask you now if you are prepared to make these promises.
Marisleidis, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Richard to be your husband, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?”
Marisleidis: “I have.”
“Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him all the days of your life?”
Marisleidis: “I will.”
“Richard, Have you come here today of your own free will to take Marisleidis to be your wife, that you may live together as equal partners sharing all that life has to offer?”
Richard: “I have.”
“Will you love her comfort her, honor and keep her all the days of your life?”
Richard: “I will.”
Welcoming of the Guests
“Marisleidis and Richard would like to thank you all for being here with them today and for supporting them through everything that it has taken to make this day a reality. They know that your taking the time and making the journey took considerable effort for a good many of you, and they wanted you all to know the deep appreciation and gratitude that they feel in their hearts for this. All of you are the most important, and have been the most influential, people in their lives. All of the time, and conversations, that you have had with Marisleidis and Richard even before they met have helped to make them who they needed to be to first find themselves and then each other. You have shared in their best and their worst days, and you are an irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today and all of their tomorrows. For all of you are among the greatest gifts that life has given them. All of you are those they can call family and friend.”
The Key to Love
by Anon, 1st century China
“Tonight’s reading was written in China by an anonymous writer in the first century. It is amazing how love transcends differences of time and culture to speak to the soul of we human beings.”
“The key to love is understanding… The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness… To accept each others faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them.
The key to love is sharing… Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together; both conquering problems, forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness.
The key to love is giving… Without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up.
The key to love is respect… Realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other, that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.
The key to love is inside us all… It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold; it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work …
but the rewards are more than worth the effort… And that is the key to love.”
Pledge of Support
“When you accepted Marisleidis and Richard’s invitation to join them here today, you accepted also a very special responsibility and role in their lives. By asking you to bear witness to all that is in their hearts, they share with you precious memories and a knowledge of why and how all is so right for them. These insights are a tool that may later be called upon in times when good council is needed. So I must now ask you; Do you promise that you will do everything in your power to support them in their union? That you will encourage them always to seek the comfort and strength of their togetherness through the storms and stress that life will bring. And that you shall use what you have heard and seen here today, to remind them that the beauty and joy they share this day was meant to last a lifetime.”
Guests: “We do!”
Addressing Bride and Groom
“Today is the public affirmation and acknowledgment of all that you are to each other. Seemingly, your relationship will be as it has always been, and yet there is a power in the spoken word. May that power bring you all the warmth and closeness, security and comfort, joy and happiness that this world has to offer.”
Presentation of the Rings
“May I have the rings please?”
Officiant is given the rings
“The ring finger of the left hand, the side of the body that holds the heart, has been used for the wedding band because for centuries people believed that there was a vein that ran directly from that finger to the heart. They also believed that the words spoken during the placing of the wedding band – symbol of perfection, completion and eternity – would resonate over and over again, like the circumference of the band itself, through to the heart and soul of both giver and the receiver of that most monumental of all promises. The promise of a lifetime as husband and wife.”
“Richard, do you take Marisleidis to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you vow to love her and care for her 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?”
Richard: “I do.”
“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”
Richard places the ring halfway on to Marisleidis’s finger
“I Richard take you Marisleidis to be my wife. I will love you, and honor you, respect and cherish you, for all the days of my life.”
Richard places the ring the rest of the way on to Marisleidis’s finger.
“Marisleidis, do you take Richard 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?”
Marisleidis: “I do.”
“Will you now place the ring on your beloved’s finger and repeat after me?”
Marisleidis places the ring halfway onto Richard’s finger
“I Marisleidis take you Richard to be my husband. I will love you, and honor you, respect and cherish you, for all the days of my life.”
Marisleidis places the ring the rest of the way onto Richard’s finger.
Closing Words and Pronouncement
“The vows you have just taken, pledging love, mean far more than mere words ever can. May their gentle spirit move in you. May your years fulfill the beauty of the feelings expressed today. And may you always put these vows above the things that make life smaller.
You are now as your hearts have always known you to be, Husband and Wife.
You may kiss your beautiful Bride!”
Bride and Groom kiss and exit to greet their guests!