(Speech to our daughter and her husband, from my husband)
Jenifer and Jason, first, I wish you the same love and happiness and wonder that I have found with my wife, Tresa. Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage: The little things are the big things. It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day. 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 the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude and love 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 not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
Throughout history, we have never discovered a better way of life than sharing it together in love in a lasting and responsible way. This arrangement meets our deepest human needs for love and companionship, for someone with whom we can share in an intimate and trusting way all the hopes and joy and dreams of life. But lasting love, Jenifer and Jason, is something beyond the warmth and glow, the excitement and romance of being deeply in love. It is caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your marriage partner as about your own.
Love makes burdens lighter because you divide them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can be involved with life in ways you dare not risk alone.
It should never be said of either of you that you show more concern for a friend than you do for each other. More kindness, gentleness, and concern needs to be shown in the privacy of your own home than anywhere else. Indeed, your home should be a haven from all the confusion and craziness the world will create.
Selfishness has no place in a lasting relationship. Happiness is what each of you should seek for the other. Ask less for yourself than you are willing to give. Love can be shown by a word or touch or two thought entwined as one.
May your marriage bring you all of the exquisite excitement a marriage should bring. May you have happiness, and may you find it in making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.
____________ and __________, you have come here today to celebrate the love which you have for each other. We share in this with you by giving recognition of your decision to accept each other as husband and wife. Into this state of marriage you now come to be united.
We are gathered today to celebrate one of the happiest moments in the lives of __________ and __________, for on this day they will affirm before witnesses of earth and heaven that they believe God has purposed that they should share life in the holy bonds of marriage.
True matrimony is the holiest of all earthly reltionships. It should be entered into reverently, thoughtfully, and with full understanding of its sacred nature. The life that each of you experienced now, individually, will hereafter be inseparably united. I trust that you both understand this?
__________ and __________, it is this day you make a giant step of courage, of commitment, to communicate love, to understand and grow. When a commitment this strong is made by two people, the force of that commitment, of that love, of that courage, reaches out and touches all ofus around you, so that our lives are changed and we share a part of your love. Like a stone dropped in a still pond, the ripples of the love from this celebration extends and changes the world we live in.
We are here today to celebrate the marriage of __________ and __________ . they ask for your blessing, encouragement, and life long support for their decision to become husband, wife, and family. Without family and friends beside them in joy as well as sorrow, this new family will miss the greatest joys of life outside their own home. And that is to give and to receive love. To help and to be helped. To teach as well as to learn. They are delighted you have chosen to witness this special time in their lives. __________ and __________ not only want their relationship with each other to continue as individuals, but take on an even more important dimension as a family as well.
We have come here today in the presence of God to join in holy matrimony __________ and __________ .
You are now taking into your care and keeeping the happiness of the one person in all the world whom you love best. You are adding to your life not only the affection of each other, but also the companionship and blessing of a deep trust as well. You are agreeing to share strength, responsibilites, and to share love.
Remember, anything beautiful that you have, came from God. In the begining, God gave us our free will and our identity to walk this earth. Don't ever try to change each other, because if you do, you will lose exactly what you fell in love with. So, each day, try to find one more thing that is beautiful in your mate and each day, know that the next day will be more beautiful than the one before. As long as you are doing this, you are seeking beauty, joy, and love in each other.
Marriage is the most important of all earthly relationships. It should be entered into reverently, thoughtfullly and with full understanding of its sacred nature. Marriage is a gift of God, given to comfort the sorrow of life and magnify the joys.
Love makes burdens lighter because you dived them. It makes joys more intense because you share them. It makes you stronger, so you can be involved with life in way you dare not risk alone.
May this man and this woman be a blessing and comfort to each other, sharers of each their dreams, consoler to each others sorrows, helpers to each other in all life's vicissitudes. May the encourage each other in what ever they set out to achieve. May they trust each other, trust life and be unafraid. May they love each other and offer love and support to those around them.
May you always need one another, not so much to fill the emptiness as to help each other know your fullness. May you want one anoher, but not out of lack. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. May you succeed in all important ways with each other, and not fail in the litle graces. Look for hings to praise, often say "I love you"; and take no notice of small faults. May you have happiness, and may you find it in making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.
Jesus was once asked "What is the greatest law that mankind must follow"? And he answered them by saying that we must love God with all our hearts, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus touched upon something we all feel very deeply in our hearts, and that is that love is the greatest gift that we can offer to one another, and that is what makes marriage so very special, and a cause of joy and celebration for all of us who have come here today to share in this event. It is my personal prayer and hope that those of you who have already taken the vows of marriage will witness the love of these two people, and as you listen to them share their vows, perhaps it will strengthen for you the memory of your happy day, and remind you of the meaning of the vows you yourselves once took. Perhaps it will even stengthen just a little bit the bond of love that have been growing between you, and if any of this should happen, it would certainly be the greatest gift that __________ and __________ could offer all of us on their wedding day.
Readings, Prayers, & Poetry
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
Pronouncement of the Union
Presentation of the Couple