Dear family and friends – let your hearts be glad and your spirits rejoice, for we are gathered together to witness the marriage of Jennifer and Daniel. You, their family and friends, each have been invited here for a holy purpose, not just to witness, but to participate fully with your thoughts and prayers, and to bless this couple and their married life. No one comes to love with empty hands. Jennifer and Daniel have chosen this ceremony of marriage because they wanted to include you as their witnesses, their community, and their friends. Homer wrote: “There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people, who see eye to eye, keep house as man and wife, thus confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” You are those friends. You are welcome here today.
Sample of a Story
Now, to the story of Frances and Jonathan. The Sufi poet Rumi wrote: “The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” To me this quote feels just right for Frances and Jonathan. For them to come together, however, took many miles of travel, years of growth and one wonderful hairdresser. Yes, I said hairdresser. Samantha is not only an excellent hairdresser, she also has an excellent ear and eye. She understands her clients so well that she has developed a small sideline by matching them up. Frances and Jonathan are the ninth couple!
The date was set for a bar where Jonathan arrived early so he could watch the Yankee game. He remembers that he didn’t see Frances when she walked in, but he did notice that a few of the other guys at the bar actually looked over at the doorway in the middle of an impossible 5-4-3 double play – which apparently is not something guys normally do – so Jonathan turned to look as well. When Jonathan saw Frances and her enormous smile he thought: God, I know we haven’t talked for a while, but please tell me this woman is my date! The next thing he knew, Frances was introducing herself and Jonathan was thinking he should talk with God more often!
As their relationship developed they began to appreciate the good fortune that had blessed their lives. The odds against people finding a perfect match are staggering. The odds against people growing up on opposite sides of the planet and still finding one another are astonishing. Frances was born in Cambodia, and the basic freedoms that Jonathan took for granted were an improbable dream for her. The every day courage she has made part of her life is an inspiration and source of amazement for Jonathan.
And their connection from the start was laughter. Humor continues to be the energy that drives them. They laugh at each other’s jokes. And sometimes they turn together and laugh at the world. The world can be very funny when you have somebody with whom to share the laughter.
Sample of Marriage Philosophy
Sample of Ring Vows
These rings are a symbol of love, which is a symbol of eternity. Love wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end. It is a circle like these rings. May they always remind you that your love is a grace upon this world.
David, please place the ring on Holli’s finger and repeat after me:
Holli, with these rings, I marry you.
Take and wear them as a pledge of my love, And as a symbol of all we share.
Holli, please place the ring on David’s finger and repeat after me:
David, with this ring, I marry you.
Take and wear it as a pledge of my love, And as a symbol of all we share
These rings will endure. So may it be with your love.
Sample of a Blessing with Humor
The secret to a good marriage is a secret.
It is not enough to find a good partner; you must also be a good partner. The road ahead is open to you. As you step forward together I offer you this blessing.
May you never go to bed angry. May you always stay up and fight.
May you never hesitate to seize a single morsel of life. Remember all those people on the Titanic who passed up the dessert tray.
And together may you always find Life an adventure when you are lost and a treasure when you are found.