Adventures, Family, Non-Fiction, Personal, Writing|

Dearly beloved,

Wait. Wait. Hold on a second. We’re missing someone. Let’s see. We’ve got the bride, the groom’s here, best man/Minister, couple’a beautiful bridesmaids, some scraggly lookin’ groomsmen… A pretty little flower girl, but… Where are the rings? Didn’t we hire a ring bear for this? David! Where’s the ring bear?

Phew. Ahem.

Dearly beloved,

We are gathered here on this most auspicious day to witness the joining of these two souls in matrimony. Today is a day of celebration, reverence, and introspection. We come together, at this time, in this place, to commemorate the love and affection we all share for Kally and Stephen, and to honor their commitment to one another. It is wonderful, and wholly appropriate that these two have family and friends here to send them off on their journey together. The bride and groom would like to thank all of you for being here today to share in their love; know that each of you were invited because you’ve played an integral part in the shaping of their lives.

Marriage is, truly, a priceless gift. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love, there is life.” Nowhere is that more clear and present than standing before us today. When we find someone that suits us well, well, nobody said it better than Robert Fulghum in “True Love”. “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness–and call it love–true love.” Marriage is a joining of two souls, and George Elliot surely understood that when he said, “What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”

The foundation of any relationship is love, trust, and mutual respect. In this, Kally and Stephen are rich beyond words. In the time they’ve spent together, the foundation they laid will support the life that they now build. Today we give our blessing for this union, and with love we bind together their souls for eternity.

If there is anyone in attendance who has cause to believe that this couple should not be joined in marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace.

Today we observe the union of these two people with the respect and dedication this occasion warrants. What we honor today, with reverence and sincerity, we also celebrate with great joy! For married life, a shared life, is a blessing without end. Though we may become cynical at times, the loving support of another person can be all the strength we need to endure any challenge or hardship. As Kally and Stephen embark on this path together, we know that they are not perfect. But together, with love nurturing their affections, we will watch as they chip away the imperfections of each other, together becoming better with each step.

Kally and Stephen, learn to work together, to laugh together, and to love together. Do not allow worldly things to come between you. Instead, turn inward, and focus on the love you share. Your devotion to one another will keep your relationship strong against even the hardest winds. As your relationship grows, you will come to understand a remarkable love that is abundant, and everlasting.

The happiness you will find as you pursue your lives will fuel the joy of your family and friends; they will bask in your affection and be cheered by your good fortune. Good fortune never lasts, however, and you must actively commit to your love. It is your armor and shield against the world, your candle that lights the night. Treasure it, and it will keep you warm through the coldest winter, and light your path when you feel lost.

Before you are three candles; two that represent your lives as individuals, and one that represents your future. By joining your flames together, you are actively combining your individual dreams, hopes, and desires, to illuminate your future life together. By lighting this flame today, you express a desire to allow your love to fuel your passions, and brighten your marriage.

Kally, Stephen, it is my understanding that you’ve each written your own vows. This is your opportunity to express the love you feel in your hearts. I would like to take this time to invite each of you to publicly declare these vows.

Kally, you may begin.

Stephen, you may now make your promise.

Kally and Stephen, please face one another and grasp each other’s’ hands. Kally, do you take Stephen to be your lawfully wedded husband? By making this commitment, you are joining in the covenant of marriage.

Do you promise to honor him in love, to be sensitive to his needs, to comfort him in difficulty, and to put your full and complete trust in him, so long as you both shall live?

And do you, Stephen, take Kally to be your lawfully wedded wife? By making this commitment, you are joining in the covenant of marriage.

Do you promise to honor her in love, to be sensitive to her needs, to comfort her in difficulty, and to put your full and complete trust in her, so long as you both shall live?

Very well.

To commemorate this union, you will now exchange rings. Each ring symbolizes your eternal love and commitment to one another. These rings will remind you, in good times and in bad, that love is everlasting, and of your promises to one another, made here today.

Will each of you please repeat after me as you place your ring on the left hand of your beloved?

I, Kally, give you Stephen this ring as a symbol of my commitment and love. With this ring, I thee wed.

I, Stephen, give you Kally this ring as a symbol of my commitment and love. With this ring, I thee wed.

By the power vested in me by the Great State of Missouri, I pronounce you, Kally and Stephen, wife and husband.

Stephen, you may now kiss your bride.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present to you, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen and Kally Rowland!

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