- 5 years ago
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
A close friend is marrying us, so we wrote the ceremony (aka cobbled it together) ourselves. It’s clocking in at around 12-15 minutes, which I think is a good length. With pro/recessionals the whole thing should be ~30 minutes. Please read and comment… we’ve never done this before! 🙂 Thanks in advance
Welcome: “we’re here for….” (Lauren to write something)
The Massachusetts State Supreme Court gives a beautiful definition of marriage which reads as follows: Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations.
Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a social institution of the highest importance. Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.
Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.
It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a “civil right.” Without the right to marry — or more properly, the right to choose to marry — one is excluded from the full range of human experience. And the right to marry means little if it does not include the right to marry the person of one’s choice.
That couples are willing to embrace marriage’s solemn obligations of exclusivity, mutual support, and commitment to one another is a testament to the enduring place of marriage in our laws and in the human spirit.
As author Robert Fulgham writes in his essay entitled “Union:” You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
Will you, Caitlin, have Samuel as your lawfully wedded husband? Will you share your life with him; love, comfort, and honor him; in sickness and in health; in sorrow and in joy; as long as you both shall live?
Will you, Samuel, have Caitlin as your lawfully wedded wife? Will you share your life with him; love, comfort, and honor him; in sickness and in health; in sorrow and in joy; as long as you both shall live?
As you two are about to exchange rings, a physical symbol of your love for one another, let us take a moment to reflect on the nature of love. As Louis de Bernieres wrote in “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,” Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
May we please have the rings?
Caitlin please repeat after me:
I, Caitlin, choose you Samuel to be my husband / I will respect you, care for you, and grow with you / through good times and hard times, as your friend, companion, and partner / giving the best that I can to fulfill our lives together / This ring symbolizes my commitment to you. (put ring on Sam’s finger)
Samuel, please repeat after me:
I, Samuel, choose you Caitlin to be my wife / I will respect you, care for you, and grow with you / through good times and hard times, as your friend, companion, and partner / giving the best that I can to fulfill our lives together / This ring symbolizes my commitment to you. (put ring(s) on Caitlin’s finger)
Breaking the Glass
(place glass on ground)
I hope that your happiness will be as plentiful as the shards of this glass.
(Sam breaks glass)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. Please kiss.
May I present for the first time as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Boo