- 11 years ago
- Wedding: May 2011
I am about to send the officiant the file draft of the ceremony. What do you think of it?
I. Gathering Words
Family and friends, we are gathered here today to celebrate the love and commitment of Laura Nunn and Michael Meinhardt, a couple who truly love each other just for being themselves.
Before we begin, I would like to ask for a moment of silence and reflection.
I ask that we all grasp this moment to appreciate the love that brought us here today, the hope and faith we hold for this union, and for the dreams we wish to come true for this wonderful couple.
Please, let us embrace this silence.
(hold silence for 7 seconds)
As we come out of our silence Michael and Laura will you please turn and face your wedding guests so you can fully appreciate all of the love you brought together today.
And to our honored guests, Michael and Laura recognize the important role you all play in the satisfaction of their lives and marriage.
They would like to thank you for the support you have given them. Thank you for the experiences you have shared and will share together. And thank you for the love you have shown throughout their lives to help create these two wonderful people.
They would not be the people they are today, so perfect for each other, without the lives they have shared with you. So once again on behalf of Michael and Laura, thank you.
Michael and Laura you may turn back to each other.
II. The Couple
I have to be honest. I didn’t know it could really happen. I have seen it on TV a few times, maybe in a movie or two, but I didn’t know people in real life could actually fall in love with someone they met at the gym.
You two are definitely lucky. Not many people can say they first came together over the front desk of 24 hour fitness.
We may never know what caused the initial sparks to fly, but if I had to guess, I would say it was just the happenstance meeting place for two people who were perfect for each other.
You two have come a long way since you first met. After a flirtatious courtship you finally made it out together which led to a first date at a wedding, and now to the beginning of a long and loving marriage for yourselves.
You two belong together. You belong together when you meet every day for lunch just to visit with each other in the middle of the day.
You belong together when you sit in silence for hours working on a puzzle in quiet, embraced silence, enjoying your companionship.
You belong together when you’re separated in a crowded space and send each other your nonverbal secret code that only you two would recognize as a simple, yet meaningful “I love you.”
You belong together when you’re sitting at your favorite restaurant Millie’s, looking around at the other customers, and you smile because you both know you’ll be one of those couples sitting together at Millie’s after 50 years of marriage.
We are all here in agreement and support that you two belong together. If for no other reason than the fact that you two love each other just for being who you are.
III. The Charge
Michael, Laura loves your brains, your humor, and yes, even your passion for dungeons and dragons.
She knew you were “The One” and that she was going to marry you someday only two weeks into your relationship.
She loves that you really listen to her and remember the details from her stories months later. It’s a wonderful gift to really listen.
She appreciates your ability to make her smile and loves feeling the stress of life drift away when you’re together.
She considers you to be her best friend and loves that her future and your future will now be ever entwined as one.
Laura, Michael loves you for being caring, loving, beautiful and funny.
Michael is so thankful for the joy and smiles you bring to his life.
He recognizes that you make him feel important, something that can so easily be given to him with your love and respect.
Michael cannot picture his life without you and is so thankful for every day he gets to wake up and share with you.
He looks forward to sharing a lifetime of lunch breaks with you, and enjoying the simple, stress free life of relaxing, knowing you two will be together to laugh, support, and love each other.
Now your lifelong goals will be to continue this little family you have built together, to love, to be yourselves, because that is who you each fell in love with, to grow and learn together, and to fall more and more in love each and every day.
Michael, do you take, Laura, to be your lawfully wedded wife, your constant friend, your faithful partner and your love from this day forward? In the presence of your family and friends, do you offer your solemn vow to be a faithful partner to her in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow? Do you promise to love Laura unconditionally, to support her in her goals, to laugh with her and cry with her, and to cherish her for as long as you both shall live?
a. Michael – I do
Laura, do you take Michael, to be your lawfully wedded husband, your constant friend, your faithful partner and your love from this day forward? In the presence of your family and friends, do you offer your solemn vow to be a faithful partner to him in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow? Do you promise to love Michael unconditionally, to support him in his goals, to laugh with him and cry with him, and to cherish him for as long as you both shall live?
b. Laura– I do
IV. Marriage Address
Michael and Laura you have said your “I do’s” which means we are getting closer and closer to your union as husband and wife. But what does that mean to you?
In my office at home I have several books explaining what marriage is but I don’t think any of them sum it up as perfectly as the two of you have explained to me.
And I quote: “marriage means being partners. There will always be tough and hard days for both of you as a couple and as individuals. You are now here to help and to be there for the other person.”
Being married is “a commitment, to do your best to help each other grow and mature. It is a commitment to give your all to support and love.”
“Being married means having someone to share in your hopes, dreams, and adventures.”
Michael and Laura, you’re absolutely right. Plus so much more, but once you find that out, there is even more your marriage can bring you, then more, and more, and more.
In the words of Mignon McLaughlin “Marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
I would be willing to bet you two have fallen to a new level of love just since we started this ceremony.
And now, it is time to vow to this love. The Union by Robert Fulghum explains it best.
“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 promises and agreements in an informal way.
All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” — 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 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, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.
Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you.
For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife.”
Michael will you please repeat after me.
Laura, I choose you to be my wife / my lifelong partner, and my best friend. / I promise to love you and cherish you / with all that I am and all that I have / always and forever.
Laura will you now please repeat after me.
Michael, I choose you to be my husband / my lifelong partner, and my best friend. / I promise to love you and cherish you / with all that I am and all that I have / always and forever.
(To best man) May I have the rings please?
Wedding rings are symbolic reminders of the unbroken circle of a healthy and abiding love.
Within the safety and comfort of a true marriage, love freely given has no beginning and no end.
Michael and Laura, may these rings be for you always, your most treasured adornment, and may the love they symbolize be your most treasured possession.
Michael, please take Laura’s ring and slide it over her finger as you repeat after me.
Laura, I give you this ring / as a symbol of my affection and devotion. / As this ring has no end / neither shall my love for you.
Laura, will you now please take Michael’s ring and slide it over his finger as you repeat after me.
Michael, I give you this ring / as a symbol of my affection and devotion. / As this ring has no end / neither shall my love for you. Blessing of the hands.
Michael and Laura, please join hands.
These are the hands you trust with your hands, you trust with your happiness, you trust with your love.
In the words from the Blessing of the Hands:
“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”
VII. Final Thoughts
We are now mere moments away from congratulating the two of you on your new journey as husband and wife.
Waiting for you is a lifetime of being proud to be each other’s partner, a lifetime of simple nights together, side by side and being completely happy, as well as loving each other through life’s changing moments like today, and of course you’ll once again get to enjoy a life with no more wedding planning!
And so, by the power vested in me by the Universal Life Church and the State of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
You may kiss the bride.
Family and friends it is my great privilege to introduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Laura Meinhardt!