As I mentioned before, we had decided NOT to have a religious ceremony. We also wanted someone that knew and cared about us officiate the ceremony, not a stranger, so we asked my sister's husband to do the honour and he didn't an amazing job. MOH K put the ceremony together by referencing different examples online and adding her own creative touch. It went like this...(Warning: this is a long post!)
Everyone please be seated, Thank you!
We are gathered here today to share in the celebration of the love between C and her Mr, and to personally wish them well on a journey that will be uniquely theirs for the rest of their lives.
Today represents not only the joining of C and her Mr, but also the joining of their families and friends.
C and her Mr would like to recognize their parents on this occasion. They offer their profound gratitude for all the love and care their parents showed in raising them. The unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you from the bottom of their hearts. Without you, this day would not be possible.
C and her Mr would also like to thank all of you here for making the long journey in order to share this celebration. Whether you’ve made it here from the city, farther in the province or from across the country, you are all here because you’ve played an important part in both of their lives. They want to acknowledge that they are in many ways who they are today because of the special moments they have shared with each of you.
They have invited you to this beautiful place under this tree to show you a glimpse of an important piece of their love. They wanted to show you its beauty because their love is connected just as this tree, by their roots. Their time together has always been a time of connectedness, growth and of a deepening respect for family, for friends, for nature, and for each other.
Address to the Couple
C and her Mr, you are here surrounded by your closest family and friends. Some people here have known you your entire lives and some for less than a year but no matter how long or in what circumstances they know you, I can guarantee that everyone here knows what remarkable individuals you are. You are remarkable for the passion and breadth of your interests and for the fact that you both have an extraordinary understanding about who you are and what you stand for. As individuals you have shined throughout all of your unique and colorful endeavors. That might have been enough, even had you never found one another, but you did find one another and this is cause for further celebration, because as a couple you are able to bring out the best in one another.
Marriage challenges us to share the same journey without abandoning the truth of our individuality; to not lose ourselves in one another, but rather walk side by side, heading in the same direction.
A quote (by Anonymous) that C loves says this:
“Maybe…We are supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the Right one, so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift.
Maybe...it is true that we don't know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it arrives
Maybe...the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
Maybe...the best kind of love is the kind where you can sit on a sofa together never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.
Maybe...you shouldn't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
Maybe...you should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy.
Maybe Love is not about finding the perfect person; it's about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. When you do what you can, love will do what you can't”
C and her Mr, always remember that your friendship and the shared values of respect, honesty and trust are the reason that you have chosen to build a life together. Enjoy the intertwining roots of your independence with your intimacy. I wish you the courage to keep your hearts open to each other for the rest of your lives.
Love Reading #1
Now, if I could invite, C's parents please, to step forward to read an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres.
Dad: Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grow towards each other underground, slowly and determined. And when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from our branches, we found that we were one tree and not two.
D: Thank you.
A lasting marriage is not stagnant. The relationship and each individual are continually growing and developing. Your understanding of each other deepens and evolves.
No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest. It is not this ceremony or the state of being married that will truly join and hold you together, but your ongoing commitment to your relationship and to the kind of life you wish to make together. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as partners in life.
Love Reading #2
I’d now like to invite up her Mr's parents to please step forward and read "Blessing for A Marriage" by James Dillet Freeman.
MIL: “May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another -- not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!" and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another's presence -- no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.”
(My FIL stood with my MIL for support but wasn't comfortable reading...or so I was told. He then surprised me by taking the microphone from my MIL after she finished to give an impromptu thank you to all of the guests for coming. Basically at this point I am shoot a panicked "WTF" look to my Mr as this was NOT part of the ceremony. Obviously in his nervousness he forgot that they would have a chance to say their thank yous at the reception during speeches. Everyone went with the follow and I never said anything to him and I'm sure to this day he's oblivious that it wasn't the appropriate time but it will definitely one of the memorable points in our wedding and a test to me going with the flow for the day)
D: Thank you.
Love – as we call it – is a most marvelous thing: it is rarely found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.
C and her Mr, you are very fortunate to have found this kind of love. Many paths have led you here, to this place where you know you belong. Your journey has brought you here, to the beginning of the rest of your life together. To witness this is inspiring to all of us.
Next up...We exchange our vows.