It is my joy to welcome each and every one of you to this celebration. This very special gathering is a milestone for a truly lovely couple.
Today, we are celebrating the lives, the love, the commitment, and yes, even the goofiness, of Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom .
As the person who’s overseeing this thing we call a “wedding,” I want to remind all of us what marriage really is in the first place, and why it’s the “no-brainer” next step for our friends Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom .
Thousands of years ago, marriage was a simple contract that could be summarized in a single sentence—“I’ll take care of you, you’ll take care of me.”
Since then, cultures and societies around the world have added romance, passion, security, and sacrifice to the list of what defines a marriage that all couples should strive to have.
Of course, Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom are thrilled to live in a progressive era in the United States where ALL couples, including our friends in the LGBTQ community, can enjoy the rewards of legally recognized matrimony. We’ve come a long way, folks, and we hope other nations come to their senses soon as well.
As family and friends, co-workers and comrades of Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom, you’ve probably noticed that these two aren’t the traditional sort of people. So this isn’t going to be a traditional ceremony.
What makes this couple unique is that, today, they won’t be committing to anything new.
You see, since the beginning of their relationship, Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom have been “all-in.” When they were dating, they were committed to each other. When they were “engaging”—as they like to say—they were committed to each other.
And now that they are marrying, they remain committed to each other.
Committed to the security of waking up in each other’s arms every morning.
Committed to wiping away each other’s tears.
Committed to celebrating each other’s wins when everything goes right.
And committed to daily life together—and everything that comes with it.
That’s why neither of them will be declaring any “vows”—you see, their relationship is already one founded on lifelong commitment to support, enjoy, cherish, and celebrate each other, no matter what life throws their way.
So today, we are here to celebrate that commitment with them. For Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom, marriage is the natural blossoming of the love they have already cultivated for each other in their hearts.
All of you have been welcomed here because this couple respects the unique role each of you hold in their lives. You represent all of the people in the world who will be blessed, inspired, and impacted by Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom over the course of their life together.
You are the faithful friends and cherished family that every couple dreams of having at their wedding.
So, let’s turn our attention to these dear ones before us— Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom .
I’m going to ask each of you a straightforward question. Everyone, be warned, their answers might make you reach for a tissue—or your handy barf bag.
Partner/Bride/Groom, I’ll start with you—why have you chosen Partner/Bride/Groom as your lover, your bride/groom, your Partner/Bride/Groom for life?
[Partner/Bride/Groom ’s answer]
And now you, Partner/Bride/Groom —why have you chosen Partner/Bride/Groom as your lover, your bride/groom, your Partner/Bride/Groom for life?
[Partner/Bride/Groom ’s answer]
Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom, it is through the love behind these words that you shall find a greater sense of who you are meant to be. You have chosen to see the good in each other, to accept each other for who you are and for who you will become.
You have chosen to heal each other’s wounds and give each other the strength and courage that comes only through a commitment that says each and every morning, “I do.”
Through your love, you will bless the world around you with a greater peace and a more gentle awareness of what matters most in life on planet earth for all creatures, big and small. May you relax in each other’s arms as you have never relaxed before, knowing that there is one whose love you can depend upon forever.
Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom, you bring balance to each other, you bring purpose, and you bring awareness. The truest way to know yourself on the deepest level is to see yourself in the mirror of your life Partner/Bride/Groom ’s intimate love.
Partner/Bride/Groom, you will know Partner/Bride/Groom better than anyone ever has or will; Partner/Bride/Groom, you will know Partner/Bride/Groom better than anyone ever has or will.
XXXX and XXXX [siblings/parent/groomsmen], will you please present the rings?
[XXX hands rings to Partner/Bride/Groom, XXX hands ring to Partner/Bride/Groom ]
Your rings symbolize the circle of life—on this earth, the cycle of birth, life, and death has gone on for millennia. And it will continue on for thousands of years long after you are both gone.
But in this moment, right here and now, you two are sharing a sacred bond that poets dream of, romantics aspire to, and every culture celebrates in their own way.
Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom, your rings symbolize who you have become because of the love you share—stronger, braver, and able to withstand any tempest life sends your way.
With one glance at your left hands, you are reminded that there’s someone in this world who will do anything to make you happy.
And now, we are going to present a very special ritual blessing upon Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom .
The tradition of a hand-fastening cord goes back to the ancient tribes of Celtic Britain, and it symbolizes the conjoining of two lives, two hearts, into one.
However, this doesn’t mean that Partner/Bride/Groom is forsaking her/his identity, or that Partner/Bride/Groom is giving up her/his.
That’s why there is 1 strand to symbolize the personality, values, and goals of Partner/Bride/Groom, and 1 strand to symbolize the personality, values, and goals of Partner/Bride/Groom —together, they have become “XXXXX (form of Brangelina).”
This couple is embracing who they are as individuals to the fullest by finding both security and purpose in each other.
Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom, you already know that true love isn’t always the fiery passion and the sizzling romance that makes people around you say “Get a room!”
Most of the time, true love is paying bills together. True love is snuggling together on the couch after work.
True love is cooking together in the kitchen and sharing a glass of wine.
True love is helping each other pick outfits for a night on the town together.
True love is, simply, together.
Everyone, would you join me in the ancient blessing as two become one?
[Kerri wraps the cord over our wrists while couple holds hands. With each phrase, she wraps the cords over out wrists one time]
“The way is long—may you go together.”
“The way is difficult—may you help each other.”
“The way is joyful—may you share it.”
“The way is yours alone—may you go in love.”
“The way grows before you—may you begin together.”
Before my final question, I’d like to give each of you the opportunity to declare your love, your passion, and your commitment to one another.
[Kerri prompts Partner/Bride/Groom & Partner/Bride/Groom to declare vows]
Partner/Bride/Groom, do you then wholeheartedly agree to enter into the public, legal commitment of taking Partner/Bride/Groom as your wife?
Partner/Bride/Groom, do you then wholeheartedly agree to enter into the public, legal commitment of taking Partner/Bride/Groom as your husband?
Partner/Bride/Groom and Partner/Bride/Groom …
…since you have declared your commitment to one another before this beautiful gathering of friends and family
…since you have committed to walking by each other’s side each and every day of your lives
…and since you have already embraced each other as best friends, true lovers, and life Partner/Bride/Groom s
…it’s my joy to pronounce you married.