An author once wrote:
“It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life-it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. NAME and NAME came together as friends. Today, they pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.” (-Judy Bielicki)
We have come together here to share this day with NAME and NAME as they become a married couple. We celebrate their friendship and love, and reflect on what it means to love another person in a married relationship.
There is a poetic essay that has been read at weddings for over 50 years, titled, “The Art of Marriage”, and I’d like to share some of it with you today. It speaks about what love really is in everyday life, and in it’s simplicity, offers some of the best advice that can be given to a couple embarking on one of the most meaningful and challenging journeys in life: to be not just married, but happily married.
“Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the Art of Marriage the little things are the important things.
It means never being too old to hold hands, or to say I love you each and every day.
It’s never going to bed angry, and having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It’s doing things for each other, not as a sacrifice, but because it makes you happy;
It is not looking for perfection in each other and yet seeing each other as perfect just as you are.
The Art of Marriage is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor in all aspects of your relationship;
it is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It’s not only marrying the right partner, it’s being the right partner.”
Over time, a marriage evolves. Life changes, people grow. A solid foundation of friendship allows the marriage to withstand the pressures of change, the highs and lows of emotions, the really big issues as well as the little daily events.
Making your marriage grow and last over the years is truly an artistic endeavor worthy of your best efforts. A relationship might begin with small similarities, shared interests, common ideals and agreements about what you both want out of life. Friendship and love are intertwined, and over time, those philosophies and goals become a backdrop for all the little things you do from day to day to communicate your love.
It’s those little things that make your partnership more than just a marriage and a commitment, but a happy marriage between friends. It’s the art of finding meaningful ways to show your appreciation, learning what speaks love to each other. It’s doing that extra chore when the other has had a hard day; it’s being helpful, or giving them space, or going somewhere together even if it’s not your favorite. All these little things add up to a lifetime of moments of loving each other.
Vows & Exchange of Rings
NAME and NAME, 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, teacher. Now you shall say these simple 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.
NAME,do you have the ring? As you place the ring on NAME’s finger, please repeat after me:
“I, NAME, take you, NAME to be my husband/wife,
my best friend and my love.
I vow to honor and respect you
for all that you are,
all that you have ever been,
and all that you will become.
I promise to be true to you always,
in my thoughts and in my words.
Above all, I will give you my love
for as long as we both live.”
As you officially begin your marriage, remember it is your friendship that will keep you together.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
Remember to challenge and inspire each other, accept those challenges and be open to inspiration and change.
Have your own interests, but also continue to be interested in each other.
If each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be filled with happiness and love.
NAME and NAME, having witnessed your vows with all who have joined us here, I am honored to announce that you are now married/husband and wife. You may kiss.